This article will cover some random thoughts I had recently.
- Oblique Generalization
- Weak Grounding
- Argument from Time Travel (Optionally, With the Long Run Centralization of Power)
1 Oblique Generalization
Oblique generalization is a process of taking just about any super specific thing and generalizing it. In my mind, this is useful for hypothesis formation, but it could have other applications. It is a way to think about a thing and naturally leads to questions about how to do better things.
It is oblique because it contains a horizontal and vertical component.
- First, consider and define a thing.
- Take the definition and generalize it by function. This is horizontal generalization. For example, a particular Point of Sale technology such as a Cash Register might be generalized to any Point of Sale technology.
Now ask, “Why is this thing useful?” Consider real or possible/hypothetical items which are used for the same function, but are less useful. For example, why do people use cash register for point of sale instead of simply doing point of sale by hand?
- Now consider things which are similar but more useful. Why is a particular kind of cash register or car “better” than another? You may discover that these properties are the same general properties or different ones compared to why the thing is useful in the first place. The discovery of these “properties of usefulness” constitute vertical generalizations. These properties are similar to and often but not always overlap with Great-Making properties.Now that you have uncovered these properties of usefulness in theory, you are ready to see if they can actually exist in the real world! Hypothesis that these theoretical goods are actual goods and get to work!
2 Weak Grounding
Things are not proven in Science, they are disproved. Why should this be? One reason is that people are not omnipotent. We cannot rule out all other possibilities. If we are concerned with the relationship between X and Y, and we prove that there is only one possible explaining factor we are aware of, it is quite possible that there are still explaining factors we are unaware of. We have proved the relationship in a sense, but not really.
Any explanation can be offered for the relationship between X and Y. Contrary to popular belief, the hypothesis formulation step of the Scientific Method need not be rigorous. A pure Guess-and-Check methodology is completely valid when done the right way, and it is often the only way to solve certain problems, such as certain problems in entrepreneurship, epistemology, religion, or wicked policy problems.
Because things are not really proven in science, it is very hard, maybe impossible, to actually “know” something through science.
What we can do is say, “We have some reason to think [X].” Weak Grounding, in my opinion, is the minimum we must have to use that phrase.
Weak Grounding works, in my opinion, by having as a minimum some theoretical or empirical reason to think X. The grounding is stronger when we have both, and strongest when we have a significant, important amount of both, with no alternative. The latter would be Strong Grounding, or a strong reason to believe X, which is about as close to scientific knowledge as we can come imho.
3 Argument from Time Travel
This argument appeals to atheistic and agnostic futurists, transhumanists and nerds.
The argument goes that if God could ever exist and perform time travel then it is possible he exists throughout eternity.
Even if God is some sort of created being in the future, for example, but is able to execute time travel (ostensibly part of the definition, but usefully specified), then he would be eternal.
Btw, this is not a serious argument, but it’s fun to use on people. Gets them thinking.
3 (b) Optional, Long-Run Concentration of Power
If power is (completely/near-completely) concentrated in the long run, then the entity in which it is concentrated may be called God. This helps demonstrate that God could ever exist.
Btw, I don’t think power actually concentrates in the long run, but it’s a possibility, and it is a possibility very much embraced by economic leftists, who are often the atheistic/agnostic futurists and transhumanists the above argument is largely directed at.
In real life, I think pure free markets have the ability to create prosperity AND equality without need for treatment.