Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Some rules

My quest to write a shortish blog post capturing all the wisdom of thousands of years of epistemological insight was a little frustrating.

In the same sort of spirit though, Virginia Postrel offers an overview of dynamist rules:

  1. Allow individuals (including groups of individuals) to act on their own knowledge.
  2. Apply to simple, generic units and allow them to combine in many different ways.
  3. Permit credible, understandable, enduring and enforceable commitments.
  4. Protect criticism, competition, and feedback.
  5. Establish a framework within which people can create nested, competing frameworks of more specific rules.

This is from The Future and its Enemies. These rules are kinda just the rules for life the universe and everything, and I'm not sure how well they sum up what I was trying to get at. But they're simple, general and pretty deep.

4 comments:

Trevor Black said...

"to act on their own knowledge"

knowledge as in beliefs, or knowledge as in scientific knowledge?

"framework.... more specific rules"

What if those rules are contrary to yours... i.e. do you accept Amish People not allowing their kids to grow up in the civilized world, and be indocrinated in a bubble?

Tracy said...

In general I like her framework, but as always ethical issues such as the one Trevor mentioned always raise their head.

I am sure that she suggests a few minimum standards that would have to be inforced even in this highly flexible system, especially when it comes to the impacts our actions have on those that are vulnerable, i.e. children, disabled, elderly, animals..

Tracy said...

In general I like her framework, but as always ethical issues such as the one Trevor mentioned always raise their head.

I am sure that she suggests a few minimum standards that would have to be inforced even in this highly flexible system, especially when it comes to the impacts our actions have on those that are vulnerable, i.e. children, disabled, elderly, animals..

stuart said...

She means local, difficult to articulate knowledge, like how to bake a nice cake or something. the stuff that doesn't make it into the recipe book.

Amish people pretty clearly violate these steps. especially step 4 and 5. they allow little criticism or competition. So I'm trying to persuade amish people to adopt this framework, while specifying as little as possible about whatever rules they like. I'm reasonobly relaxed about people enslaving and brainwashing their kids.

These rules can be applied to law making Internet protocols, whatever. what I'm interested in is applying them to truth seeking.

but what exactly should these minimum standards be. we cant know until we are sure of what is just and we are not. this framework is here to help us search for what is just.

if in the meantime we simply enforce our intuitions on these subjects through force then fine, but we should never be complacent.