A Human's Guide to Words
A series on the use and abuse of words; why you often can't define a word any way you like; how human brains seem to process definitions. First introduces the Mind projection fallacy and the concept of how an algorithm feels from inside, which makes it a basic intro to key elements of the LW zeitgeist.
A guide to this sequence is available at 37 Ways That Words Can Be Wrong.
Hint: Open links in new tabs (CTRL+click), so this index stays open.
- The Parable of the Dagger
- The Parable of Hemlock
- Words as Hidden Inferences
- Extensions and Intensions
- Similarity Clusters
- Typicality and Asymmetrical Similarity
- The Cluster Structure of Thingspace
- Disguised Queries
- Neural Categories
- How An Algorithm Feels From Inside
- Disputing Definitions
- Feel the Meaning
- The Argument From Common Usage
- Empty Labels
- Taboo Your Words
- Replace the Symbol with the Substance
- Fallacies of Compression
- Categorizing Has Consequences
- Sneaking in Connotations
- Arguing "By Definition"
- Where to Draw the Boundary?
- Entropy, and Short Codes
- Mutual Information, and Density in Thingspace
- Superexponential Conceptspace, and Simple Words
- Conditional Independence, and Naive Bayes
- Words as Mental Paintbrush Handles
- Variable Question Fallacies
- 37 Ways That Suboptimal Use Of Categories Can Have Negative Side Effects On Your Cognition