Some bits about philosophy

Complexity Bias: Why We Prefer Complicated to Simple

Complexity Bias

Complexity bias is a logical fallacy that leads us to give undue credence to complex concepts.
Faced with two competing hypotheses, we are likely to choose the most complex one. That’s usually the option with the most assumptions and regressions. As a result, when we need to solve a problem, we may ignore simple solutions — thinking “that will never work” — and instead favor complex ones.
To understand complexity bias, we need first to establish the meaning of three key terms associated with it: complexity, simplicity, and chaos.

Nice piece on the risks of being seduced by unnecessary complexity, especially in the broader context of language. It reminded me of an old essay by Italo Calvino, “L’antilingua”—literally: “the anti-language”—in which he comically shows the effects of replacing simple words with increasingly grotesque jargon. To paraphrase Calvino, the anti-language is the language of people who prefer saying “utilize” instead of “use”, people who are scared of showing familiarity with the subject of their talk. According to him, speaking the anti-language is a sign of being out of touch with life, and ultimately represents the death of language itself.

April 5, 2018

On #DeleteFacebook

Nietzsche on Facebook

Do I counsel you to delete your Facebook account? #DeleteFacebook is a virtue with some, but with many almost a vice.

I asked Nietzsche what he thinks about #DeleteFacebook, and he was not amused.

March 26, 2018

Common Sense Eats Common Talk

At this point, we are left to answer a critical question. How can we decide when to overrule our common sense? What should we do in the many, almost daily, situations where it’s impossible to verify the validity of a statement? When can we trust common talk? […]

I suspect the answer cannot be found in a positive theory of certainty, but in the acceptance that, as humans, our destiny is to live, and act, in doubt.

I finally managed to read this terrific piece by Stefano Zorzi and I can’t help but think the answer to these questions lies in fully embracing hermeneutics not as just a tool, but instead as the very foundation of being, as brilliantly argued by philosopher Gianni Vattimo in his groundbreaking 1983 essay “Dialectics, Difference, Weak Thought”.

February 26, 2018
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