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If I'm rational, I'll eat my hat.

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Mar. 25th, 2004 | 06:56 am
mood: weirdweird
music: Tsec - Allt Jag Vill

And let's not forget that there are plenty of people out there who do not (or choose not to) value rationality. I mean, I strive to decrease the entropy of the human universe, yet I consider myself an absurdist and somewhat gnostic. If you have agents in a model that have desires *about* that model (i.e., "what I want is: to be not rational"), then you have Godel's Incompleteness Theorem smack in the middle of things; a set theory problem. Humans are meta. I mean, geez, what about Buddhism?

I'm not sure if it comes across, but I'm agreeing with your post. ;)

Lots of good discussion in these threads; thanks for that. ("Make the ganglia twitch!")

cross-posted from another thread

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from: kai_
date: Mar. 25th, 2004 08:38 am (UTC)

twitching ganglia indeed.

Humans are not rational, though I often observe them to try to explain their irrational behaviors rationally.

Comes to mind, an example from working with a man with disorganized schizophrenia. We were nearing the end of our working relationship together, and I had commented that he had been fairly easy to work with. His response: "I'm taking the garbage out every other day now."

Of course, this seemed completely irrational to me. I asked him what he meant. He said (quite plainly): "Well you said I had been easy on you, and my wife had asked us to go easy on how often we took out the garbage, so now I'm only taking it out every other day."

Clearly, he thought he was being rational.

I often think that we would have "diseases" of irrationality if we were not by nature irrational. I do not know of a "disease" that would be typified by super-rational behavior. Not even OCD fits this idea, again it falls into "normal" behavior repeated to the point of irrationality. Entropy, indeed, would suggest that as things deteriorate, they return to their natural state. Therefore, dementia can easily be explained with the premise that humans are by nature irrational, and therefore are only returning to their natural state.

So, really, I think that the aliens who came down and tried to give us rational brains really didn't understand the concept of how rationality would effect an irrational organism.

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