Sunday, August 29, 2010

Is our science unique to us?

It has been suggested that aliens come to earth would be more interested in our music and art than in our science. This is based on the idea that science is objective and that there is only one correct ("true") model of reality whereas arts are subjective and unique to their creators.  I think that this is an exaggeration.  I have argued (, philosopher, changing what science is) that 2 or more theories are better than one and that we all live in somewhat different realities from those of other people (,  philosopher, alternate realities).  Aliens would then like to learn of our unique categories and models of the world.  This is not to say that there aren't views of the world that are wrong.  There are.  Rather, I am just saying that what is true of the world is richer than was once thought and that what we know about the world is always approximate/incomplete.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Value monism

I have argued elsewhere against value monism (, philosopher, axiology).

A strong argument against value monism is the fact that the monists can not agree on what is the single thing that is to be valued.  Some suggestions have been:



the number of children or grandchildren you have had





time (but one could change this or one's age by relativistic means, and so....)



Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Space transportation system

"Drop tanks" could be added to or removed from a spacecraft at a fuel dump in order to increase or decrease its delta v capability.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Space transportation system

Use of present technology suggests a 2 stage launcher to LEO.  Stage 1 would initially be expendable and provide altitude and perhaps about half of orbital velocity.  Stage 2 would enter LEO about empty and link up with an orbiting fuel dump.  By refueling this would allow stage 2 and the payload to depart for moon orbit, a Lagrange point, or Mars.  There stage 2 could again refuel at a fuel dump.

The ideal size would probably be smaller than the HLV designs suggested so far.  The exact optimal size depends on how much the system is to be used.  To make good use of ground facilities launchs should be fairly frequent. 

A growth option would be to develop a reusable stage 1.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Intelligence may be best represented by a vector

Gould, Kitcher, Gardner, and others have all argued against any single generalized factor of intelligence g or "IQ."   I agree that a scalar g or IQ may not be able to represent what we mean when we talk about intelligence. I believe a vector may be needed, consisting of components like:

memory  (amount, accuracy, etc.)



speed  (of recall, of deduction, of saving to memory, etc.)




These components of a vector intelligence measure are NOT assumed to be orthogonal.

Friday, August 20, 2010


My Website

Since I first began to post on the web people have been asking me to establish a website.  I have now done that . My website is at:  That site outlines my work up to 2010.  My work from 2010 onward will be described on my blog (here).