Thursday, December 31, 2009

The rules.

This blog was begun as an New Year's Resolution - a year-beginning experiment in heuristic sorting, truth-finding, and exploration. This project views the world through the lense of scientific method, standing at the "observation" phase of empiricism, and avoiding theories. The truth content of our theories, even the best of them, cannot be verified by scientific testing, but can only be falsified. And this project has, as its goal, the illumination of truth through the mechanical sorting of the author's life using strategies common to the natural and social sciences. It must consider axiomatic that the growth of science appears to result in a growth in knowledge. But, as Karl Popper states, the advance of scientific knowledge is an evolutionary process better characterized by:

PS(x) -> TT(x) -> EE(x) -> PS(x+1)

Whereby a given problem situation (PS(x)) + a number of competing conjectures, or tentative theories (TT(x)), are systematically subjected to the most rigorous attempts at falsification possible. This process, error elimination (EE(x)), performs a similar function for science that natural selection performs for biological evolution. Theories that better survive the process of refutation are not more true, but rather, more "fit" - in other words, more applicable to the problem situation at hand (PS(x)). Consequently, just as a species' "biological fit" does not predict continued survival, neither does rigorous testing protect a scientific theory from refutation in the future. Yet, as it appears that the engine of biological evolution has produced, over time, adaptive traits equipped to deal with more and more complex problems of survival, likewise, the evolution of theories through the scientific method reflects a certain type of progress: toward more and more interesting problems (PS(x+1)).

2009, for the the author, was classified as a year very sparsely populated with interesting problems. To summarize the statement above, scientific method is a procedural for observing the world by which more and more interesting questions about it are produced. As the author sorts their life using these procedures, they hope to create a more interesting, truth-defined intellectual context.


The author is trained as an anthropologist, archaeologist, and taxonomist. As such, they are inherently interested in the categorization of quantitative information. This necessarily biases their methods towards MANOVA statements, Nearest Neighbor Analysis, Pareto equilibrium, & other methods of organizing information to analyze its statistical significance. The underlying logical structure is as follows:

The common α for all test runs will be 95%.
All entries will be written, and cited, as articles in the Humanities, specifically Anthropology (by the AAA Style Guide).
Coincident with the above condition, articles will be written as lab reports in anthropology, following the appropriate language and formatting conditions.
Again, coincident with the above statements, entries will be treated as a form of anthropology.
All notes, sketches (especially regarding methodology) will be included.
An entry is invalidated if conclusions are drawn without the intervention of mechanical logical system.
Entries will be made at least once every week.

Comments/questions are welcome.