Simplicity / complexity

Misc and to-do

  • sometimes simple statements can't be refuted simply
    • for example: "you are entitled to anything you can get without force or fraud (so, by gift or by free exchange)"
    • what's wrong with this is not explainable as succinctly as the original statement
    • similar to that brain teaser or paradox where, by moving squares around, you change from 16 to 17 squares.
    • its starts from a seemingly reasonable starting place
    • and each step seems reasonable
    • but the result can't be right
    • so Chomsky's dictum applies: "it has all the merits of a proof that 2+2=5. it can't be true, so no point in looking at it that way, but might be useful to see exactly where it goes wrong. and might be useful to see if/why/how it's ideologically serviceable." (paraphrase)
    • the statement about entitlement/ownership has subtle flaws, both in the initial state and in the steps, and it's ideologically serviceable.
    • short circuits the back and forth between data and intuition. it's the triumph of data or logic over intuition.
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