The Quest for Good Explanations Is Error Correcting

The process of seeking out good explanations is error correcting. It is tolerant of dissent with a healthy dose of skepticism and distrust of authority. It means that explanations are rejected when they are contradicted by better explanations.

See also:

  • How to Detect and Eliminate Errors Is the Most Important Knowledge

    For new knowledge to be created, there needs to be an error correcting mechanism. This makes it the most important knowledge for progress and innovation.

  • Abstractions Are Real

    The real world and it’s behaviors are extraordinarily complex. To theorize and create good explanations necessarily requires some encapsulation of ideas through abstractions. It is possible to understand a phenomena by understanding abstractions and similarly, it is possible to create new explanations by building on top of them.

  • Humans Transform Inhospitable Environments into Support Systems for Themselves

    A popular view of the environment, “Spaceship Earth”, is that the planet provides just the right biosphere to support human life. That is misleading because humans are actually ill suited to living in most places. Take for example living in New York—you would freeze to death come winter if not for shelter, clothing, access to clean water, and food. This is technology that humans created to transform inhospitable environments into systems that support human life.

  • How to Be a Good Product Engineer

    Companies don’t really want frontend engineers or backend engineers or infrastructure engineers. If you work at an engineering as product organization, they want good product engineers solving user problems. As an industry, this is poorly understood and little is written to help people understand the principles of good product engineering.

  • The Line Between Micro Management and Leadership

    When things are going poorly, a natural response is for managers to get closer to the details. This can come across as micro management to others and they can be defensive about it. There is an important difference between micro management and leadership.

  • Parochial Errors Happen When You Have a Narrow View

    A parochial error happens when you falsely believe that something in your narrow view of the world applies more broadly than it does. For example, thinking the seasons everywhere around the earth in the same way as your home town because that’s what you personally experience.

  • § What I Learned 2022

    Outline for my annual essay about things I learned and reflections for the year.

  • Techno-Optimism Is Rational

    Techno-optimists believe technology can solve the world’s most pressing problems. With the right knowledge, we can find solutions to climate change like abundant clean energy. Can we acquire the knowledge to build nuclear fusion reactors? Can we do it in time?