Monthly Archives: September 2017

On Whose Side Does the Burden of Proof Lie?

Within a conversation on Reddit I challenged the scientific consensus on a certain topic. The response I got wasn’t a well-thought-out attempt to dismantle what I argued, or give evidence for the mainstream position that the person held; instead the reply was simply a highly emotional attempt to persuade me that I as a lowly individual with no credentials have no business making any counterarguments, and that I should just fall in line with the orthodoxy. Questioning established science was, to them, not something that required a rebuttal; the fact that the science is established is enough for them to assent to the conclusion. Full understanding is unnecessary, and even rebuttals that they can’t readily determine how to address need not have an effect on their level of conviction. Surely a Real Scientist would be able to bestow upon them the reason I’m wrong, if such a person would be willing to take time out of their day to deal with a silly concern!

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A Psychological Basis for the Critical Period of Language Acquisition

Many linguists, neuroscientists, and laymen believe that there’s a critical period┬áin human neurological development that pertains to the process of language acquisition, where before the critical period ends in late adolescence, one is able to, say, move to a foreign country, join a local school, and then acquire native proficiency in the local language in a biologically determined automatic acquisition process that makes explicit instruction superfluous, and where after the critical period one’s neurological status is such that it’s no longer possible to pick up a native language, and instead one must engage in explicit study, often resulting in lack of native-like grammatical intuition, a noticeable accent, and so forth. The argument is that native languages are stored in a different part of the brain than languages acquired as an adult. The critical period is seen as biological fact of human neurological development.

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The Modern vs. Ancestral Paradigm

In trying to improve my understanding of the structure of civilization in order to determine which aspects are worth participating in and which aspects should be dismissed as counterproductive, I spent over a year attempting to secede from all specifically civilization-era practices which seemed culturally evolved with the objective of taking the ancestral programming still built into the human brain that determines the pattern of one’s valuation system, and altering it so as to change one’s psychology in a way that fundamentally increases compatibility with the demands of modern society. Such practices most clearly include consuming substances like caffeine and alcohol, somewhat less obviously include eating, say, rice or bread, and quite non-intuitively also seems to include exposing the body to high levels of heat while remaining sedentary, i.e. taking a hot shower or bath, or using a sauna.

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How and Why to Construct a Private Language

Most people with controversial opinions will be able to relate to the phenomenon where one wishes to put a thought down into words or speak the thought into a voice recorder, in order to see how it sounds, solidify one’s memory, work through the steps in the reasoning process, create a record to re-visit at a later date, or consolidate information, but where one feels apprehensive about doing so because somebody may find and open their notebook, overhear them using their voice recorder, or see their screen while they’re typing at a cafe. There are also many other reasons people may have for being concerned in that way; perhaps they’re verbalizing something that’s embarrassing, writing about something that would be generally uncontroversial but could hurt the feelings of a certain person, or something of that sort.

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