A Conversation for Lies, Damned Lies, and Science Lessons

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Post 1


Wittgenstein's ladder is pretty much synonymous with lies to children. I like lies to children (or other appropriate group) better, but if you need to sound like you know philosophy Wittgenstein's ladder is the fancier term. Inferential distance is a bit more tangential, but the line "One difficulty working scientists often have is bridging the gap between what the public thinks it knows, and what the reality is." convinced me to include it. To lie slightly, the term inferential distance refers to the number of levels between two speakers understanding of a subject. I believe it was coined, and was at least popularized, by AI Researcher and science blogger Eliezer Yudkowsky in the essay "Expecting Short Inferential Distances" which is about the way inferential distance interferes with communication between experts and laymen.

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Post 2


Almost forgot, "Expecting Short Inferentail Distances" can be found at: http://lesswrong.com/lw/kg/expecting_short_inferential_distances/
The phrase Wittgenstein's ladder is originally a reference to an analogy from Wittgenstein's writing, which is (kinda) explained here:

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Post 3


I *do* like lesswrong.com, and have for some time.

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