mikbp

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The Fable of the Dragon-Tyrant

I think the weak point of the fable is that they only begin to think about the reorganisation after the dragon is dead; this could lead to worse consequences than the dragon. Thinking about overpopulation, for example, at least they have to know that they have enough environmental buffer to sustain it until the culture drift back into having fewer children later. Otherwise, the whole population could just die of hunger. 

Actually, I don't think this is a weak point of the fable, it actually makes it much more real; that's how we humans usually behave. What it shows is that we really need to avoid this mistake.

Matsés - Are languages providing epistemic certainty of statements not of the interest of the EA community?

Ah, and I've read that these people put a lot of importance on giving true statements. So I guess this is one reason why this feature evolved (although it might be the other way around, as it is easy to be accurate, they give more importance to it).

Matsés - Are languages providing epistemic certainty of statements not of the interest of the EA community?

I think one very cool feature of having something like this embedded in the language is that you learn to do it automatically. I can think about a couple of examples now: 
 - Cases: in English, Catalan or Spanish, one does not indicate the case of a substantive, but in German it is done. This makes learning German more difficult, but if you are native or after practising a lot, it becomes automatic.

 - Directions: I recall having read about a language that does not give relative directions (right, left) but absolute ones (East, West). That sounds like a very difficult thing to do for us, but for the people who speak that language it comes natural.

My guess is that if we'd fluently speak Maltés, it would be just as natural for us to indicate the degree of certainty. And that would be very cool :-)
 

Matsés - Are languages providing epistemic certainty of statements not of the interest of the EA community?

I though the point would be that right now English and other "western" languages are not very fit for purse of the EA community in terms of conveying the certainty of our statements -it can be done but it sounds artificial and, therefore, it is now quite tiring to always point to how sure you are about what you say. So we may learn something.

But you know much more about this than me! :-)