I am Ilya Lipovsky, a programmer, a student of history, evolution, and genetics. I have studied math, physics, and computer science at university level, and have broad, if cursory, interests that include other topics, like economics and philosophy. You are welcome to leave a comment or to initiate thoughtful, constructive discussion.
The main rationale for me to keep this blog is to help and find kindred spirits who desire improving their knowledge and who seek truth.
Of truth: there are, at least, two kinds: factual and normative.
Factual truth describes the facts on the ground, figuratively and literally. For instance, if I drop a ball and it bounces off the floor, I can state so. You, on visual observation, may assert that the floor repelled the ball. A mechanical recording instrument may record a short pulse. The little ant may feel air zooming all around it, right until experiencing a quake. Etc. Either way: there was some kind of truth that happened, irrespective of perspective. In other words, it’s the historical side of truth.
Normative truth is a prescription. To illustrate, one should not drink poison, unless one wants to die. Another example is law. If one steals, one knows that they can get caught, punished. Therefore, one would either avoid doing so, or do it much more carefully. On the other hand, a society that wants to survive, wants laws, including against stealing. It also wants people and institutions to enforce said laws. Hence the need for proper action, which also constitutes truth. What is “proper action” is subject of debate, and less clear-cut than historical truth.
This blog will focus on both kinds of truth. Oftentimes, factual truth is a guide towards establishing normative truth. But, because evolution operates on many levels and on huge timescales, the answers may be hard to predict logically, with real answers springing out only from living and trying and, possibly, remaining fuzzy heuristics. In fact, game theorists like Vernon Smith assert that there are phenomena for which actionable prescription may arise only from experience of participation, and via no other way. In other words, truth may be emergent, and possibly not computable. (Perhaps, the above is a good argument for exercising a conservative stance when it comes to modifying game-theoretic phenomena like old, tried and true, human laws and custom.)
Yet, despite the caution with regard to acting on the purported answers, to speculate and perform thought experiments is still interesting, if not always illuminating.
I consider myself a synthesizer. And this is why it may appear that I am all over the place. But, actually, my main narrative is life and what enables life to continue and expand. And when I type “expand,” I mean something far beyond the constraints of this planet.