“Less is more” is useless, while its sibling, “the medium is the message,” can actually get you somewhere. Why? The latter is recursive and makes you think about what the medium is at a given level, the former just one layer of falsehood hidden behind a neat contradiction.
“What you see is what you get.” Corollary: What you don’t see is what you don’t get, what is taken away, or what they wish you’d stop asking about.
If it’s easy for others to guess in advance what one’s opinion is going to be, there’s not really much point in expressing it, or, for that matter, expressing it could be efficiently replaced by publicly displaying whatever thinking pattern or formula one is using to generate it.
In any dispute, first criticize yourself or your own side, if you have one.
Some say that tech is neither good nor bad: it’s a force multiplier for whatever goal you have. I’m wondering whether tech is actually virtuous, overall, because 1. creating tech that works forces you to be rational, 2. the best tech is interoperable, with forces communication.
There’s no skill called “being right,” there is only error correction. If you focus on finding where you’re wrong and correcting it, you have a chance at being right; if you seek out places where you’re right, you will find only what you have achieved by accident.
Our document structures typically give us one or at best two dimensions, so we analyse our problems with one (black-white, left-right) or at best two (political compass) degrees of freedom. Thus, our view of the world is artificial, created by throwing out relevant information.
My favourite things are non-linear and/or multi-dimensional: literary references, great music, strange physics. Usually, however, our most common modes of communication give us just two dimensions: in documents, linear order and hierarchy, and in tables, up-down and left-right.
Dawkins said that the value of a theory = what it explains divided by what it assumes. For innovations, I say: value = the freedom offered divided by the number and strength of new handcuffs they bring: proprietary data structures, incompatibility, and limitations on imagination.
The technology of communication should be open source and interoperable, and we should pay for it in obvious ways.