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Chat with Samuel Loncar

Why am I talking to a religion scholar? Good question! Sam is a
brilliant scholar,. Every time we talk it feels like there's so much
to learn from him. In particular, I love his focus on deeply
understanding historical context -- he reminds me of Alan and Bret in
that way. He was excited to meet me and learn about those guys,
because he's interested in the history of technology, particularly the
religiousity of Silicon Valley, epitomized by the Singularity and
anti-deathers.

In the course of preparing for this chat, I made the following
outline, which I didn't actually reference in the chat, but looking at
it now, I see that it's a good model for where my head is currently
at.

* my career plan
* crusade / cause
* inventing on principle
* We are our tools
* including ideas, patterns of thought, notation
* augmenting human intellect
* copy and paste
* Dynamicland - ergonomics
* democratizing tool generation
* paths
* build
* profit
* Looker, Bubble, Excel
* non profit
* Scratch, Wikipedia
* research
* Victor, Kay, Papert, Engelbart
* Patreon?
* constructing cause
* now: read Bret, and influences
* Jan: visit dynamicland


* areas of interest
* comprehensible programming model
* CycleJS devtool write
* FRP Scratch/WoofJS
* workflow and version control
* underlying interface library
* LogicHub
* Ten Brighter Ideas?
* All assumptions, including reasoning principles, visible and
tweakable, all the way down to “primary sources”
* wiki-like (massively collaborative, structured, inter-connected)
platform for science
* A tool for surfacing and ameliorating inconsistencies
* Allows for multiple contrasting axiomatic views (but possible
not any mutually inconsistent ones concurrently)
* Popper vs Kuhn

* presenting old vs researching new?
* work at TCS
* work on Woof (and off-boarding)
* work on old programming languages

* Doing a podcast?
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title: Samuel Loncar
---
# Samuel Loncar
* TOC
{:toc}
## Phone call 12/8/17 3pm
### Topics
* Coming on my podcast?
### Notes
## [Science vs Religion and Other Modern Myths](http://marginalia.lareviewofbooks.org/science-vs-religion-modern-myths-samuel-loncar/)
> Some books are only written because others are not read.
## [The Vibrant Religious Life of Silicon Valley, and Why It’s Killing the Economy](http://marginalia.lareviewofbooks.org/the-vibrant-religious-life-of-silicon-valley-and-why-its-killing-the-economy-by-samuel-loncar/)
Becoming gods, skin bags, religion of technology (reversing effects of the Fall)
Assuming massive unemployment, UBI
Information should be free
Micro-payments for micro use of goods (back propagation of value)
## [How to Be Human in a Machine World](http://marginalia.lareviewofbooks.org/how-to-be-human-in-a-machine-world-by-samuel-loncar/)
> “What are the activities that we humans, driven by our deepest nature or by the realities of daily life, will simply insist be performed by other humans, regardless of what computers can do?”
> “To look into someone’s eyes—that turns out to be, metaphorically and quite often literally, the key to high-value work in the coming economy….” In short, he sees the new economy requiring a shift from an emphasis on thinking to a focus on feeling. Rather than focus on what we know or think, “The skills that become increasingly valuable as technology advances are about what we’re like.” On Colvin’s view, the distinguishing human attribute in such a world is empathy, which he sees as understanding how other people feel and responding appropriately.
## [Why_Listen_to_Philosophers](/media/Why_Listen_to_Philosophers)
### Justified Ignorance
### Known Unknowns vs Unknown Unknowns
### Specialization in natural sciences
Clearly justified why biologists don’t need to be up to date with frontiers of quantum mechanics.
### Irrelevance response
History of philosophy is not relevant to philosophers doing philosophy.
### Impossibility response
### Acquiescence Response
> But I am not ignorant of the relevant alternatives, and where it appears I am, I can give an argument as to why some alternatives that may be con- strued as relevant are not in fact so, thus justifying my ignorance of positions based on them.
### Justified Ignorance Skeptic
> Why should I regard your view of x as true when you are not even aware of the existing alternatives, much less able to provide reasons for why your approach is better?
### Responding to IR Quine quip
> Alasdair MacIntyre, for example, responds to Quine’s quip as follows: “On the view that I have just sketched [of the importance of the history of philosophy for philoso- phy], the counter-joke is: the people interested in philosophy now are doomed to become those whom only those interested in the history of philosophy are going to be interested in in a hundred years’ time. So the philosophical nullifying of the past by this conception of the rela- tionship of past and presents turns out to be a way of nullifying our- selves in advance” (1984, 40).
### Popper’s response (I suppose)
It’s less-efficient to ask everyone to be aware of all relevant views on a subject before putting forth any new ones. Instead, we can merely allow people to put forth any old ideas, and trust that the community will offer the criticism from relevant sources when necessary.
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