Re: Hyper Cognitive Selectivity [Was Market efficiency and umbrellas]

J. R. Molloy (
Mon, 5 Jul 1999 18:04:39 -0700

"Elizabeth Childs, baby extropian" [Whoa! "Childs" "baby" ...Set me up!] inquired,
>What does this mean?

this (pl. for adj. and pron. def. 2 _these_ adj.) 1. That is near or present, either actually or in thought: _This_ house is for sale; I shall be there _this_ evening. 2. That is understood or has just been mentioned... Oh, wait... you mean What does *that* mean!

Uh, <goes to get yet another beer> by hyper-cognitive selectivity I meant selection (or the absence thereof) based on high-level consciousness. Like, knowing the best thing to do next. Or, in the face of accelerating uncertainty, keeping your head, while all the Rudyard Kiplings around you lose theirs.

>Any other Extropic English I ought to know?

>From :
What is E-Prime?
E-Prime is English without the verb "to be" (is, are, was); more specifically, without the "is of identity" ("John is a liar; Linda is a lawyer; Edgar is stupid."). E-Prime emerges from the tradition of General Semantics. The reason for E-Prime is that the "is of identity" connotes an eternal Platonic essence possessed by the thing that is said to "be" something. The "is of identity" tends to blind both the speaker and the audience to many important characteristics about the relationship between the person being described and the quality or category being assigned to them. "Joe is a racist": "Racism" is not a measurable quantity of an object like mass or momentum; there is no "racism meter" we can point to a person that will detect whether Joe has the "essence" of a "racist" in him. "Racist" is a name we give to an object based on our observations of emergent phenomena like behavior; but the assignment of the label is in our heads, not in physical reality. E-Prime, by restricting the use of the "is of identity," makes explicit the fact that these are statements about the state of our nervous system, not about the outside world. E-Prime confines itself to observations and operational statements like "Joe frequently makes statements that sound racist to me" or even "I heard Joe say Angelo is a dirty wop."

Examples of English sentences translated into E-Prime:

ENGLISH: Marty is an asshole.
E-PRIME: Marty frequently says things that make me angry.

ENGLISH: Religious fanatics like David Koresh are dangerous. (Makes the implicit assignment "David Koresh was a religious fanatic.") E-PRIME: The government considered David Koresh, whose followers believed he was God, a danger to their authority. (Talks about who holds what beliefs.)

ENGLISH: Natalie Merchant's voice is the most beautiful in the world. E-PRIME: I like Natalie Merchant's voice better than anyone else's.

ENGLISH: Natalie Merchant is a Commie dupe. E-PRIME: Natalie Merchant has said she thinks private property is bad. (An operational statement of an observable fact regarding something somebody has said.)

I experimented with e-prime for several years. Try it, you'll (perhaps) like it.

"The future may hold excruciating boredom for us all, unless someone decides to do something (you know) weird. So someone answers all my email from the back of my computer." --Penn Jillette

PS: Nice chatting with you on Gina's chat doo-dah.