Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Who's Sending Me the Traffic!

I don't check my blog stats often, but I just did, and my number two referrer since the blog began is... Silas!

Imagine that.


  1. Interesting. Any post in particular?

  2. I don't seem to have that data, Silas.

  3. Are you sure, Gene? Like you, I use blogspot, and I found you can get that information by ...

    oh, silly me! It's the height of rationalist hubris to believe I could teach that skill to you over a text-only channel! If you're interested in apprenticing under me, I'd be happy to help you develop the extensive experience and judgment so very necessary to undertake such tasks.

  4. No, I'm not sure, Silas. That's why I said "I don't seem to have that data," rather than "I don't have that data."

    Very amusing about the apprenticeship, however.

    When do we start?

  5. Well, you can start staying at my place in about a week or so, and over the next year I'll introduce you to the basics of the Blogspot admin inferface, have you watch me in action, and just kind of, over time, absorb my superspecial knowledge about things like, "okay this screen is where you adjust the appearance" -- stuff that can't _possibly_ communicated in a blog comment.

    And no, of course I can't just tell you how to do it! What are you, some rationalist who thinks all the complexities of life can be handled with a little step-by-step guidebook? No! All important knowledge is tacitly held, carefully learned through a lengthy process of assimilation; and only those clueless about history, philosophy, and the workings of the polis would even dream that it could be passed on in just a few minutes.

  6. Silas, the joke was mildly amusing once. Twice, not so much.

    I've started work on a comparative study of polanyi, Wittgenstein, Hayek, and Oakeshott, the four great anti-rationalists of the last century, and I must say I don't recall one of them ever saying anything remotely like, "Verbal instructions are useless."

    I'm coaching swimming again and I give the swimmers verbal instructions all the time. What I would advise against is making their training *entirely* verbal instruction!

  7. Oh, I suppose the joke bothers you, but probably not as much your type's tendency to insist on inarticulability bothers the folks who unnecessarily go through an apprenticelike process.

    Remember your story about the model Buddhist who couldn't explain the relative importance of saving lives vs. not touching women, and how that was supposed to be a canonical example of something you can only learn through experience?

    I agree with you that certain things require practice to learn. I just think you adhere to an ideol... er, philosophy that leads you to significanly underestimate what can be verbalized, and it shows in every example you use to argue your position on the matter.

    I suppose, if I thought hard enough, I could tell you how to find the desired information in Blogspot. But you taught me not to chase such wild geese, so I won't bother. (No, I don't like to be on the receiving end of this either.)

  8. "Remember your story about the model Buddhist who couldn't explain the relative importance of saving lives vs. not touching women, and how that was supposed to be a canonical example of something you can only learn through experience?"

    Here's how this seems to work, Silas: you make a version of something I said. (Aerodynamics has nothing to do with bird flight, or that this story had anything to do with saving lives.) You decide
    The version you made up is dumb -- which it usually is. Then, apparently, you sit around and stew over how I can say such dumb things for years. Then you spew out a bunch of hostility about it.

    You could apprentice to me and I could help you get over this.

  9. Be that as it may, you still won't learn a feature of your admin page because someone is taking your advice seriously.

    Not so fun to be on the receiving end, is it?

  10. "someone is taking your advice seriously."

    NO, this is called "taking my advice erroneously," since, as I said, I have never given any advice like "Never give verbal instructions."

    "Not so fun to be on the receiving end, is it?"

    Actually, it's friggin' hilarious, since you are "punishing" me by refusing to tell me how to get... the information YOU asked me for!

    If I get you mad enough, I imagine you will shoot yourself.

  11. I think he only asked you for that information as an elaborate trap.


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