A Human’s Guide to Words

This se­quence dis­cusses the ba­sic re­la­tion­ship be­tween cog­ni­tion and con­cept for­ma­tion.

The Parable of the Dagger

The Parable of Hemlock

Words as Hid­den Inferences

Ex­ten­sions and Intensions

Similar­ity Clusters

Typ­i­cal­ity and Asym­met­ri­cal Similarity

The Cluster Struc­ture of Thingspace

Dis­guised Queries

Neu­ral Categories

How An Al­gorithm Feels From Inside

Disput­ing Definitions

Feel the Meaning

The Ar­gu­ment from Com­mon Usage

Empty Labels

Ta­boo Your Words

Re­place the Sym­bol with the Substance

Fal­la­cies of Compression

Cat­e­go­riz­ing Has Consequences

Sneak­ing in Connotations

Ar­gu­ing “By Defi­ni­tion”

Where to Draw the Boundary?

En­tropy, and Short Codes

Mu­tual In­for­ma­tion, and Den­sity in Thingspace

Su­per­ex­po­nen­tial Con­ceptspace, and Sim­ple Words

Con­di­tional In­de­pen­dence, and Naive Bayes

Words as Men­tal Paint­brush Handles

Vari­able Ques­tion Fallacies

37 Ways That Words Can Be Wrong

1. Interlude

An In­tu­itive Ex­pla­na­tion of Bayes’s Theorem