I’ll be honest, I can’t engage with some lesswrong posts because of the endless hedging, introspection and over specifying. The healthy desire to be clear and rational can become like a compulsion, one that’s actually very demanding of the reader’s time and patience. The truth is, one could clarify, quantify and ‘go meta’ on any step in any argument for untold thousands of words. So you have to decide where to stop and where to expand. This sort of strategic restraint is at the core of good writing style.
So while I can agree that the classic style may be unsuitable for many purposes when carried to an extreme, you have to decide where your communications fit on a scale. The opposite of writing everything in a fully classic style is a world where every piece of writing about anything becomes endless throat clearing and philosophising.
Davidsonian linguistics typically involve interpreting others’ statements such that they are maximally true and also maximally coherent with other words/beliefs/attitudes, taken holistically (that covers your ‘correlated with other queries’ bit I guess?).
This is basically Davidson’s “principle of charity”.
Isn’t he just trying to win points from his new republican buddies by disowning earlier interest in climate change and aligning himself more with a cluster of socially conservative views (anti abortion, love of big patriarchal families, fear of being outgrown by the out group etc)?
I think avoiding spatial metaphors altogether is hard! For example in the paragraph below you use perhaps 3 spatial metaphors (plus others not so obviously spatial but with equal potential for miscommunication).
“The most interesting part of the experiment has been observing the mental vapor-lock that occurs when I disallow myself from casually employing a spatial metaphor … followed by the more-creative, more-thoughtful, less-automatic mental leap I’m forced to make to finish my thought. You discover new ways in which your mind can move.”
I’m sure I even recall encountering views that suggest all thought and language is a superstructure of metaphors based on a few basic sensorily acquired concepts we acquire young. Not sure where I read this though!
That said as a writer I also try to be alert to spatial metaphors that don’t map especially well to the truth of a situation, and endeavour to select only the best ones.