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2020-11-03

  • Read about Product Hunt's software engineering best practices
    • Single-player mode
      • No one should ever be blocked
      • Mock your own designs, hack your stuff together, make decisions
      • Be empowered to make progress and fill in holes later
    • Ownership
      • If you need something to work on, do what will have the most impact
    • Small checkpoints
      • Iterate faster (production as soon as possible)
      • Get feedback faster
    • Coding best practices
      • Don't argue over style if a linter can't catch it
      • Write code as if you'll remove it tomorrow
      • Optimize for code confidence over speed or quality
        • For others to make changes
        • For others to reason about the code
      • Boy-scout rule
        • Leave the code cleaner than you found it
          • Pick up any trash on the floor
        • Refactor as you go
        • Add missing notes (with your name on it)
      • Data driven decisions
        • Validate ideas worth building

phil-1101

  • Justifying UN
    • Uniform nature
  • What kind of proposition is UN?
    • Matter of fact?
    • Relation of ideas?
    • Both?
    • Neither?
    • An unobserved matter of fact
  • Need to argue for uniformity of nature a posteriori
  • It doesn't look like we can appeal to UN to justify our opinions about unobserved matters of fact
    • Circular justification
  • The problem of induction
  • Two useful aliens
    • The Cautious Martian
      • The Martian and us share a common body of experience
        • The Martian agrees:
          • In our experience thus far, snow has always been found to be cold
        • But the Martian doesn't infer:
          • All snow is cold
          • The next piece of snow we examine will be cold
      • The Martian is agnostic about whether nature is uniform
        • Maybe we just haven't found the warm snow yet
    • The Counterinductivist
      • Like the Cautious Martian except they think nature is misleading
      • Denies that nature is uniform
      • Accepts the following principle:
        • If a regularity holds in my experience so far, it likely does not hold in nature generally, not even in the next instance
      • Past regularity is evidence against uniform nature
  • David Hume's skeptical solution
    • All reasoning about unobserved matters of fact are founded on the principle of custom or habit
      • Constant conjunction
      • Custom or habit --> instinct
    • "Naturalistic" explanation
      • Attempts to explain human behaviour in terms of the same processes that govern the rest of nature
      • Do not invoke any supernatural explanations, etc.
    • Interpretations
      1. He's claiming our beliefs about matters of fact are not justified
      2. He's just raising the issue and is agnostic about the solution
      3. He's claiming our beliefs are justified, but only in a minimal sense
        • Claiming our acceptance of UN is:
          • Non-rational
          • Not irrational
          • Not optional
        • Being justified in our beliefs depends on the type of being we are
  • Other responses to David Hume
    • Strawson
      • It's impossible to justify induction in terms of anything more fundamental
      • Induction is so basic to reasoning, it doesn't need any justification
      • Any successful method of uncovered, unobserved matters is a method that necessarily assumes induction
    • Popper
      • It's not actually required for successful reasoning about unobserved matters of fact

astr-1101

  • Galilean Moons presentation
  • The Rosetta Mission
    • First orbit around and land on a comet
    • ESA
    • International collaboration
      • 18 countries around the world
    • 11 instruments onboard
    • Solar powered because the ESA lacked plutonium
    • Philae lander
      • 100kg lander
      • 10 instruments
      • Could self-detach from the main craft
    • Target
      • Comet 67P
      • Not the original target