October 29, 2014ramble

I am trying to extend my palette by learning to enjoy sugary sweets in with the savory. Today: Sweetgreen's "CURRY CAULIFLOWER + QUINOA SALAD" -- curry cauliflower, cucumber tahini yogurt, some kick with the siracha, and dried cranberries.
Philosophical debating with EB. Part of its trying to flesh out my concept of "non-trivial novelty" as a kind of existential moral good, an objective "point of it all", at least for me. (I started calling it "novelty of pattern" - EB thought maybe I meant "novelty in non-trivial subjects", when really I was just trying to say that the output of a random number generator wouldn't be very novel in the way I was thinking)

EB argues (and I may or may not be doing his view justice, but I'm trying) that since some failure is well-nigh inevitable in getting to that end goal, it is an inherent and essential characteristic. I kind of chafe at this; I think just because its damned likely doesn't mean it's inevitable, and therefore can't be a defining part, just an unfortunate side-effect that we'd avoid if we could and do avoid when we can.

As we argued on about this, we refined to a pretty specific gap in our outlooks: for me, definitions spring from theory, for him, definitions spring from practice. (So "risk of failure" would be a more acceptable candidate for part of the definition for him.)

I was sort of surprised to realize this aspect of my outlook. I mean, on the one hand, it's obvious, I seem to have an almost pathological need to be able to rationalize and justify my actions to some kind of unnamed higher, objective authority. On the other hand, I'm a strong descriptivist when it comes to the world of English and Grammar, and I think stuff like "the universe of platonic ideals" or what not is nonsense; what we see is what we get, universe-wise, and when we're lucky we can see and name the patterns.

So definitely an interesting potential inconsistency in my outlook. I'm still sticking with my guns on this definition though, since it seems like the definition should be reversible (If A = novel pattern results, and B = failures getting there, A implies B, but B doesn't assure A! And I can visualize -- as unlikely but not impossibly unlikely -- novel patterns without all the failure, but it seems like EB's definition rejects that.)