precise, general, novel


Content rated by precision, generality, novelty and liveness

Note: other pages may also contain ratings according to PGNL. Those might conflict with the ones represented here. But I’ve timestamped when I judged the content, so thinking “when was this evaluated” might help resolve any conflicts.

entity precise general novel live date
The Beginning of Infinity 0.99 0.99 0.90 0.8 2023-03-27
Antifragile 0.90 0.90 0.95 0.95 2023-03-27
The War of Art 0.70 0.50 0.90 0.99 2023-03-27
Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir 0.90 0.60 0.60 0.95 2023-03-27

Note: there’s no “goodness” column. “Goodness” is hard to compare. “Goodness” is vague, and intensely subject to the interpretation of the person. “Goodness” is easy to vary (thanks, David Deutsch. Also, thanks Rich Hickey for The Value of Values, ie “value judgments should be timestamped with date observed”).

If “Goodness” leads to imprecise judgment, what’s a better way? I don’t think we can reduce content to a single number. I think a better approach is by describing aspects of the content.

I’d say (precision, generality, novelty, liveness, date) is harder to vary than (goodness).

Discovering “precise, general, novel”

Originally, this section was the whole article! As of 2023-03-27, I’m pushing it down in significance. Start with a table, explore theory later.

Three axes: precision, generality, novelty

vague precise
specific general
well-known novel

Forms a 3D space.

Pysics: precise, general, well-known.

My engineering experience: precise, quite specific, novel.

Web3 wild speculation: vague, general, novel.

Idea — always better to move to the right. But hard.

or four axes: precision, generality, novelty, subjectivity

vague precise
specific general
well-known novel
objective subjective

From a long long time ago

Copied over from:

It’s possible to be precise about generalities (good philosophy), and it’s possible to be precise about specifics (good measurement, good planning).

For example:

Specific General
Precise Good measurement, solid observation, good planning Good philosophy
Vague Stuff that’s plain wrong. Getting lost in abstraction


Specific General
Precise Detail Good logic, good mathematics
Vague Stuff that’s plain wrong. Equivocation

Which set of examples would you prefer? Why?

2D version – precision and generality

Easier to draw.

My friction – want to move right.

I often accept a small loss of precision to gain generality. Others are often happy with me when I strive to be specific.

consider :subjectivity

Here’s a table:

axis when 0 % when 100 %
:generality event physical law
:novelty known by all known by 1
:precision dream logic
:subjectivity event taste

Consider assigning :generality :novelty :precision :subjectivity to all articles

Then I can query on stuff.

Can either be a 0-1 scale, or :low, :medium, :high

:low ~0.2
:medium ~0.5
:high ~0.8

Default values (humble)

:generality :low
:novelty :low
:precision :low
:subjectivity :high

By default, “just saying stuff” does:

Assigning correlation to value allows rich ordering

:generality 0.8
:novelty 0.8
:precision 1
:subjectivity 0

That means I can actually order by “good stuff” 🤔

good := correlation_mapT * article_things


People can bring their own correlation thing

Here are some contrasting views. Please don’t mind me shrugging in the middle.

specific Keep it specific 🤷 I like general theories general
novel Gimme new ideas 🤷 I read old knowlege time tested
precise Use words right 🤷 the journey is to dream ❤️ poetic
data Give me facts. 🤷 What do you like? emotion

I can make a nice little UI that works on this. Set your preference. Load preferences from others.

Data oriented programming is precise, general and novel

Christopher Alexander talks about :liveness


What is liveness? What is degree of life?


Reflection, journal, etc.


Just rated Antifragile and The Beginning of Infinity.

  1. Seeing how high scores they got was amazing
  2. I don’t like the “subjectivity” label – it’s not value laden.
    1. Alternative: taste. Is it tasteful?
    2. Alternative: liveness. Does it live, or is it dead?
      1. Tabel scores higher than Deutsch.