Words and ideas discussed in The Beginning of Infinity.
Explanation: A statement with a "because" which answers a "why" question. The "because" and "why" are often left unstated but implied.
Fallibilism: The recognition that there are no authoritative sources of knowledge, nor any reliable means of justifying knowledge as true, probable, or better than other ideas.
Fungible: Identical in every respect.
Good/bad explanation: Explanation that is hard/easy to change while still solving the same problem. The issue is how adapted the explanation is to the problem it addresses.
(Human) Problem: A conflict between two human ideas, or between an idea and reality. Problems are inevitable, which is not bad because they can be solved.
Inductivism: The misconceptions that ideas are obtained by generalizing or extrapolating experiences, or that repetition of observations provides justification.
Justificationism: The misconception that knowledge can only be genuine or reliable if it is justified by some source or criterion.
Knowledge: Ideas that solve problems. (Not: justified, true belief.) Better knowledge is more adapted to its problem (harder to vary while still solving it).
Meme: An idea that is a replicator. A rational meme replicates because people find it valuable. An anti-rational meme replicates by disabling its holder's rational thinking so that one has no choice but to spread it.
Open Society: An open society is dominated by rational memes and makes progress. By contrast, a static society is dominated by anti-rational memes and changes so slowly that people do not notice.
Parochial: Mistaking appearance for reality, or local regularities for universal laws.
Person: Universal knowledge creator.
Popper’s criterion of good political institutions: Good political institutions make it as easy as possible to discover whether a ruler or policy is a mistake, and to remove mistaken rulers or policies without violence.
Rational: Attempting to solve problems by seeking good explanations; actively pursuing error correction by creating criticisms of both existing ideas and new proposals. Approaching disagreements with force is irrational.
Reach: The ability of an idea about one topic to be useful for another topic. General purpose ideas have high reach.
Realism: The idea that the physical world exists in reality, and that knowledge about it is possible.
Relativism: The misconception that statements cannot be objectively true or false, but can only be judged relative to an arbitrary standard, such as a parochial culture's beliefs.
The jump to universality: Gradually improving systems often undergo a sudden large increase in functionality, becoming universal in some domain.
The principle of optimism: All evils are caused by insufficient knowledge.
Tradition: Long lived existing knowledge.
Universal: Able to do anything possible in a domain. For example, a universal computer can do any computations which any other computer could possibly do.
Wealth: The repertoire of physical transformations that one is capable of causing.