About

The following descriptions are good approximations of my character, but always with caveats and made as grandiose as possible.

Site Title

Newton’s flaming laser sword is a term coined in 2004 by Mike Alder. In an article in Philosophy Now, Alder draws a parallel between the well known Occam’s Razor and this new cleaving tool. With Occam’s razor the search space of possible solutions to a problem or question only the most parsimonious survives. While this is extremely helpful, Newton’s flaming laser sword is “much sharper and more dangerous”. Put simply, it says that only propositions that can be tested with science should be considered or even discussed. (Alder 2004)

Thus the scope of this site is defined: Anything that can be tested with science. More narrowly I tend to stick to the fields of chemistry, physics, philosophy, electronics, and computer science.

Descriptive Titles

In no particular order:

  • Pragmatist
  • Secular Humanist
  • Atheist
  • Existentialist
  • Egotistical Altruist
  • Skeptic
  • Hopeful Marxist
  • Human
  • Animal
  • Resident of Earth

Philosophical Inspiration

  • Seneca
  • Sagan
  • Marx
  • Freud
  • Feynman
  • Hobbes
  • Nietzsche

Other Influences

  • Too much science fiction
  • Heinlein
  • Dick
  • Bradbury
  • Asimov

Current Life Goal

To maximize my contribution to the human race.

  • maximize the total AUC of contribution vs time
  • contribution: open to subjective interpretation; anything from reproduction to global welfare; Eudaimonia

Research Process

My current research process proceeds through several utility programs:

Building This Website

This site is first written in pandoc markdown format using Atom. Then a series of hacks and poorly coded tags are fed into Jekyll. The ruby gem jekyll-pandoc uses a bibliography exported by Better-Bibtex from Zotero to generate the appropriate citations using a custom .csl style I made for markdown. The complete set of html and associated files are backed up to github and transferred via sftp to my web host NearlyFreeSpeech.net.

Stats

  • ENTP1
  • Typicall score high on Need for Cognition, Openness to Experience, and Epistemic Curiosity

Big Five personality results.2

Contact

Email me: flaminglasrswrd at protonmail dot com

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Bibliography

Alder, Mike. 2004. “Newton’s Flaming Laser Sword.” Philosophy Now, no. 46. https://philosophynow.org/issues/46/Newtons_Flaming_Laser_Sword.


  1. This used to be INTP, but I’ve come out of my shell a bit. Also, Myers-Briggs isn’t a very good test anyway.

  2. I disagree with the results on agreeableness. I am usually quite trustful, straightforward, altruistic, and modest. I would not consider myself tender-minded. This particular test from OpenPsychometrics had some unusual questions.