30 Oct 2021 02:15 - 30 Aug 2022 03:21
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    • I coined this term after a character in Dicken's Hard Times who exemplifies a sort of grim version of utilitarian rationality:
      • Thomas Gradgrind, sir. A man of realities. A man of facts and calculations. A man who proceeds upon the principle that two and two are four, and nothing over, and who is not to be talked into allowing for anything over…. With a rule and a pair of scales, and the multiplication table always in his pocket, sir, ready to weigh and measure any parcel of human nature, and tell you exactly what it comes to. “You are to be in all things regulated and governed … by fact. We hope to have, before long, a board of fact, composed of commissioners of fact, who will force the people to be a people of fact, and of nothing but fact. You must discard the word Fancy altogether. You have nothing to do with it. You are not to have, in any object of use or ornament, what would be a contradiction in fact. You don’t walk upon flowers in fact; you cannot be allowed to walk upon flowers in carpets. You don’t find that foreign birds and butterflies come and perch upon your crockery; you cannot be permitted to paint foreign birds and butterflies upon your crockery."
    • Rationalismists are not really Gradgrinds, they are in fact a pretty playful and imaginative bunch in their way. But their ideology is grim, and their nightmares of paperclip maximizer have a Gradgrindian aspect to them.