If it's worth saying, but not worth its own post (even in Discussion), then it goes here.
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Correlation!=causation: returning to my old theme (latest example: is exercise/mortality entirely confounded by genetics?), what is the right way to model various comparisons?
By which I mean, consider a paper like "Evaluating non-randomised intervention studies", Deeks et al 2003 which does this:... (read more)
I just published an article in the conservative FrontPageMag on college safe spaces. It uses a bit of LW like reasoning.
Last week was a gathering of physicists in Oxford to discuss string theory and the philosophy of science.
From the article:
That the Bayesian view is news to so many physicists is itself news to me, and i... (read more)
The character from Molière learns a fancy name ("speaking in prose") for the way he already communicates. David Gross isn't saying that he is unfamiliar with the Bayesian view, he's saying that "Bayesian confirmation theory" is a fancy name for his existing epistemic practice.
The gap between the average Nobel laureate (in physics, say) and the average LWer is enormous. If your measure says it isn't, it's a crappy measure.
Where did you get this from? Maintaining beliefs over an entire space of possible solutions is a strength of the Bayesian approach. Please don't talk about Bayesian inference after reading a single thing about updating beliefs on whether a coin is fair or not. That's just a simple tutorial example.
How much do you trust economic data released by the Chinese government? I had assumed that economic indicators were manipulated, but recent discussion suggests it is just entirely fabricated, at least as bad as anything the Soviet Union reported. For example, China has reported a ~4.1% unemployment rate for over a decade. Massive global recession? 4.1% unemployment. Huge economic boom? 4.1% unemployment.
One of the largest, most important economies in the world, and I don't know that we can reliably say much about it at all.
One interesting point, not expanded up on, is this:
Balding dismisses this by citing Premier Li Keqiang, but I think this objection illustrates a deeper problem with the way the phrase "conspiracy theory" is used. It's frequently used to dismiss any suggestion that someone in authority is behaving badly regardless of whether an actual conspiracy would be required.
Let's look at what it would take for Chinese economic data to be bad. The data is gathered by the central government by delegating gathering the data to appropriate individual branches, by province, industry, etc. So what happens if someone at that level decides to fudge with the data for whatever reason (possibly to make his province and/or industry look better). The aggregate data will be wrong. And that's just one person on one level. In reality, of course, there are many levels in the hierarchy and many corrupt people in all of them.
That was a bit... strange.
Huw Price, a professional philosopher who happens to be one of the founders and the Academic Director of the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (the one in Cambridge, UK), wrote a piece which is quite optimistic about cold fusion in general and Andrea Rossi in particular.
I am confused about free will. I tried to read about it (notably from the sequences) but am still not convinced.
I make choices, all the time, sure, but why do I chose one solution in particular?
My answer would be the sum of my knoledge and past experiences (nurture) and my genome (nature), with quantum randomness playing a role as well, but I can't see where does free will intervene.
It feels like there is something basic I don't understand, but I can't grasp it.
Thoughts this week:
Thiel isn't decisive on the topic. Is the definite-optimist view is the dominant approach to candidacy in the grand marketplace of talent today?
Kumon franchises are cheap. The branding and rep is good. Tutoring is a very attractive market in general and kumon makes it easier for the teachers. But is it ethical, I wonder? To me it's ethical if it delivers value to the students. A caveat is that it seemed cruel the kind of mind-numbing maths done by my classmates as a kid who attended Kumon.
A study with very small sample... (read more)
Could somebody who has the English translation of The Spanish Ballad by Feuchtwanger post that piece about Lancelot being in disgrace over his hesitation to sit in the cart into rationality quotes thread? Thank you.
The Fed recently announced a small interest rate hike, but rates remain astonishingly low in the US and in most other countries. In several countries the interest rate is negative - you have to pay the bank to hold your money - a bizarre situation which many economists previously dismissed as a theoretical impossibility.
How should individuals respond to this weird macroeconomic situation? My naive analysis is that demand for investment opportunities far outstrips supply, so we should be trying to find new ways to invest money. Perhaps we should all be doing part-time real estate investing? Are there other simple investment strategies that individuals are in a better position to pursue than big investment firms?
If reports are correct, this is sort of an example of a transplant version of the Trolley problem in the wild: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Islamic-State-sanctioned-organ-harvesting-in-document-taken-in-US-raid/articleshow/50326036.cms
Where can I find The Browser's Golden giraffes competition nominees? They have deleted the list and I don't have an offline copy.
Thoughts this week, part 2
Sweat equity marketplaces
Anyone know why online sweat equity marketplaces never took off? Their website is basically non-functional. I can see the potential for sweat-equity marketplace focusing on a surprising number of fields - say cash strapped writers looking for an editor for instance.
Love and subjective well-being
Love has too complex a relationship with happiness for me to want to try to make rational decisions in relation to (... (read more)