AndyCossyleon

Posts

Sorted by New

Comments

Why Are Individual IQ Differences OK?

I think an obvious difference between the last one and the first two is that the last one includes a number. There is no uncertainty when comparing numbers, no wriggle room for subjectivity. A real number is either smaller, bigger, or equal to another real number. Period. This rigidity does not mesh well with the flexibility that comfortable social interaction requires. I don't think this is the only reason why the third is so inappropriate, but it definitely contributes.

Reason as memetic immune disorder

And this is all that people mean when they say that Race is a social concept, not a genetic one.

That is what some people mean. Others truly believe there are literally no differences between human populations apart from skin color and bone structure, and of course culture.

Post ridiculous munchkin ideas!

Perhaps HFCS in particular encourages LPS bacteria. Or perhaps LPS bacteria particularly stimulates thirst for sweet liquids. It's impossible to know without (preferably both of) historical LPS and a controlled experiment. Also, your link does not establish a causal link between sugary drink consumption and obesity, merely that they've been correlated for a few decades.

Post ridiculous munchkin ideas!

Perhaps the presence of LPS bacteria and the corresponding immune response provoke a larger appetite.

Closet survey #1

From your other comments, I believe you're confusing "I don't believe men who say they are bisexual" with "I don't believe men can be bisexual."

It's clear to me that, in American society at least, the majority of bisexual men are to be found among the ranks of men who would never identify as anything but straight, sometimes even to the men they have sex with(!). Conversely, many of the men that DO identify as bisexual are merely finding a graceful way to transition to a homosexual love life.

Thus, that a man who identifies as bisexual is mostly likely gay may be true (though I doubt it--especially among men who have been out as bisexual for more than, say, 5 years) is not an indication that male bisexuality doesn't exist--only that self-professed bisexuality is scantily coterminous with a bisexual orientation in males.

Being wrong in the way that you are wrong will probably not damage the accuracy of your insight when conversing with individuals about their sexuality (you'll correctly assign a high probability to his being gay if he says he's bisexual), but it probably WILL damage that accuracy when analyzing human populations in the abstract (you'll incorrectly assign a low probability to the existence of large ranks of males who engage in and enjoy sexual relations with both men and women).

Policy Debates Should Not Appear One-Sided

AlexSchell, "scant" is essentially a negative, much like "scarce(ly)" or "hardly" or "negligible/y". Rewriting: "The decriminalization of drugs in Portugal has scarcely seen an increase in drug use." I'd argue that these sentences mean the same thing, and that together, they mean something different from "The decriminalization ... has seen a small increase ..." which is what you seem to have interpreted my statement as, though not completely illegitimately.

Artificial Addition

Intelligence is a multidimensional concept that is not amenable to any single definition or quantization. Take for instance the idea of "the size of a tree." Size could mean height, drip radius, mass, volume of smallest convex polyhedron that contains the whole organism, volume of water displaced if the tree was immersed in a tank, trunk girth at 6 feet, etc. The tallest redwood is taller than the tallest sequoia, but isn't the sequoia bigger? Why is it bigger? Because it has greater mass? But what of the biggest banyan? It has a greater mass than both the redwood and the sequoia.

The problem with intelligence is not that it's not quantifiable, but that different researchers use different mapping functions all the while pretending they're measuring the exact same thing, heaping up the confusion. If you pick one specific mental activity (arithmetic, visual memory, music-compositional ability, language processing), it is rarely very difficult to measure and rank people by their adeptness. If, on the other hand, you try to come up with a "good" way to map many different intelligences together onto some scale, you're going to be terrible at using this scale to predict individual performance at specific tasks. Further, individuals with low IQ (or other attempted measure at general intelligence) may be brilliant at specific tasks because of their low IQ in that because much of their brain is dedicated to that task, they have little left over for anything else. This is especially true of many autistic individuals.

In the end, intelligence is rather easy to define if you recognize it as the multifaceted phenomena that it is.

Entangled Truths, Contagious Lies

I find it much more convenient to, instead of lying, simply using ambiguous phrases to plant the false idea into someone else's mind. The important part is to make the phrase ambiguous in such a way that it can be plausibly interpreted truthfully. Say you don't want someone to know you went up the stairs, then you say "I didn't walk up the stairs" because you in fact ran up the stairs. Even if your lie is found out, this reduces the social cost since, if you are political enough, you can convince others that you didn't actually lie. And if you are very good at it, you can tailor the deception so that only a minority of people (which includes the addressee) would interpret it falsely; and you can then let the majority construe it as misunderstanding on behalf of the deceived.

Problematic Problems for TDT

Perhaps referring directly to Goedel was not apt. What Goedel showed was that Hilbert/Russell's efforts were futile. And what Hilbert and Russell were trying to do was create a formal system where actual self-reference was impossible. And the reason he was trying to do that, finally, was that self-reference creates paradoxes which reduce to either incompleteness or inconsistency. And the same is true of these more advanced decision theories. Because they are self-referencing, they create an infinite regress that precludes the existence of a "best" decision theory at all.

So, finding a best decision theory is impossible once self-reference is allowed, because of the nature of self-reference, but not quite because of Goedel's theorems, which are the stronger declaration that any formal system by necessity contains self-referential aspects that make it incomplete or inconsistent.

Load More