Self-fulfilling correlations

Auto insurance is broken down into different types of coverage, with injuries separate from damage to the car. In fact, I'm pretty sure your coverage makes a distinction between injuries to you and injuries to other people that are your fault. Every time I renew my insurance, they ask me if I want to change how much of each type of coverage I have.

The safety indicator that most car buyers look at is the crash test rating, usually done by a government or an insurance industry group. Maybe it's no longer part of the culture, but I remember when car ads would often show crash tests. I think there was one where the crash test dummies (like mannequins full of sensors) talked about which car they liked.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has information on crash tests and statistics on accidents and payouts.

Less Wrong: Open Thread, September 2010

Maybe you shouldn't relax.

Regardless of official definitions, there is in practice a heavy emphasis on conceptual rigor over evidence.

There's still room for people who don't quite fit in.

Less Wrong: Open Thread, September 2010

I've seen "moral indignation," which might fit (though I think "indignation" still implies anger). I've also heard people who feel that way describe the object of their feelings as "disgusting" or "offensive," so you could call it "disgust" or "being offended." Of course, those people also seemed angry. Maybe the non-angry version would be called "bitterness."

As soon as I wrote the paragraph above, I felt sure that I'd heard "moral disgust" before. I googled it and the second link was this. I don't know about the quality of the study, but you could use the term.

Beauty quips, "I'd shut up and multiply!"

I agree that more information would help the beauty, but I'm more interested in the issue of whether or not the question, as stated, is ill-posed.

One of the Bayesian vs. frequentist examples that I found most interesting was the case of the coin with unknown bias -- a Bayesian would say it has 50% chance of coming up heads, but a frequentist would refuse to assign a probability. I was wondering if perhaps this is an analogous case for Bayesians.

That wouldn't necessarily mean anything is wrong with Bayesianism. Everyone has to draw the line somewhere, and it's good to know where.

Beauty quips, "I'd shut up and multiply!"

That's fine. I guess I'm just not a Bayesian epistemologist.

If Sleeping Beauty is a Bayesian epistemologist, does that mean she refuses to answer the question as asked?

Beauty quips, "I'd shut up and multiply!"

It illustrates fairly clearly how probabilities are defined in terms of the payoff structure (which things will have payoffs assigned to them and which things are considered "the same" for the purposes of assigning payoffs).

I've felt for a while that probabilities are more tied to the payoff structure than beliefs, and this discussion underlined that for me. I guess you could say that using beliefs (instead of probabilities) to make decisions is a heuristic that ignores, or at least downplays, the payoff structure.

Beauty quips, "I'd shut up and multiply!"

We know she will have the same credence on monday as she does on tuesday (if awakened), because of the amnesia. There is no reason to double count those.

Well, she does say it twice. That seems like at least a potential reason to count it as two answers.

You could say that 1/3 of the times the question is asked, the coin came up heads. You could also say that 1/2 of the beauties are asked about a coin that came up heads.

To me, this reinforces my doubt that probabilities and beliefs are the same thing.

EDIT: reworded for clarity

Jinnetic Engineering, by Richard Stallman

I agree, but I upvoted it anyway because I thought it was interesting and funny.

I read it as a commentary on how, when we daydream about "breaking the rules" (or discovering a fundamental rule that changes the way we live) all the myths have trained us to think selfishly. She wants to use her three wishes to end disease for everyone, and it's like she asked to accept an Academy Award in a clown suit.

EDIT: grammar

Free copy of Feynman's autobiography for best corny rationalist joke

A theologian, a lawyer, and a rationalist meet at a cocktail party.

"Theology is the most intellectually demanding field," says the theologian. "The concepts are so abstract, and many key texts are obscurely written."

"Oh please," says the lawyer. "I once knew a bright fellow who became a theologian because he couldn't make it as a lawyer. He read and studied and tore his hair out, but he just couldn't get how the law works."

"I've got you both beat," says the rationalist. "Rationalism is so hard, no one's figured it out!"

EDIT: Too bad there's no prize for the lowest rated joke. Sorry if this joke offended people. It wasn't meant to reflect badly on any of the characters or anyone in real life.

Compartmentalization as a passive phenomenon

And it certainly doesn't help that most peoples' knowledge of non-Earth gravity comes entirely from television, where, since zero-gravity filming is impractical, the writers invariably come up with some sort of confusing phlebotinum (most commonly magnetic boots) to make them behave more like regular-gravity environments.

I think you're on to something. I was wondering why the "heavy boots" people singled out the boots. Why not say "heavy suits" or that the astronauts themselves were heavier than pens. Didn't 2001: A Space Odyssey start the first zero-gravity scene with a floating pen and a flight attendant walking up the wall?

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