Wiki Contributions


"more likely caused by a lab accident (aka lab leak) or zoonotic spillover"

False dichotomy.

One thing you can be sure of in Establishment "debate": the truth is not among the proffered options.

Suhhhhhweet! I am so taking that.

I was just looking for the money shot from the Jaynes paper EY refers to, and one of the links brought me here. Long time no see.

Since I'm here, here's the money shot:


How to Mass Produce Paradoxes

Having examined a few paradoxes, we can recognize their common feature. Fundamentally, the procedural error was always failure to obey the product and sum rules of probability theory. Usually, the mechanism of this was careless handling of infinite sets and limits, sometimes accompanied also by attempts to replace the rules of probability theory by intuitive ad hoc devices like B2's 'reduction principle'.

Indeed, paradoxes caused by careless dealing with infinite sets or limits can be mass produced by the following simple procedure:

(1) Start from a mathematically well-defined situation, such as a infinite set or a normalized probability distribution or a convergent integral, where everything is well behaved and there is no question about what is the correct solution.

(2) Pass to a limit - infinite magnitude, infinite set, zero measure, improper pdf , or some other kind without specifying how the limit is approached.

(3) Ask a question whose answer depends on how the limit was approached.


Our conclusion based on some forty years of mathematical efforts and experience with real problems is that, at least in probability theory, an infinite set should be thought of only as the limit of a specific (i.e. unambiguously specifed) sequence of finite sets. Likewise, an improper pdf has meaning only as the limit of a well defined sequence proper pdfs. The mathematically generated paradoxes have been found only when we tried to depart from this policy by treating an infinite limit as something already accomplished, without regard to any limiting operation. Indeed, experience to date shows that almost any attempt to depart from our recommended infinite sets' policy has the potentiality for generating a paradox, in which two equally valid methods of reasoning lead us to contradictory results.


David Wolpert of "No Free Lunch" Theorems and Stacked Generalization had something similar, a Declaration of Independence from Infinite Sets, roughly "This works for finite sets. The extension to infinite sets is left as an exercise to the interested reader."


I protest against the use of infinite magnitude as something accomplished, which is never permissible in mathematics. Infinity is merely a figure of speech, the true meaning being a limit.
-- C. F. Gauss

Just ran into Eugine on Gab. The name looked familiar, so I did a quick search, came onto this thread, and saw that my comment giving the quote requested to back up my point had been downvoted into being hidden.

It's interesting. I'd be embarrassed to downvote to oblivion someone delivering evidence requested to back up their claim, especially on LW.

The banning of Eugine was just part of the trend that today has me banned from Twitter and reading Eugine's posts on Gab. Such is the asymmetry of the social war. I keep wondering if the Right will ever fight back.

AFAIK, the Triple Nine Society mainly just puts out a bimonthly magazine as pdfs. Surprisingly, I couldn't find an archive of those. They have a few at their site. It was only $10 to join for a year. I joined and let it lapse. I don't have anything bad to say about it, but it obviously did not interest me enough to return, and I had forgotten about it for years since.

Wikipedia says they have a facebook group and a linked in group, but they also say two yahoo groups, and and I know yahoo canceled yahoo groups, so that page isn't up to date. 

Someone else had pointed out in your previously linked comment "Confirmation Bias As Misfire Of Normal Bayesian Reasoning" that Jaynes had analyzed how we don't necessarily converge even in the long run to the same conclusions based on data if we start with different priors. We can diverge instead of converge. 

Jaynes hits on a particular problem for truth convergence in politics - trust. We don't experience and witness events themselves, but only receive reports of them from others. Reports that contradict our priors on the facts can be explained by increasing our priors on the reported facts or downgrading our priors on the honesty of the reporter

I'm not religious, but I've come to appreciate how Christianity got one thing very right - false witness is a sin. It's a malignant societal cancer. Condemnation of false witness is not a universal value.

ajbFebruary 13, 2020 at 2:05 pm

I think Jaynes argues exactly this in his textbook on the Bayesian approach to probability “Probability Theory:The Logic of Science”,
in a section called “Converging and Diverging views”, which can be found in this copy of Chapter 5

I had great hopes. GREAT hopes.

A book of Narrative that exemplifies values makes for a religion. What I've come to realize/believe, is that you don't have to believe The Narrative is literally true for The Narrative to serve the positive purposes of a religion.

While all the rationality homilies are fine and dandy, I thought HPMOR could have been more. HPMOR was so close to a transvaluation of values.

  • Mum and Dad, Hermione's friendship and Draco's journey, Neville and Seamus and Lavender and Dean, the blue sky and brilliant Sun and all bright things, the Earth, the stars, the promise, everything humanity was and everything it would become...
  • And someday when the descendants of humanity have spread from star to star, they won’t tell the children about the history of Ancient Earth until they’re old enough to bear it; and when they learn they’ll weep to hear that such a thing as Death had ever once existed!
  • You are not invincible, and someday the human species will end you. I will end you if I can, by the power of mind and magic and science. I won’t cower in fear of Death, not while I have a chance of winning. I won’t let Death touch me, I won’t let Death touch the ones I love. And even if you do end me before I end you, Another will take my place, and another, Until the wound in the world is healed at last…

A Rejection of Death as part of the Natural Order. Time Binding. Humanity as the Glass Half Full. Now that's a transvaluation of values. 

That's what I wish the Narrative had turned on. The moral issue. Values. Transvaluation of values in Voldemort. Isn't that Harry's dream? That we can all be saved? That we are all worth saving? And that people can come to understand that?

If Harry could understand that, why not Voldemort, the guy with the same brain?

That's the argument to win. That's the case to be made. That's the story to be told.

Instead, the climax was an Encyclopedia Brown Beats the Bad Guy by solving a cognitive puzzle. Harry won because Voldemort didn't know all that Harry was capable of. Sure. You get a win that way. But what was learned? That it's good to have powers the enemy doesn't know about? Well, yeah, but that's neither news nor uplifting.

And "having people to save gives you cognitive superpowers" just isn't true. Maybe it motivates you to work diligently. But it doesn't turn your brain up to 11 when faced with dozens of enemies about to kill you.

Sounds like you are blessed and cursed with a mind that values epistemic rationality over instrumental rationality. That's how your neural net is wired.

It's one thing to see the argument. It's another to feel it in your values.

We're probably just a mutation that helps group survival at our own expense.

Video Speed Controller

That sounds nice!

Hope it works in mobile chrome. I prefer all talking videos at 2x, and have to go back to youtube desktop to get it. It will help me get off Youtube, and move to alternate video sites now that Google's has changed it's motto to Do Evil.

EDIT: yay! Works at Bitchute

I don't know many tankies.

My favorite word of the day!

Adams has stated why he doesn't make claims about Trump's character. Recent podcast.

He says his own moral views are such that if he went around shunning people for immorality, he'd be shunning everyone.

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