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This reminds me of the bit in Steven Landsburg's (excellent) book "The Armchair Economist" in which he makes the point that data on what happens on third down in football games is a very poor guide to what would happen on third down if you eliminated fourth down.

It seems to me that what's internal about morality is the buy-in, the acceptance that I ought to care about the other fella at all. But much of what remains is external in the sense that the specific rules of morality to which I subject myself are (at least to a large extent) the product of objecti...(read more)

I like the idea of a fictional sequence involving a rationality master and students. But I can't *stand* the Jeffreyssai character. He's just so intolerably smug and self-satisfied, very much in the mold of some of the martial arts instructors I had when I was young. More recently I took boxing c...(read more)

After I explained "percentile", he said "One in three hundred", so I laughed briefly and said "Yes."

The "Yes" part is fine. The "I laughed briefly" part would be better done away with.

My sister used to be a teacher in a special education school. She would sometimes let some kids do things that other kids weren't allowed to do; a kid particularly prone to some kind of negative reaction to an otherwise mandatory activity might be allowed not to participate (I don't recall exactly)...(read more)

It seems to me like the word "axioms" belongs in here somewhere.

Of course the feeling of love had to evolve, and of course it had to evolve from something that was not love.* And of course the value of the love that we feel is not woven into the fabric of the universe; it's only valuable to us. But it's still a very happy thing that love exists, and it's also ...(read more)

It is for this reason that Robert Aumann, super-smart as he is, should be entirely ignored when he opines about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

http://www.overcomingbias.com/2007/07/theyre-telling-.html

It's clear that there are some questions to which there are (and likely never will be) fully satisfactory answers, and it is also clear that there is nothing to be done about it but to soldier on and do the best you can (see http://www.overcomingbias.com/2007/05/doubting_thomas.html). However, ther...(read more)

I seem to recall that there is a strand of philosophy that tries to figure out what unproven axioms would be the minimum necessary foundation on which to build up something like "conventional" morality. They felt the need to do this precisely because of the multi-century failure of philosophers to ...(read more)