James2

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Evolving to Extinction

Excellent post. Can you recommend more in-depth references?

Planning Fallacy

I really like your posts, but with most of them I'm already a believer. But estimating how long it takes me to finish papers is something I'm really bad at, by a factor of about 10, yet I never learn. So this post could be a big help.

"Science" as Curiosity-Stopper

I'm shocked that you linked to that YouTube clip about the sun and the moon going around the earth. The reason is that this question tests precisely password-style knowledge. You can assume the sun goes around the earth and make the exact same calculations that you can if you assume the earth goes around the sun. The reason is that "goes around" is not a physically meaningful concept (by relativity if you wish). The question is as meaningful as asking whether countries in the north are above those in the south, and knowing the answer says more about your educational history than it does about whether you actually know something real about the world.

Guessing the Teacher's Password

Disagreeing with the original post is a bit like disagreeing with the statement that there's too much crime. What I find remarkable, though, is how useful password knowledge is. I mean you might think it would have zero use, but it doesn't. For instance, all knowledge of geography is password knowledge, unless you have actually been to the place. Yet, most people will argue that knowledge of geography is a good thing because it makes you form little mental boxes that are useful for organizing future knowledge (e.g. there are some people from a place called China, and they're probably very different from people from a place called Botswana).