joshkaufman

The noncentral fallacy - the worst argument in the world?

Anyone who visits this page can judge the merits themselves: there's no argument from authority involved. No one is claiming this form of argument is invalid because it's on LW, or because Yvain wrote it, or because it has a catchy name that's published on a website, or because it now has an easy-to-remember URL. I made a simpler citation, nothing more.

The noncentral fallacy - the worst argument in the world?

Hahaha, nice.

I was imagining a situation in which someone makes an argument of this type, you say something along the lines of "that's a great example of the 'Worst Argument in the World'," and the person replies "you just made that up..." or "that's just your opinion..."

Providing a pre-existing URL that links to a well-written page created by a third-party is a form of evidence that shifts "Worst Argument in the World" from something that feels like an opinion to the title of a logical fallacy. That can be quite useful in certain circumstances.

The noncentral fallacy - the worst argument in the world?

I just registered http://worstargumentintheworld.com - it redirects to this post, and should be available shortly. Much easier to mention in conversation when other people use this argument, and don't believe it's a "real thing."

Great piece of work, Yvain - it's now on my list of all-time favorite LW posts.

Help with a (potentially Bayesian) statistics / set theory problem?

Wow, that's so simple it could possibly work!

Many thanks - this is most likely what I'll go with. I appreciate your help. :-)

Help with a (potentially Bayesian) statistics / set theory problem?

Thanks - the voting system analogy didn't occur to me. Reading up on ranked pairs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranked_pairs

Help with a (potentially Bayesian) statistics / set theory problem?

Ah, I see. Instead of updating half the lists, I was updating the 720 sets where C is the #1 preference. Thanks for the clarification.

Help with a (potentially Bayesian) statistics / set theory problem?

Very helpful - reading about this now. Starting here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranking

Help with a (potentially Bayesian) statistics / set theory problem?

Okay, if A is preferred from { A , [B-G] }, that should add probability mass to [A, [B,...,G] ], where [A, [B,...,G] ] is a ranked set of objects where the first slot is most preferred. That would represent 720 (6!) sets out of 5040.

All other sets (7! - 6! = 4,320) should either stay the same probability or have probability mass removed.

Then, the probability of A being "most preferred" = the sum of the probability mass of all 720 sets that have A as the highest ranked member. Likewise for B through G. Highest total probability mass wins.

Am I understanding that correctly?

Help with a (potentially Bayesian) statistics / set theory problem?

Right - thanks for the correction. Posted a correction in the main text.

Sorry for the downtime - transferred the domain to a new registrar, and thought the forward would be automatically detected and carried over. It wasn't. Should be back up once the record updates.