All of metaweta's Comments + Replies

Seeking a "Seeking Whence 'Seek Whence'" Sequence

Baez' series on network theory and information geometry answer a couple of your questions in a very accessible way.

Here Baez and Fong prove a version of Noether's theorem for Markov processes.

Earlier Baez talked about conservation of total probability.

Here he relates the distribution of existing species to a prior and how Bayes' rule says how the number of each species changes over time. (read more)

Suggest alternate names for the "Singularity Institute"

AI Ballistics Lab? You're trying to direct the explosion that's already underway.

A Rationalist's Tale

Lukeprog: how has this transition affected your relationship with your parents, siblings, and extended family? Have any readers had similar transitions later in life, with spouse and children?

Statistical Prediction Rules Out-Perform Expert Human Judgments

I think the reason I don't use statistics more often is the difficulty of getting good data sets; and even when there is good data, there are often ethical problems with following it. For example: Bob lives in America, and is seeking to maximize his happiness. Americans who report high levels of spiritual conviction are twice as likely to report being "very happy" than the least religious. Should he become a devout Christian? There's evidence that the happiness comes from holding the majority opinion; should he then strive to believe whatever ... (read more)

Bob should not become a Christian to become happier for the same reason that he should not stay away from hospitals if he's sick (after all, sick people are a lot more likely to be in a hospital).
Belief in Belief

I grew up as a Mormon; they have a very different view of God than most Christians.

God is an "exalted man", essentially a human that passed through a singularity. Also, regarding spirits: "There is no such thing as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter, but it is more fine or pure, and can only be discerned by purer eyes. We cannot see it; but when our bodies are purified we shall see that it is all matter." Spirits are "children" of God, literally progeny in some sense. Spirits are attached to human bodies, live life as ... (read more)

Conjunction Fallacy

I think most people would say that there's a high probability Bill is an accountant and a low probability that he plays jazz. If Bill is an accountant that does not play jazz, then E is "half right" whereas C is completely wrong. They may be judging the statements on "how true they are" rather than "how probable they are", which seems an easy mistake to make.