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Rationality Quotes December 2011

I found it in a book about rethinking aid to sub-Saharan Africa (Dead Aid by Dambisa Moyo). If you google the quote it's either identified as a proverb or African proverb, so that's about as specific as I, or anyone else for that matter, can be. But I do appreciate the concern.

Rationality Quotes December 2011

Whoops, didn't mean to retract that. The quote is "The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now." - African proverb

4pedanterrific10yFor blockquotes, put a > at the beginning of the paragraph.
Rationality Quotes December 2011
The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now.

African proverb

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-14MixedNuts10y

Whoops, didn't mean to retract that. The quote is "The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now." - African proverb

Cached Phrases

Or could it have been an subconscious emotional response like bitterness or jealousy? Those get in the way of clear and rational thinking a lot. I could be totally off on this, of course, since you did say it was a bad example.

2Vaniver10yOf course. But those emotions survived evolution, and it's helpful to calibrate your emotions before you decide what level of trust- positive or negative- to assign them.
Why are certain trends so precisely exponential?

The logistic curve, for example, is extremely similar to the exponential curve for small values seeing as the latter is y' = ky and the former is y' = ky(1-y). That got Malthus with his whole doomsday arguments about population growth outstripping resources (at least for the time being).

[LINK} Bayes' Theorem in New York Times

If the book turns out to be good, it could be a good way to "spread the word," seeing as there doesn't seem to be a lot of Bayesian literature for the layman out there

0David_Gerard10yI'm slowly working through a couple of statistics textbooks. They're about second-year level and they're, ah, heavy going. If there was something rigorous but less painful I'd be onto it like a shot.
[SEQ RERUN] Science as Attire

Oh, i'm immediately reminded of the horrific scientific explanation in the movie 2012 that was something like, "The neutrinos are turning on us." Whatever that means.

I think people also invoke science in debates without the accompanying critical thinking skills that are supposed to go along with science, as if it's just a weapon and the more scientific "facts" you know, the better chance you'll have in winning the argument.

"If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the e... (read more)

Looking for proof of conditional probability

Umm...I don't know how rigorous this explanation this is, but it might lead you in the right direction...because if you consider the Venn Diagram with probability spaces A and B, the probability space of A within B is given by the overlap of the two circles, or P(A∩B). Then you get the probability of landing in that space out of all the space in B...as in, the probability that if you choose circle B, you land in the overlap between A and B.

That's probably not what you were looking for, but hope it helps.

LW's image problem: "Rationality" is suspicious

Yeah I know, but when I talk to people about rationality they're often like, "Don't be like Ayn Rand." I think there's been a post about it somewhere.

1MixedNuts10yGuardians of Ayn Rand [http://lesswrong.com/lw/m1/guardians_of_ayn_rand/].
LW's image problem: "Rationality" is suspicious

I actually disagree; the "Rationality" tagline is highly appropriate, especially as the singularitarians here are devoted to rational thought processes anyway in AI research.

I would, however, like to point out that the site seems to get mixed up with other groups as well:

"RationalWiki" - the highly politically partisan pro-science web page (kind of an opponent to LW, apparently.

Rationalism (philosophy) - Spinoza, Leibniz, Descartes (but they pretty much ignored empiricism so they have little to do with LW thinking)

Rationalism (Ayn Rand... (read more)

1lessdazed10yI suspect that one cause is that they get confused for LW and vice versa! Another might be the Bayes vs. science thing.
4katydee10yAyn Rand's philosophy is actually "Objectivism," not "Rationalism."