nekomata

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"Progress"

This is what has been attempted by the Ferry laws in France. The high rates of atheists and agnostics in France are a consequence of these laws, which made education mandatory and reduced the influence of the Catholic church on education.

However, I do not think it raised the sanity line in other domains, and it had bizarre effects, such as an important part of the population which say they belong to a religion but do not believe in any god.

Why Academic Papers Are A Terrible Discussion Forum

In my experience, the process of research does not correspond to what you're describing. First, you find something interesting which could be made into a paper. The first thing you do at this point is speaking about it to other researchers, more or less formally (face-to-face discussion, email, formal presentation). Only after having got some feedback, you begin to write a draft. Then, you publish this draft on your personal website at the same time you send it to a journal for review. You get feedback both from the official reviewers and readers of your site.

So it adresses point 10 : the bottom line is presented first on the paper, but it was not written first (hopefully, at least). It is presented first to readers, but you can always choose to skip it. I mainly use abstracts to actually understand what the paper is about, because titles are not always clear.

It also adresses point 1 : sure, the time lag for publishing a paper is huge, but people have an access to it very early, and as Lukeprog said, it shows that you are at least willing to submit your ideas to review.

And finally, for point 2, more and more people publish a version of their papers on their websites, at least before publication. More generally, journals have come under heavy attacks, and the current model of expensive journals may not last long.

That said, I also think that there are problems with the way papers are published (points 4, 5 and 11 seem most problematic).

Problematic Problems for TDT

Whoops... I can't believe I missed that. You are obviously right.

Conditional Independence, and Naive Bayes

You forgot to correct an instance of this :

The joint system (X,Y,Z) only has 16 possible states - since Z is just the question "Are X+Y even or odd?" - so H(X,Y,Z) = 4 bits.

I find it particularly disturbing because in this instance, X+Y is always even...

Problematic Problems for TDT

Why is it important that there is a deterministic breaking rule ? When you would like random numbers, isn't it always better to have a distribution as close as random as possible, even if it is pseudo-random ?

That question is perhaps stupid, I have the impression that I am missing something important...

Problematic Problems for TDT

I don't understand the special role of box 1 in Problem 2. It seems to me that if Omega just makes different choices for the box in which to put the money, all decision theories will say "pick one at random" and will be equal.

In fact, the only reason I can see why Omega picks box 1 seems to be that the "pick at random" process of your TDT is exactly "pick the first one". Just replace it with something dependant on its internal clock (or any parameter not known at the time when Omega asks its question) and the problem disappears.

Crowdsourcing the availability heuristic

This is a strategy that I sometimes implement and I think it should be used more often, be it only because it allows friends of friends to meet or get to know one another better and that makes nicer social networks.

However, I wonder if it can be taken too far. If everybody routinely makes this sort of demands, won't people stop to answer them ? Is this technique successful partly because it is not widely used ?