All of sparrowsfall's Comments + Replies

Catchy Fallacy Name Fallacy (and Supporting Disagreement)

dismissing the arguments of others by simply linking to the relevant OB/LW article

Not just when dismissing arguments. Discussions here--even top-level posts--often remind me of my sister's complaint about Louis Diat's Basic French Cooking--every recipe refers to other recipes, so you end up having to slaughter a calf in order to make vichysoisse.

It makes it bloody hard for us newbies who have read less than a few dozen posts on LW and OB--and internalized even fewer.

I realize it's difficult with many concepts being discussed here, but when possible try ... (read more)

Rationality in the Media: Don't (New Yorker, May 2009)

While this may not be practically helpful since one can do little about one's IQ, some might find interesting this recent study showing correlation between cognitive skills and patience, as well as other economically valuable preferences.

If this is safe, the patient marshmallow kids' 210-point SAT advantage is unsurprising (if less than revealing in terms of causation).

(A quick search didn't turn this up on LW or OB, but excuse me if it's a repeat.)

From the abstract:

Individuals with better... (read more)

"While this may not be practically helpful since one can do little about one's IQ," I think you can change one's IQ. I have believed that ever since I read Dweck.
Willpower Hax #487: Execute by Default

Given the various research suggesting that our back brains make decisions before "we" know about them (admittedly rather nicely challenged by Daniel Dennett in Freedom Evolves), here's to suggest that the only real influence we have on decisions is the processed information we feed into that back brain.

In other words, we formulate a problem, feed it back, and ask, "how do I feel about this?" Back comes the decision, with no take-it-or-leave-it options. It's a done deal.

The uniquely awful example of theism

Just to suggest another belief (and belief system) that at least approaches that frontier:

"There has not been one tax increase in history that actually raised revenue. And every tax cut, from the 1920s to Kennedy’s to ours, has produced more."

-Ronald Reagan to David Stockman and Martin Feldstein.

(It is perhaps only coincidental that the year was 1984.) (read more)

I remember Reagan claiming that a nuclear test ban treaty couldn't be enforced because underground tests couldn't be detected. I had recently learnt in physics class how to do just that with an ordinary seismograph.