Technologos

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Dissenting Views

VNM utility is a necessary consequence of its axioms but doesn't entail a unique utility function; as such, the ability to prevent Dutch Books is derived more from VNM's assumption of a fixed total ordering of outcomes than anything.

Coffee: When it helps, when it hurts

Or you could just take more, so that the nervousness is swamped by the general handshakery...

Rationality quotes: March 2010

Seth appears to be contrasting a "job" with things like "being an entrepreneur in business for oneself," so perhaps the first of your options.

Hayekian Prediction Markets?

I think much of the problem here comes from something of an equivocation on the meaning of "economic disaster." A country can post high and growing GDP numbers without benefiting its citizens as much as a country with weaker numbers; the linked paper notes that

real per capita private consumption was lower than straight GDP per capita figures suggest because of very high investment rates and high military expenditures, and the quality of goods that that consumption expenditure could bring was even lower still."

Communism is good at maintaining top-line growth in an economy because it can simply mandate spending. In much the same way as US government spending can directly add to GDP growth (even if incurring substantial debt), the Soviet Union could make massive military expenditures even while running factories that produced goods not based on consumer desires but state beliefs about those desires or needs.

In short, communism was not an economic disaster in that it effectively industrialized a great many nations and brought consistent top-line growth. It was an economic disaster in that state power allowed or created widespread famines and poor production of consumer goods.

Open Thread: February 2010, part 2

My understanding is that one primary issue with frequentism is that it can be so easily abused/manipulated to support preferred conclusions, and I suspect that's the subject of the article. Frequentism may not have "caused the problem," per se, but perhaps it enabled it?

Demands for Particular Proof: Appendices

And in particular, there's good reason to believe that brains are still evolving at a decent pace, where it looks like cell mechanisms largely settled a long while back.

The AI in a box boxes you

Oh, I meant that saying it was going to torture you if you didn't release it could have been exactly what it needed to say to get you to release it.

The AI in a box boxes you

Perhaps it does--and already said it...

Complexity of Value ≠ Complexity of Outcome

What you say is true while the Koran and the Bible are referents, but when A and B become "Mohammed is the last prophet, who brought the full truth of God's will" and "Jesus was a literal incarnation of God," (the central beliefs of the religions that hold the respective books sacred) then James' logic holds.

Complexity of Value ≠ Complexity of Outcome

I realize how arrogant it must seem for young, uncredentialled (not even a Bachelor's!) me to conclude that brilliant professional philosophers who have devoted their entire lives to studying this topic are simply confused. But, disturbing as it may be to say ... that's how it really looks.

Perhaps the fact that they have devoted their lives to a topic suggests that they have a vested interest in making it appear not to be nonsense. Cognitive dissonance can be tricky even for the pros.

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