A reply to anonymous from a fictional character
After seeing the four examples (including one that didn't fit) given, it didn't even occur to me that someone could think the first one indicated a X-2X-3X pattern. It's hard to tell what will confirm and what will disconfirm in such a broad space of possibilities.
A bit off topic but after numerous incidents of mocking Eliezer, Mencius Moldbug has launched a full-scale assault on Bayesianism. He hasn't shown any inclination to post his critiques here, but perhaps some of the luminaries here could show him the error of his ways.
I remember when Warren Spector & Harvey Smith were going on about emergence in videogames. I think their definition was something like "a non-obvious [it may even surprise the designers] outcome of a system of rules rather than something scripted". That's a rather subjective definition but it seems to fit as well for the things that are described as "emergent" in real life. Since life is not actually a videogame but has universally valid rules, it would not be a very useful concept for that domain. I think Wolfram has written a lot ... (read more)
In response to Hopefully Anonymous, I think there is a real difference between unfalsifiable pseudosciences and genuine scientific theories (both correct and incorrect). Coming up with methods to distinguish the two will be helpful for us in doing science. It is easy in hindsight to say how obviously wrong something is, it is another to understand why it is wrong and whether its wrongness could have been detected then with the information available as this could assist us later when we do not have all the information we would wish to.
I second Stuart's awful sentence. I'm not seconding the opinion that it is awful, just that it resembles my thoughts.
I think I've said this before, but there is some defense that can be made for the phlogiston theorists. Phlogiston is like an absence of oxygen in modern combustion theory. The falsifiable prediction that caused phlogiston to be abandoned was that phlogiston would have mass, whereas an absence of oxygen (what it was in reality) does not.
Do you have any references to that?
Yes. They do underestimate the probability their their depression will end, however (I'll see if I can find the link to where I read that, it was likely another GMU blogger). I don't know about other cognitive biases in the depressed.
"Mental health is a commitment to reality at any cost."
Depression is considered a mental illness. The depressed are less biased in their self-assessments than the population as a whole. Personally, I agree with Caplan and Szasz that "mental illness" is a poor borrowing from medicine to psychiatry and is usually unfalsifiable.
The difference is that ethics are not falsifiable. This leads me to believe there are no ethical truths.
Perhaps we should check to see how many papers in respected journals cite "punctuated equilibrium" other than to attack it. In a previous thread in which Gould was discussed I linked to this, which used such evidence to argue against his theory on "spandrels".
It is interesting that Zenkat mentioned "libertarian economists" since Eliezer is not an economist, and I was unaware from his posts here that he was a libertarian. I note that Robin Hanson denied being a "libertarian economist" when accused of it, but it occurs... (read more)
I've mentioned before that my attempt to salvage a belief in God ultimately resulted in something like H. P. Lovecraft's Azathoth, which might not be too surprising as it was that ardent materialist's parody of the God of the Old Testament.
Some Dude, since when is war profitable? It can be extremely expensive, and you can't really have both sides win, yet it is often the case that both sides are eager for it.
Some Dude, since when is war profitable?
Some Dude, since when is war profitable?
Since there existed private military contractors, or before that, since there existed spoils of war?
floccina, perhaps the real purpose of schools is sorting. Perhaps the idea that children must be formed into educated people by schools is just part of Pinker's "nurture assumption". Schools have an incentive to promote that assumption, as it gives them more reason to exist. However, if they don't actually know how to educate children (and as you note, it is hard to test whether they actually teach), why would we expect them to?
This is a good post.
I don't take nearly as cynical (or is it bitter & angry for seemingly no reason?) a view as Mencius Moldbug does, but you might be interested in his post on grad school.
I am kicking myself for not doing this earlier, but Hopefully Anonymous, I think you would be interested in the writings of Mencius Moldbug, beginning with his Formalist Manifesto and hopefully including Political Sanity in One Easy Step, The Magic of Symmetric Sovereignty and The Fnargland Grand Challenge.
Although in many respects I feel I am of like mind with Hopefully Anonymous, I am not as fully committed to maximizing life (my own or anybody's) as he is. For right now I would rather not die but continue living. However, I do not rule out that I might at some point or in some circumstances prefer death (the current lifespan found in first world countries is unusual and many cultures have glorified death, so I don't think it can be said that such commitment to survival is universal). This does not mean I have any misgivings about Eliezer's work toward lif... (read more)
This post starts off talking about school shooters, but I think it could be applied to terrorists as well, although they have a movement and ideology behind them.
Nick, are Hindus and other polytheists/animists/what-have-you atheists?
Nick Tarleton may change in many ways, but his DNA will not. As our genes are selfish, they cause us to single out the carrier of those genes (ourselves) as special and distinct from others and generally favor ourselves over others. This does remind me a bit of Lachmann vs Nozick on how far reductionism should go.
Matthew C, why does "Awareness" get a capital "A" and what do you mean by its "fundamental unity"?
A great post, and one of the reasons I promote emotivism. I attribute a recent dissagreement (in which I admit I acted like a dick) to just this. The funny thing is that usually two people argue with each other, convinced the other is evil. In this case I am arguing with someone over just how scary some other people that we both don't care for are.
Sam Harris is not an atheist.
My solution to the problem was to own a really slow computer. It took so long to load up the game I had been playing that it always seemed preferrable to log on to forums and complain about games not matching up to ye olden days than actually playing any. Eventually I found even that was taking up too much of my time and now games are just a thing of the past. The question of whether I put too much time into reading blogs is still open though.
Nobody chooses their genes or their early environment. The choices they make are determined by those things (and some quantum coin flips). Given what we know of neuroscience how can anyone deserve anything?
Like Eliezer, I would prefer if contemporary politics did not show up much here, and I do not identify with either political party. What I wonder though, is whether we would feel the same way if we did identify with one of the parties. Perhaps a Republican might, seeing as how the Republicans have not been looking as good recently while a Democrat would be happy for the latest mess their opponents are in to be highlighted. If the weblog lasted long enough perhaps both sides could become tired enough of their side being kicked while down to come to a gentle... (read more)