All of Waldheri's Comments + Replies

Rationality Quotes May 2012

All interpretation or observation of reality is necessarily fiction. In this case, the problem is that man is a moral animal abandoned in an amoral universe and condemned to a finite existence with no other purpose than to perpetuate the natural cycle of the species. It is impossible to survive in a prolonged state of reality, at least for a human being. We spend a good part of our lives dreaming, especially when we're awake.

― Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Angel's Game

Rationality Quotes May 2012

This reminds me of the following passage from We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver:

But keeping secrets is a discipline. I never use to think of myself as a good liar, but after having had some practice I had adopted the prevaricator's credo that one doesn't so much fabricate a lie as marry it. A successful lie cannot be brought into this world and capriciously abandoned; like any committed relationship it must be maintained, and with far more devotion than the truth, which carries on being carelessly true without any help. By contrast, my lie needed me as much as I needed it, and so demanded the constancy of wedlock: Till death do us part.

Rationality quotes: April 2010

Counterfactual: the theory of evolution is one of the most successful scientific theories, yet it contains no equations; nor numbers. It is rather a framework of ideas in which observations can be made sense of.

1Perplexed10yI tend to agree with you that numbers are inessential in a scientific theory, and that Darwin's theory is a good example of this. But your critics also have a point that some nice math has been added to the theory since Darwin's time. (Not enough of a point to justify downvoting you, though, IMHO). As a smaller scale example of a non-numerical scientific theory, consider the theory that the historical branching order of the Great Ape family tree is "First orangutan, then gorilla, then man, leaving the two species of chimp." That is a meaningful and testable scientific theory as it stands, even though there are no numbers involved. But what spoils my example a little is the observation that this theory is improved by adding numbers. "Orangutan branched ~12M years ago, gorilla 6M, man 5M, bonobo 0.5M."
0PhilGoetz10yThe theory of evolution was discredited around, IIRC, 1900, because the math didn't work out, because people didn't know genes were discrete, and thought they were analog. It was resurrected after people learned genes were discrete, and found the math worked. (I haven't looked at this math myself, so I could be wrong.)
3RichardKennaway10yPrice's Equation? Fisher's fundamental theorem? Hardy-Weinberg law?
Rationality Quotes: March 2011

Which in turn reminds me of The Onion news piece 'Multiple Stab Wounds May Be Harmful To Monkeys'.

Rationality quotes: April 2010

My initial response was to chuckle, but when my analytical capacities kicked in a moment later I was disappointed.

If his initial assumptions was that he was walking into a bar, does that make him atheist in this metaphor? Substitute "walked into a bar" by "believed there is a god", the thing I assume it is a metaphor of. You will see it makes no sense.

3AlexMennen11yMany atheists were formerly theists. Still, I suppose it might have been better as "A scientist walked into what he thought was a bar, but seeing no bartender, barstools, or drinks, he revised his initial assumption and decided he only walked into a room."
3roundsquare11yI think it makes sense, as a poke at atheists. Think about it this way. You walk into a bar, and you see no bartender. In your mind, you say "anything that is a bar will have a bartender. No bar tender, not a bar." Of course, the best thing to do before revising your assumptions is to wait for a bar tender. Maybe he/she is in the bathroom. Similarly, if you claim there is no evidence of god that I've seen in my lifetime, you are using the wrong measure. Why should god (if there is one) make itself obvious during the short period that is a human lifetime. This is almost an "irrationality quote" instead of a rationality quote, but still enlightening.
0RobinZ11yIt's ROT13 - a Caesar cipher with a period of 13, so that encipherment and decipherment are the same operation. [] has a decoder.
0[anonymous]11yPyvpx urer []
Rationality quotes: March 2010

I highly recommend anyone interested in hard sci-fi to read Blindsight.

0Psy-Kosh11yI've read it, and while I liked it and it gave me some things to thing about... V'ir ernq vg. V guvax fbzr bs gur gevpxf gung gur bgure fcrpvrf chyyrq jrer n ovg dhrfgvbanoyr gb znantr jvgubhg frys njnerarff. (yvxr gur jubyr "zbir orgjrra oenva plpyrf gb or vaivfvoyr" guvat. Jbhyqa'g gung ng yrnfg erdhver fbzrguvat yvxr "vs V qba'g qb guvf, V jvyy or frra"? Bs pbhefr, vs frys njnerarff (va fbzr frafr) naq pbafpvbhfarff pna or frcnengrq, gura lrf, V pna rnfvyl frr pbafpvbhfarff orvat fhcresyhbhf (va gur frafr bs n pyrire ercyvpngbe orvat noyr gb qb jryy jvgubhg vg). Ohg gur nhgube frrzrq gb zhfu gur gjb gbtrgure. (Naq jura gur guvatvr qvqa'g abgvpr vgfrys va gur pntr/obk/rgp... gung vg qvqa'g pbhag vgfrys nzbat gur ragvgvrf gurer, gung'f whfg fghcvq.)
6AngryParsley11yDitto. On the Mohs scale of sci-fi hardness, Blindsight is aggregated diamond nanorod.
The AI in a box boxes you

On a not so much related, but equally interesting hypothetical note of naughty AI: consider the situation that AIs aren't passing the Turing Test, not because they are not good enough, but because they are failing it on purpose.

I'm pretty sure I remember this from the book River of Gods by Ian McDonald.

Logical Rudeness

Though I appreciate the fun, you are forgetting that this is a solution to a problem that lies in old-fashioned rudeness of interrupting one another, something quite impossible on a turn-based medium as this.

On a different note, some people may be distracted too much by the ice cream, and the goal of making them listen might be forgone because of this.

Advancing Certainty

Isn't "intuition" in that case not simply subconscious empirical knowledge?

2ChristianKl11yDo you believe that intuition exists in some other form than subconscious empirical knowledge? Provided you don't believe in any paranormal stuff I don't think that there's something else that you could call intuition. For me science is about having well defined theories and then trying to falsify those theories. When you make decisions based on intuition you aren't making decisions based on theory.
An Especially Elegant Evpsych Experiment

Thanks for the response, HH.

I partly agree with Bruce K britton - surely one can find a curve that corresponds with the results from this grief study. It may very well coincide with a curve describing the relationship between the age and production of enzyme X in bacterium Y.

The question is: Why did the researchers decide to compare it to the reproductive potential curve? Were there other clues that suggested a relationship between the two?

An Especially Elegant Evpsych Experiment

I wonder... How does one measure grief?