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I would add that it seems common for task difficulty distribution to be skewed in various idiosyncratic ways --- sufficiently common and sufficiently skewed that any uninformed generic intuition about the "noise" distribution is likely to be seriously wrong. E.g., in some fields there's important lo...(read more)

lukeprog wrote "philosophers are 'spectacularly bad' at understanding that their intuitions are generated by cognitive algorithms." I am pretty confident that minds are physical/chemical systems, and that intuitions are generated by cognitive algorithms. (Furthermore, many of the alternatives I know...(read more)

I'd prefer that their answers about equal responsibility for parenting be consistent with their answers for equal right to be awarded disputed child custody. Holding either consistent position (mothers' parenting presence is essentially special in very important ways that can't generally be replaced...(read more)

Of course there could well be some exaggeration for dramatic effect there --- as David Friedman likes to say, one should be skeptical of any account which might survive on its literary or entertainment value alone. But it's not any sort of logical impossibility. In Dallas near UTD (which had a stron...(read more)

I don't have enough data to compare such gaming outcomes very well, but I'll pass on something that I thought was funny and perhaps containing enough truth to be thought-provoking (from Aaron Brown's _The Poker Face of Wall Street_): "National bridge champion and hedge fund manager Josh Parker expla...(read more)

Wei_Dai writes "I wonder if I'm missing something important by not playing chess."

I am a somewhat decent chess player[*] and a reasonable Go player (3 dan, barely, at last rated tournament a few years ago). If you're inclined to thinking about cognition itself, and about questions like the value o...(read more)

I wasn't trying to be hard on that kind of collecting, though I was making a distinction. To me, choosing stamps (as opposed to, e.g., butterflies or historical artifacts) as a type specimen suggests that the collecting is largely driven by fashion or sentiment or some other inner or social motive, ...(read more)

You wrote "what I chose to do to resolve the matter was to deep dive into three often-raised skeptic arguments using my knowledge of physics as a starting point" and "deliberate misinformation campaigns in the grand tradition of tobacco [etc.]".

Less Wrong is not the place for a comprehensive argum...(read more)

It has a germ of truth, but I think it's deeply misleading. In particular, it needs some kind of nod to the importance of relevance to everyday life. E.g., it would be more serious to claim "all science is either physics, or the systematizing side of some useful discipline like engineering, or stamp...(read more)

It seems to me that once our ancestors' tools got good enough that their reproductive fitness was qualitatively affected by their toolmaking/toolusing capabilities (defining "tools" broadly enough to include things like weapons, fire, and clothing), they were on a steep slippery slope to the present...(read more)