This is our monthly place to discuss topics that haven’t appeared in recent posts.
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'Why Nobody Likes Nerds and Why you're Justified In Hating Them'
('Less Wrong' links in the above article)
It should be clear that the whole 'Less Wrong'/SIAI ideology is misguided.
Look, the paper clearly shows that Bayesian Induction can't create new models for you, it can only assess the probability that a given model is true. This fits with my earlier intuitions that decision theory/ Bayes can be redefined in purely passive terms, as merely the means for selecting actions/assessing models from a predefined set.
To repeat: Rationality can't create new models of the world or consider novel goals. It can only assess or choose pre-defined models/goals. Only Creativity can create new models and novel goals. Creativity requires categorization and categorization requires consciousness. Ergo, general intelligence without consciousness is impossible.
Where's Counselor Kagan's demonstrated quantitative competency?
Who in the class of quantitatively competent public affairs experts are beating the drum to introduce this criteria for evaluating public administrative candidates?
Robin, who is your favorite evolutionary biologist? Will you please recommend some books on the subject?
Cute bit of business speak irony (National Interest corp. to be a wholly owned subsidiary of Global Business Services).
Interesting from organizational studies perspective. National Interest Corp. is interesting, part of their mission claims to be to serve the American national interest, they hire from National Clandenstine Services (part of the CIA where classic cia agents work, including former directors of that agency). I'm interested in intelligence agencies as part of different social epistemological efforts going on in the world.
"ARMONK, N.Y., March 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- IBM ( IBM) today announced that it has completed the acquisition of National Interest Security Company, LLC (NISC), a privately held company headquartered in Fairfax, VA. Financial terms were not disclosed. The companies had announced a definitive agreement in January to pursue the acquisition.
The business will be integrated into IBM Global Business Services, operating initially as a wholly-owned subsidiary."
Thanks Tobiasz. I'm an idiot...
Aaron M --
What you actually find, all over the place, is people coming up to a guy with a cigarette in his hand and asking to buy a cigarette for 25 cents or so. More or less, this corresponds to "chipping" -- a practice from maybe 50 years in which occasional users of narcotics would contribute money to a regular user to facilitate purchasing narcotics for a group.
Nicotine is the new heroin.
mjgeddes, you have definitely a valid point in that "bayesianism" seems, sometimes, to be an ideologi down at Less Wrong rather than as would be more appropriate, a research program for formalisation of epistomology. (Non-degenerated research program in my view -- but I am just an amateur.) Your criticism regarding amateurism at Less Wrong is, however, of the point. Less Wrong is a _blog_ -- not a scientific journal, and has (to my knowledge) never pretended to be. Critique such as that of yours here is of course very valueble but could have been even more so if it had been more carefully worded and less rethorical. It would of course also have been more natural to post a crtique as this one directly on Less Wrong rather that at Overcoming Bias? Fortunately nhamann at Less Wrong noticed your post here, so there does now exist a discussion thread on your (and, particularly, Gelman´s and Shalizi´s) critique:http://lesswrong.com/lw/2eu...tonyf (TraditionalRationali@LessWrong)
Robin,I still enjoy your posts now and again, but I must say that I'm less interested than I was a year or two ago.
I like your stuff on big questions (the future, the origin of life, physics). I like stuff on predictions markets and alternative institutions. I like your published stuff on agreement and Bayesian rationality.
I'm generally tired of your signaling analyses and discussion of evolutionary psychology. And discussion of meta-studies showing that research in some area is biased. (I think this stuff is worthwhile, but it just doesn't hold my interest as it did when I first read your stuff on medicine).
There are some things you don't write much about but that I think I might find very interesting. Here are some ideas:
1. Description of how you came up with the ideas you've had. What kinds of reading or social experiences led you to important new ideas or changes of view. Some narrative detail might be good here. Did individidual teachers or colleagues convince you of things, or did you mainly come to your own conclusions?
2. Ideas on how economics and social sciences relate to natural sciences. You don't talk much about actually coming up with some model for an economic situation and then testing it across a wide range of situations. What do you consider the empirical successes of economics? What empirical case-studies would you provide to the curious but skeptical non-economist?
3. Great ideas that might not be widely known or well explained. You've studied a range of fields. Which ideas have been most productive? Obviously signaling theory, Bayesian inference, evolutionary psychology, basic micro. But I'm sure there are other ideas less relevant for your day to day blogposts that you consider powerful and important. This might be somewhat tedious for you, but I feel like short posts summarizing the ideas and why they are important would be very interesting for your readers.
Robin, do you play video and computer games at all? If so, what are some you especially like?
The name of the novel is The Fall.
Time to compare the amateurs on ‘Less Wrong’ with the professionals. Readers may recall how some ‘Less Wrong’ amateurs (you know, those people with no qualifications or real world achievements)
Ouch, mjgeddes. I've written a soon-to-be-published scifi novel, beaten up a gay basher, and talked my way out of numerous traffic fines and worse - doesn't that count for something? Just because I elected not pay $15 000 for one more year of University and a piece of paper shouldn't *completely* discount me.
Reading the article now.
>Albert Camus’ short novel
Just a quick thought I had yesterday: if cigarettes continue to become more expensive, do you think at some point the price will be extreme enough to make smoking a strong signal of wealth? If so, will that cause smoking to swing back into fashion?
Any good studies that talk about bias that results from being brought up in supernaturalistic house holds?