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Comment author: gjm 31 May 2016 10:57:41AM 1 point [-]

Slowness not a problem. (You wouldn't believe how long I've sometimes taken.) I hope your husband is OK.

You say "one fundamental change", but I'm pretty sure there is no way to fill in the details of that story so that it actually works. Increasing entropy is a consequence of the fundamental form of the laws of physics, plus the world being in a low-entropy state at the big bang. Make a small change to that and you get not a perfect world with no death and corruption, but a world where physics doesn't work.

I don't think you get to call something "elegantly simple" just because you haven't thought about the details and therefore can't see how messy they are :-).

(Maybe God designed a lawful universe where entropy increases, and then set Eden up with a hacked version where entropy doesn't increase because of constant divine intervention, and then just stopped doing that when Adam and Eve didn't obey his command. That would suggest that A&E were intended to fail all along, an idea that maybe gets some support from e.g. Revelation 13:8 and which strengthens my sense that in the standard Christian interpretation of the Eden story God is the bad guy.)

Comment author: Wind 30 May 2016 12:37:33AM 1 point [-]

I notice that I am confused by this post.

Is the claim that this is a school thing or a life thing? I can see how this behavior might happen if a student is more interested in getting good grades than in actual learning. In such a situation "learning the teachers password" might be a short cut to get to your actual goals.

If the claim is that this is a life thing, could some one give me some more non-classroom example? Organized religion counts as classroom.

When I fist heard that light is a wave, then I interpreted that sentence in my brain an gave it meaning. I can't say for sure that I gave it the correct meaning. But I defiantly know that I did not just save a way the sound pattern, as truth. Because I don't think that way, and I can't even imagine thinking that way.

I can, on the other hand, imagine thinking: "If I write 'because of heat conduction' on a test, I have a chance of getting points." This is not how I went though school, because I was interested in accusal learning, but I can model a student who thinks this way.

"If I write 'because of heat conduction' on a test, I have a chance of getting points." is an anticipation controller.

Comment author: Viliam_Bur 29 May 2016 07:46:34PM 1 point [-]

None that I'm aware of.

I suspect that no one actually fell for the scam... or if they did, they are too ashamed to admit it... so there is nothing specific to investigate.

Comment author: nino 29 May 2016 12:47:02PM 0 points [-]

There are about 20 spots left and we seem to be getting 5–15 sign-ups per month. So if you want to attend, don't wait too long :)

Comment author: Alia1d 29 May 2016 01:52:50AM 0 points [-]

This is one problems with the absurdity heuristic. Because of deliberately starting at a point with such a long inferential distance, It can be hard to see where the error has taken place.

Comment author: Alia1d 29 May 2016 01:52:14AM 0 points [-]

Sorry to be so long answering this. Not only was work busy but my husband was going through withdrawal again and that is always an all consuming time sink.

On Solomonoff induction: If we take a look at one of the facts this story proposes to explain, - We live in a world of decay, where humans and other animals have death as their destiny and the universe itself tends to disorder and destruction, but that this is bad and wrong and against the harmonies of logic and lawfulness and the timelessness of truth. This story’s proposal that the original and good state of the world was without any need for death, but that at one point one fundamental change was made, perhaps tweaking a law of conservation of information just enough so that its practical consequences are an ever increasing disorder, i.e. entropy, seems as elegantly simple answer as I can think of. This one rule change is more what I was thinking of, rather than swap out of the entire rule set, basically because it’s lower complexity. Yes, I am expecting that God re-cons the plant and animal world so that you get stable biology and ecosystems under this new rule, but i already had a sufficiently intelligent and powerful agent, with an established interest in having a sustained ecosystem, who could implement the needed changes. So I don’t see any new rules there. Nor do I think it should be surprising that quite a lot of surface changes could be occasioned by even a small change of one rule that was so fundamental.

On parallels: I can think of lots of reasons to give why Satan controlling the snake in called for by a Christological interpretation and other reasons, like dualism, that could also lead to the idea this was a good interpretation, but I’m getting the internal feeling that I’m starting to treat my arguments like soldiers on this one. People are influenced by the culture around them so I can see how a culture that finds the idea of talking snakes silly would be one of the contributing factors to the general theological preference for Satan as an external control on the snake. But this is such a subtle thing with so many dependencies that it will be hard to get even someone who has this assumption to focus on questioning the one dependency you want, the inerrancy of the Bible, rather than some other dependency, especially if you are trying to avoid a feeling of personal hostility that tends to harden people positions.

In response to comment by BlueAjah on Superhero Bias
Comment author: snewmark 27 May 2016 04:16:52PM -1 points [-]

The police officer is PAID to do that. He isn't doing it for free out of the goodness of his heart like the superhero is.

Oh cool, so if I pay you will you let me kill you?

Comment author: Sniffnoy 27 May 2016 01:29:10PM 0 points [-]

I see, thanks!

Comment author: toonalfrink 27 May 2016 12:41:33AM -2 points [-]

There are objective ways of finding out whether something is a mistake. Fallacies have names and most of them can be easily diagnosed. I often do this at facebook to blow off steam.

Even better: the website can accomodate for this. It's as easy as adding a "report logical fallacy" button next to each comment. Moderators can award points to all who noticed the correct fallacy. A leaderboard can be put up. It can be made a sport.

Another benefit is that those who make mistakes receive detailed feedback.

Comment author: toonalfrink 26 May 2016 08:23:21PM 0 points [-]

I suspect that, if we are born, we already have a first model of physics, a few built-in axioms. As we grow older, we acquire beliefs that are only recursive applications and elaborations of these axioms.

I would say that, if a belief can be reduced to this lowest level of abstraction, it is a meaningful belief.

Comment author: ingres 25 May 2016 09:07:46PM *  1 point [-]

I'm going to add these as html/text files to the "Basic Results" section. Thanks for reminding me. In the mean time they're available in the public data release.

Comment author: snewmark 25 May 2016 07:13:57PM *  1 point [-]

You know the only thing worse than arguing about politics, is arguing why one shouldn't argue about politics.

Seriously though, while this post is/was important, I still think there should have been a request to not debate politics in this post's comment section, because you know, explaining why it's bad to debate politics in science blogs apparently wasn't enough.

Comment author: snewmark 25 May 2016 05:14:10PM *  0 points [-]

Feynman's claim in 1966 that "Nobody understands QM" thus inadvertently illustrates one of the other great truths, which is that nobody knows what nobody knows.

I don't think he was actually trying to say nobody understands quantum, I'm pretty sure he was actually saying (albeit in less words): "just because you don't understand quantum, does not mean that you are unintelligent, or that the theory is incorrect". I believe that as you pointed "nobody knows what nobody knows", implies that he wouldn't make such a statement with the intentions that it should be take literally, and consequently it seems significantly more probable that the intentions of the statement were something else entirely.

I would also like to note that the statement "nobody knows what nobody knows" has only one piece of evidence attached to it, and I am curious were else you noticed it taking effect.

Comment author: snewmark 25 May 2016 01:04:47PM 0 points [-]

So what if I'm a hypocrite? You're a hypocrite too!

Comment author: snewmark 25 May 2016 12:53:46PM 0 points [-]

...so the total value of a lingering doubt should go to zero if investigated forever.

Very well written, I just wanted to confirm something, I was under the impression that since nothing has 100% certainty, nothing can have a 0% uncertainty, you could get closer and closer, but you can never actually reach it. If I'm wrong or misunderstanding this I would appreciate it if someone would correct me, thanks.

Comment author: Sniffnoy 25 May 2016 12:49:07PM 1 point [-]

Question: Where in the data do we find the various write-in answers? Like for the blogs and such.

Comment author: FourFire 25 May 2016 08:55:01AM 0 points [-]

How is availability right now?

I'm looking to attend at least one Community event this year.

In response to comment by alicey on Final Words
Comment author: TobyBartels 25 May 2016 03:41:39AM 0 points [-]

Voted up this comment, for reasons that should be self-evident.

Comment author: TheOtherDave 25 May 2016 03:18:34AM 0 points [-]

Along some dimensions I consider salient, at least. PM me for spoilers if you want them. (It's not a bad book, but not worth reading just for this if you wouldn't otherwise.)

In response to comment by karl12 on Conjunction Fallacy
Comment author: WressLong 24 May 2016 10:15:08PM 0 points [-]

I agree. This notion of question 2 providing a plausible cause that might lead to suspension v. question 1 where the test subject has to conceive of their own cause is a bias, but a different type of bias, not a conjunction fallacy. There could be (and possibly have been) ways to construct the test to control for this. For example, there are 3 test groups where 1 and 2 are the same and for the third, the two events are asked independently: What are the probabilities of each event:

A. That USSR invades Poland, or B. That US suspends relations

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