Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

Zetetic comments on The Best Textbooks on Every Subject - Less Wrong

167 Post author: lukeprog 16 January 2011 08:30AM

You are viewing a comment permalink. View the original post to see all comments and the full post content.

Comments (327)

You are viewing a single comment's thread. Show more comments above.

Comment author: Zetetic 13 May 2011 11:38:34PM 0 points [-]

highly complex unobservable mechanisms, large number of potential causes and covariates, sensible multiple groupings of observations, etc

Hmm, I might be totally off base here, but wouldn't that sort of thing be useful for reasoning about highly powerful optimization processes that would be driven to maximize their expected utility by figuring out what actions would decrease the entropy of a desirable portion of state space by working from massive amounts of input data? Maybe I should check it out either way.

Comment author: tel 31 May 2011 04:54:10AM 2 points [-]

I'm sorry, as I'm reading it that sounds rather vague. Gelman's work stems largely from the fact that there is no central theory of political action. Group behavior is some kind of sum of individual behaviors, but with only aggregate measurements you cannot discern the individual causes. This leads to a tendency to never see zero effect sizes, for instance.