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Petra comments on Welcome to Less Wrong! (2012) - Less Wrong

25 Post author: orthonormal 26 December 2011 10:57PM

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Comment author: Petra 01 August 2012 04:26:58PM 3 points [-]

Yes. My personal favorite was in middle school, when I tried to dispel my assigned and fallacious moniker of "human calculator" by asking someone to pose an arithmetic question and then race me with a calculator. With a classroom full of students as witnesses, I lost by a significant margin, and not only saw no lessening of the usage of said nickname, but in fact heard no repeating of the story outside of that class, that day.

Comment author: DaFranker 01 August 2012 05:54:44PM *  6 points [-]

Beware indeed of giving others more bouncy walls on which evidence can re-bounce and double-, triple-, quatruple-, nay, Npple-count! I once naively thought to improve others' critical thinking by boosting their ability to appraise the quality of my own reasoning.

Lo' and behold, for each example I gave of a bad reasoning I had made or was making, each of them was inevitably using this as further evidence that I was right, because not only had I been right much more than not (counting hits and arguments are soldiers and all that), but the very fact that I was aware of any mistakes I was making proved that I could not make mistakes, for I would otherwise notice mistakes and thus correct myself.

TL;DR: This remains a profoundly important unsolved problem in large-scale distribution, teaching and implementation of cognitive enhancement and bias-overcoming techniques. It's even stated in Luke's "So you want to save the world" list of open problems as "raising the sanity waterline", a major strategic concern for ensuring maximal confidence of results in this incredibly absurd thing they're working on.

Comment author: Cyan 01 August 2012 07:51:28PM 3 points [-]

Npple

The term in common usage is "n-tuple".

Comment author: DaFranker 01 August 2012 08:09:27PM 3 points [-]

Thanks. I paused for a second when I was about to write it, because I realized that I wasn't quite sure that that was how I should write it, but decided to skip over it as no information seemed lost either way and it had bonus illustrative and comical effect in the likely event that I was using the wrong term.

Comment author: wedrifid 02 August 2012 04:12:37AM *  5 points [-]

but decided to skip over it as no information seemed lost either way and it had bonus illustrative and comical effect in the likely event that I was using the wrong term.

Given all the evidence on 'bouncy' and 'npple-count' I must admit the comic illustration that sprung to mind may not have been the one you intended!

Comment author: [deleted] 01 August 2012 10:22:35PM 2 points [-]

Well... I just started to refuse to make calculations in my mind on demand, and I think I even kind-of freaked out a couple times when people insisted. It worked.

Comment author: TheOtherDave 01 August 2012 05:48:23PM 2 points [-]

I try to keep this sort of thing in mind when interpreting accounts of the implausible brilliance of third parties.