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son0fhobs comments on The Affect Heuristic - Less Wrong

37 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 27 November 2007 07:58AM

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Comment author: son0fhobs 12 April 2013 04:09:59AM *  0 points [-]

I have so many issues with this article. Well, sections anyway. Please do correct me if I'm missing things, but maybe these are a few issues others had, thus why the comment was down voted.

(I apologize for my lack of eloquence and grammar, it's way too late and I need to head for bed).

  1. The insurance on the clock illustration doesn't take into account emotion. Yes, emotion has value (unless people are indifferent to depression v. motivated v. pumped).

A. One facet of that: If I lost a clock that had little value, my need for solace, or repayment would be little as I lost little. If I valued the clock a lot, I lost something of greater value, thus I'd have a greater desire to have some sort or recompense.

B. Insurance provides peace of mind. The more value the clock has to me, the more value that peace of mind is.

  1. The disease issue. It's ignoring other variables playing into the issues - namely how widespread it is. 24.14% doesn't say how wide spread the disease is. Anthrax has a death rate of 20% with antibiotics (1% without). Yet so few encounter it. Given diseases with that death rate are usually pretty well contained, it's probably assumed that it's not widespread. Yet when considering the disease has killed thousands already, it's clearly widespread and with greater impact.

  2. The play on visualizing numbers and percents is so true. Important point that's been reiterated in countless ways in countless scenarios. I concur.

  3. Beans - making a good point, but it didn't clarify the number of times the person could draw a bean. If unlimited, they'd eventually get all the beans, thus percent wouldn't matter. However, I'm pretty sure that's not true, but still, giving a more complete picture would be nice. (All the links were broken! I couldn't even double check it myself!)

... I don't have time to go through the rest, but most of my beef was with the first few.

I find one of the most common issues I have is that emotions, because they often can lead to illogical answers, get devalued altogether. They lead to improper conclusions only because people suck at understanding, reading, and interpreting them. Logic leads to just as bad decisions when mishandled. When you study emotions as much as you do cognitive logic, emotions can aid in logical reasoning and provide insights that the cognitive mind will miss.