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Rationality Quotes 20

6 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 22 December 2008 10:05PM

"For every stock you buy, there is someone selling you that stock.  What is it that you know that they don't?  What is it that they know, that you don't?  Who has the edge?  If it's not you, chances are you are going to lose money on the deal."
        -- Mark Cuban

"If you have two choices, choose the harder.  If you're trying to decide whether to go out running or sit home and watch TV, go running.  Probably the reason this trick works so well is that when you have two choices and one is harder, the only reason you're even considering the other is laziness.  You know in the back of your mind what's the right thing to do, and this trick merely forces you to acknowledge it."
        -- Paul Graham

"Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity."
        -- Hanlon's Razor

"I divide my officers into four classes; the clever, the lazy, the industrious, and the stupid.  Each officer possesses at least two of these qualities.  Those who are clever and industrious are fitted for the highest staff appointments.  Use can be made of those who are stupid and lazy.  The man who is clever and lazy however is for the very highest command; he has the temperament and nerves to deal with all situations.  But whoever is stupid and industrious is a menace and must be removed immediately!"
        -- General Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord

"There's no such thing as a human who doesn't commit sin.  It's not like the world is divided into sinners and the innocent.  There are only people who can and who cannot atone for their sins."
        -- Ciel

"Simple stupidity is never enough.  People need to pile stupidity on stupidity on stupidity."
        -- Mark C. Chu-Carroll

Comments (13)

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Comment author: TGGP4 23 December 2008 04:17:58AM 0 points [-]

General Kurt's link goes to Hanlon.

Comment author: Cyan2 23 December 2008 04:55:22AM 0 points [-]

TGGP, I think it's supposed to. The General is quoted in the linked article.

Comment author: Doug_S. 23 December 2008 05:23:31AM 0 points [-]
Comment author: Mike6 23 December 2008 05:13:39PM 3 points [-]

Mark Cuban assumes you and the seller are the only people in the market. If there are lots of traders, then the trade price is set by some average assessment of the stock value. Cuban also assumes that you want to buy the stock because you think it's undervalued, and the seller because he thinks its overvalued. But maybe the seller just needs cash, or you just want to invest.

A paradox of economic equilibrium theory is you shouldn't have to do any research: the "invisible hand" of free market should guide all prices to their correct value. The paradox is the theory assumes everyone is fully informed and rational, which seems to conflict with the ability to avoid doing any research. The reality is a more complicated and nuanced picture, which is why I'm surprised how forcefully some people defend free market fundamentalism.

Comment author: michael_vassar3 23 December 2008 05:52:21PM 2 points [-]

I'd like to believe General Kurt, but I'm pretty sure he's a fictional character and that the line was invented for the pleasure of clever lazy people. DAMN! he's real!?! Where can I find such an employer in a position of great power today?

Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 23 December 2008 06:09:35PM 0 points [-]

Replaced General Kurt's URL with a link to his main article. Wow, I had no idea this guy was such a hero.

Comment author: Jose2 23 December 2008 10:30:35PM 0 points [-]

I could be mistaken, but Colonel David Hackworth used that quote by General Kurt in his book 'About Face' without attribution. Since I first read it I thought it was a Hackworth original.

Comment author: Barbar 24 December 2008 10:46:06PM 3 points [-]

Here's my pet idea: the primary cognitive bias affecting this blog's community lies in underestimating the limits to reductionist explanation.

This is how you end up with statements like "X is not about Y (X is about Z)" even when X is pretty clearly more about Y than about Z (although the world in general may tend to downplay the extent to which X is about Z).

Comment author: Gwern_Branwen 25 December 2008 05:30:18AM 0 points [-]

Hm, another Tsukihime quote. I wonder if perhaps Eliezer should one day do A Seed AI programmer's guide to Anime"? :)

Comment author: Ricardo_Niederberger_Cabral 31 December 2008 07:19:49PM 0 points [-]

Great selection!

Comment author: MichaelHoward 08 January 2009 02:25:19PM 1 point [-]

Doug S.:Some criticism of evolutionary psychology as it is commonly perceived, courtesy of Scientific American.

Anyone reading that... Do Not Adjust Your Mind Set without checking counterarguments such as this, this and those in the comments in Doug's link.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 11 February 2009 01:11:25PM 0 points [-]

"One learns only when the mind wants to and not at set times. "

quotes from The Prisoner.

Comment author: zslastman 09 July 2012 12:50:00PM 0 points [-]

Isn't half the point of this website that it's mental laziness that does you in more than stupidity? I'm not sure if the good general would be recruiting very rational officers.