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Comment author: satt 23 June 2014 03:11:06AM 2 points [-]

Cosma Shalizi, in bookmarking Scott's post, offers some specific, relevant references to Plato (and some amusing tags).

Comment author: DanielVarga 23 June 2014 08:43:00PM *  2 points [-]

I was unsurprised but very disappointed when it turned out there are no other posts tagged one_mans_vicious_circle_is_another_mans_successive_approximation. But Shalizi has already used the joke once in his lecture notes on Expectation Maximization.

Comment author: DanielVarga 31 May 2014 10:15:36AM 3 points [-]

Tononi gives a very interesting (weird?) reply: Why Scott should stare at a blank wall and reconsider (or, the conscious grid), where he accepts the very unintuitive conclusion that an empty square grid is conscious according to his theory. (Scott's phrasing: "[Tononi] doesn’t “bite the bullet” so much as devour a bullet hoagie with mustard.") Here is Scott's reply to the reply:

Giulio Tononi and Me: A Phi-nal Exchange

Comment author: chaosmage 28 May 2014 03:21:40PM 0 points [-]

It gets complicated if you do not draw an arbitrary border where matter becomes part of your body and where it ceases to do so.

Comment author: DanielVarga 29 May 2014 08:30:28PM 0 points [-]

I have no problem with an arbitrary border. I wouldn't even have a problem with, for example, old people gradually shrinking in size to zero just to make the image more aesthetically pleasing.

Comment author: RichardKennaway 25 May 2014 11:40:28AM 16 points [-]

The Trans-Siberian Railway runs for more than 9000 kilometres between Moscow and Vladivostok. Is the Moscow end "the same thing as" the Vladivostok end? Are they "the same thing as" its passage through Novosibirsk?

If one is not puzzled by these conundrums about an object extended in space, I see no reason to be puzzled over the "identity" of an object extended in time, such as a human life.

Pinero pursed his lips and considered. "No doubt you are all familiar with the truism that life is electrical in nature. Well, that truism isn't worth a damn, but it will help to give you an idea of the principle. You have also been told that time is a fourth dimension. Maybe you believe it, perhaps not. It has been said so many times that it has ceased to have any meaning. It is simply a cliché that windbags use to impress fools. But I want you to try to visualize it now, and try to feel it emotionally."

He stepped up to one of the reporters. "Suppose we take you as an example. Your name is Rogers, is it not? Very well, Rogers, you are a space-time event having duration four ways. You are not quite six feet tall, you are about twenty inches wide and perhaps ten inches thick. In time, there stretches behind you more of this space-time event, reaching to, perhaps, 1905, of which we see a cross section here at right angles to the time axis, and as thick as the present. At the far end is a baby, smelling of sour milk and drooling its breakfast on its bib. At the other end lies, perhaps, an old man some place in the 1980s. Imagine this space-time event, which we call Rogers, as a long pink worm, continuous through the years. It stretches past us here in 1939, and the cross section we see appears as a single, discrete body. But that is illusion. There is physical continuity to this pink worm, enduring through the years. As a matter of fact, there is physical continuity in this concept to the entire race, for these pink worms branch off from other pink worms. In this fashion the race is like a vine whose branches intertwine and send out shoots. Only by taking a cross section of the vine would we fall into the error of believing that the shootlets were discrete individuals."

Robert Heinlein, "Life-line"

Comment author: DanielVarga 25 May 2014 02:07:08PM 3 points [-]

Wow, I'd love to see some piece of art depicting that pink worm vine.

Comment author: CellBioGuy 25 February 2014 08:27:12PM 3 points [-]

Is there a family history of this? If so that would skew my assessment towards that of the first doctor. If not, seriously another opinion...

Comment author: DanielVarga 25 February 2014 10:55:49PM 1 point [-]

No family history.

Comment author: Pfft 25 February 2014 05:30:46PM 2 points [-]

Can you ask the second doctor to examine you to at least the same standard as the first one?

Maybe someone on Less Wrong who has access to UpToDate can send you a copy of their glaucoma page, for an authoritative list of pros and cons.

Comment author: DanielVarga 25 February 2014 10:55:29PM 1 point [-]

Can you ask the second doctor to examine you to at least the same standard as the first one?

Unfortunately, no. See my answer to Lumifer.

Comment author: polymathwannabe 25 February 2014 06:28:48PM -1 points [-]
Comment author: DanielVarga 25 February 2014 10:54:29PM *  0 points [-]

What he proposed is in fact laser iridotomy, although they called it laser iridectomy.

Comment author: Lumifer 25 February 2014 07:52:41PM 4 points [-]

My impression is that glaucoma (which is, basically, too high intraocular pressure) is easy to diagnose. Two doctors disagreeing on it would worry me.

Don't get just a third independent opinion, get a fourth one as well.

Comment author: DanielVarga 25 February 2014 10:54:16PM 1 point [-]

It was less than a disagreement. I'm sorry that I over-emphasized this point. The first time the pressure was Hgmm 26/18, the second time 19/17. The second doctor said that the pressure can fluctuate, and her equipment is not enough to settle the question. (She is an I-don't-know-the-correct-term national health service doctor, the first one is an expensive private doctor with better equipment, and more time for a patient.)

Comment author: DanielVarga 25 February 2014 03:16:50PM 3 points [-]

My eye doctor diagnosed closed-angle glaucoma, and recommends an iridectomy. I think he might be a bit too trigger-happy, so I followed up with another doctor, and she didn't find the glaucoma. She carefully stated that the first diagnosis can still be the correct one, the first was a more complete examination.

Any insights about the pros and cons of iridectomy?

Comment author: shokwave 02 February 2014 01:11:09PM 2 points [-]

From looking at the scripts, it appears first and last names (actually, all capitalised words I think) were counted separately ("Neal: 11, Stephenson: 11" and "Munroe: 13, Randall: 11", etc) and first names were handedited out (so that's why both Nassim and Taleb are on the list).

The answer is somewhere between "Nassim Taleb was quoted 16 times, and three of those times the attribution was just 'Taleb'" and "Nassim Taleb was quoted 13 times and was mentioned in three other quotes (since he's a controversial figure)".

Comment author: DanielVarga 03 February 2014 02:20:35AM 2 points [-]

Yes. To be exact, not all capitalized words, but all capitalized words that my English spellchecker does not recognize. With all capitalized words the list would start like this:

  • 1523 I
  • 1327 The
  • 558 It
  • 428 If
  • 379 But

Of course the spellchecking method is itself a source of errors. Previous years I never felt like manually correcting these, but checking now it seems like these were the main victims:

  • Graham 43
  • Bacon 20
  • Newton 18
  • Franklin 18
  • Shaw 17
  • Silver 12
  • Pinker 10

Graham is actually number one. I added them to this list, and also to the "Top original authors by karma collected" list. Not retroactively, though, just for 2013.

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