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Comment author: Divide 24 February 2014 08:53:47PM 0 points [-]

By and large, when people are unwilling to carefully consider arguments with the goal of having accurate beliefs, this is evidence that it is not useful to try to think carefully about this area. This follows from the idea mentioned above that people tend to try to have accurate views when it is in their present interests to have accurate views. So if this is the main way the framework breaks down, then the framework is mostly breaking down in cases where good epistemology is relatively unimportant.

That's one clever trick right there!

Comment author: Divide 08 November 2012 07:34:59AM 8 points [-]

I've been a bit confused by the relationships question. I'm currently seeing three people romantically on a semi-regular basis, so I put in 3, but I wouldn't say any of those relations qualify as "relationships", so I selected 'single'. I hope that's the preferred method.

Comment author: RobinZ 07 November 2012 05:43:30AM 4 points [-]
Comment author: Divide 08 November 2012 07:25:46AM *  2 points [-]

Thanks, and sorry. Fixed.

Comment author: [deleted] 05 November 2012 11:46:41AM 23 points [-]

It looks like I wasn't the only one who had difficulty selecting the links, and so had to type them in manually.

Yvain or a mod- Can we get all the links from the survey pasted into the body of the OP so that those of us who couldn't select them have an easier access mode than manual copying?

In response to comment by [deleted] on 2012 Less Wrong Census/Survey
Comment author: Divide 07 November 2012 02:54:23AM 2 points [-]

If you use X11 you'll find that even though the selection clears just after releasing the mouse button, it's been nonetheless placed in the selection buffer (so you can middle-button it somewhere).

Comment author: johnlawrenceaspden 06 November 2012 01:18:36PM 4 points [-]

I'm completely baffled by questions 26, 29, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39 on the iq test. (http://iqtest.dk) I think I must be missing something. Can anyone explain what the answers are and why?

Comment author: Divide 07 November 2012 02:47:59AM *  0 points [-]

33 - gurer vf n cnggrea ba qvntbanyf tbvat sebz fj gb ar: ubevmbagny, iregvpny, qvntbany. 34 - rnfl, artngvir va, cbfvgvir bhg, nqqvgvba. 36 - va rirel (ynetr) ebj/pbyhza gurer ner 9 juvgr obkrf, naq rnpu bs 5, 6 naq 7 bs bgure funqrf.

Anybody up to take on the others?

Comment author: TraderJoe 06 November 2012 10:35:27AM 18 points [-]

Next year the survey should include an option to explain why your IQ is actually higher than was measured.

Comment author: Divide 07 November 2012 02:39:04AM 4 points [-]

I dunno, on my test it came up higher than expected (and higher than the result of a pro test they gave me in primary school once).

Comment author: Divide 07 November 2012 02:34:13AM 14 points [-]

Huh, I got the date almost right - sadly, the date of death.

Comment author: Divide 15 February 2012 03:21:56AM *  1 point [-]

Thank you for sharing. This seems so obvious, and yet, it has helped me and works wonderfully. I've been able to get started and quite far along the way already (in just a day or so) writing reports that were due months ago and I couldn't have brought myself to work on them even though I find the topic interesting.

Comment author: Divide 04 November 2011 01:23:18PM 12 points [-]

Just took it.

About the probability questions: I thought you were supposed to answer them instantly for your intuitive stance at the moment, without additional research, though I see some of responders apparently did research. Perhaps it should be better specified what is meant.

Comment author: Skatche 24 April 2011 04:11:53AM 1 point [-]

Thanks, that was an awesome read!

I'll attempt a translation. If I'm engaging with the world, then I notice new things about it, or I see things in new ways. For example: once, looking at the sky, I noticed that it was brightest near the horizon and darkest at the zenith. Suddenly I realized the reason: there was more air between me and the horizon than there was between me and the space directly above me. The scene snapped into focus, and I found I could distinctly see the atmosphere as a three-dimensional mass. If I turn my attention inward, on the other hand, I tend to draw connections between pieces of information I already have - suddenly intuiting the behaviour of quantum wave packets, for example, or drawing an analogy between my social networking behaviour and annealing. These two cases are the "dots" and the connections between the dots, respectively.

Information theory generally defines information to be about some event with an uncertain outcome: if you know a coin has been flipped, you will need additional information to determine whether it came up heads or tails. By contrast, if you already know that five coins were flipped and three came up heads, you don't need any additional information to deduce that the number of heads was prime. Anything that you could in principle figure out from the information you've already got isn't treated as new information; In this sense, mathematical truths (connections) are separated from information proper ("dots").

While this separation may be useful for theory, it doesn't capture all aspects of the way we learn and process information. For starters, we're often rather surprised to learn mathematical facts; this is because we need to use physical hardware (our brains) to compute proofs, and we don't know what the outcome of the computation will be. Also, our brains seem to treat things, states, patterns, and pieces of information all in the same way - hence, for example, we can refer to "the economy" as if it were a single thing rather than a complex system of interrelationships; or, going in the opposite direction, we can break down a tree into its component cells and, moreover, recognize each cell as a fantastically complicated system, and so on.

Meanwhile, our ability to draw links between different levels of organization allows us, in particular, to see that certain mathematical patterns are reflected the world around us. Once we've found a model that fits the system, we can make predictions we couldn't make before: the more confident I am, say, that every fifth coin flip will come up as heads, the less information will be conveyed when this does indeed happen. It goes in the other direction too: sometimes we see patterns in nature which point us toward new mathematical understanding. The example I gave was of soliton waves, which you can read about here - even if you have no technical background, I think you'll find the History section enlightening.

For all these reasons, I suspect that a better model of information might loosen the hard distinction that's made between new information and new deductions.

Comment author: Divide 07 May 2011 03:30:46PM 0 points [-]

drawing an analogy between my social networking behaviour and annealing

Could you elaborate on that?

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