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Comment author: Brillyant 20 September 2017 05:35:52PM 0 points [-]

Anyone following the role American football may play in long term brain injuries? Subconcussive hits to the head accumulating to cause problems?

Anyone have thoughts?

Comment author: IlyaShpitser 20 September 2017 05:38:09PM 1 point [-]

Yes, US football and boxing are very bad for the brain. Plenty of evidence.

Comment author: DragonGod 19 September 2017 05:47:13PM 0 points [-]

Every crowd thinks they are such a place where it's actually true.

Some of the extreme sceptics do not believe they are much closer to the truth than anyone else.

Outside view: they are wrong.

There does not exist a group such that consensus of the group is highly correlated with truth? That's quite an extraordinary claim you're making; do you have the appropriate evidence?

Comment author: IlyaShpitser 19 September 2017 09:58:02PM *  0 points [-]

Talking about LW, specifically. Presumably, groups exist that truth-track, for example experts on their area of expertise. LW isn't an expert group.

The prior on LW is the same as on any other place on the internet, it's just a place for folks to gab. If LW were extraordinary, truth-wise, they would be sitting on an enormous pile of utility.

Comment author: DragonGod 19 September 2017 04:46:51PM 0 points [-]

I think Lesswrong might be (or at the very least was once) such a place where this is actually true.

Comment author: IlyaShpitser 19 September 2017 05:37:29PM *  0 points [-]

Every crowd thinks they are such a place where it's actually true. Outside view: they are wrong.

Comment author: DragonGod 19 September 2017 04:03:42PM 0 points [-]

What if the view of the crowd is correlated with quality.

Comment author: IlyaShpitser 19 September 2017 04:33:09PM 1 point [-]

Every crowd thinks so.

Comment author: John_Maxwell_IV 18 September 2017 06:19:19AM 0 points [-]

People game the hell out of citations.

Is there anyone whose makes it their business to guard against this?

Comment author: IlyaShpitser 18 September 2017 11:30:13PM 0 points [-]

Academics make it their business, and they rely on name recognition and social networks.

Comment author: wMattDodd 18 September 2017 07:27:03PM 0 points [-]

Interesting article. I've read some of Dick's works and enjoyed them. I'm not sure I understand the significance to my post, though? My case seems to be the opposite, if anything. Instead of trusting my senses beyond reason, I considered much more likely that my senses (and memories) were compromised and untrustworthy.

Comment author: IlyaShpitser 18 September 2017 07:46:06PM *  0 points [-]

Your title suggests your most likely explanation is sort of like Dick's explanation -- way out there.

Comment author: IlyaShpitser 18 September 2017 05:41:14PM 0 points [-]

Phillip K. Dick thought he saw God (he had a stroke):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Exegesis_of_Philip_K._Dick

Comment author: Kaj_Sotala 18 September 2017 10:40:04AM 0 points [-]

Lots of people with no clue about something aren't going to magically transform into a method for discerning clue regardless of aggregation method -- garbage in garbage out.

I think that's the core of the disagreement: I assume that if the forum is worth reading in the first place, then the average forum user's opinion of a comment's quality tends to correlate with my own. In which case something have lots of upvotes is evidence in favor of me also thinking that it will be a good comment.

This assumption does break down if you assume that the other people have "no clue", but if that's your opinion of a forum's users, then why are you reading that forum in the first place?

Comment author: IlyaShpitser 18 September 2017 01:57:33PM *  2 points [-]

"Clue" is not a total ordering of people from best to worst, it varies from topic to topic.


The other issue to consider is what you view the purpose of a forum is.

Consider a subreddit like TheDonald. Presumably they may use karma to get consensus on what a good comment is, also. But TheDonald is an echo chamber. If your opinions are very correlated with opinions of others in a forum, then naturally you get a number that tells you what everyone agrees is good.

That can be useful, sometimes. But this isn't quality, it's just community consensus, and that can be arbitrarily far off. "Less wrong," as-is-written-on-the-tin is supposedly about something more objective than just coming to a community consensus. You need true signal for that, and karma, being a mirror a community holds to itself, cannot give it to you.


edit: the form of your question is: "if you don't like TheDonald, why are you reading TheDonald?" Is that what you want to be saying?

Comment author: John_Maxwell_IV 18 September 2017 05:10:07AM 2 points [-]

Do you disagree with Kaj that higher-voted comments are consistently more insightful and interesting than low-voted ones?

It sounds like you are making a different point: that no voting system is a substitute for having a smart, well-informed userbase. While that is true, that is also not really the problem that a voting system is trying to solve.

Comment author: IlyaShpitser 18 September 2017 01:55:03PM *  0 points [-]

Sure do. On stuff I know a little about, what gets upvoted is "LW folk wisdom" or perhaps "EY's weird opinions" rather than anything particularly good. That isn't surprising. Karma, being a numerical aggregate of the crowd, is just spitting back a view of the crowd on a topic. That is what karma does -- nothing to do with quality.

Comment author: John_Maxwell_IV 18 September 2017 07:54:42AM 0 points [-]

You really are a "glass half empty" kind of guy aren't you.

Comment author: IlyaShpitser 18 September 2017 01:51:58PM *  3 points [-]

I am not really trying to be negative for the sake of being negative here, I am trying to correctly attribute success to the right thing. People get "halo effect" in their head because "eigenvalues" sound nice and clean.

Reputation systems, though, aren't the type of problem that linear algebra will solve for you. And this isn't too surprising. People are involved with reputation systems, and people are far too complex for linear algebra to model properly.

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