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Comment author: John_Maxwell 05 March 2009 09:14:37PM 0 points [-]

How are you and Robin going to decide whether a post is more appropriate for Less Wrong or Overcoming Bias?

Comment author: John_Maxwell 26 February 2009 05:36:03AM 3 points [-]

Eliezer does a good job of explaining a mechanism by which two investments with negatively correlated returns can switch to having positively correlated returns. But he doesn't do a good job of convincing me that a stock's price has a tendency to go down when it has just gone up, and vice versa.

I can think of an argument against this position. It seems plausible that stock traders see the past movement of a stock as an indicator of it's future movement. If a majority of traders share this belief, this will compel them to buy the stock from those who don't, inflating it's value and reinforcing the cycle. This would indicate that markets are inductive, which is the opposite of what the title suggests.

Comment author: John_Maxwell 26 February 2009 02:08:47AM 0 points [-]

Seconding Psy-Kosh in being confused & unconvinced.

Comment author: John_Maxwell 21 February 2009 02:13:33AM 0 points [-]

OK, I get it.

Comment author: John_Maxwell 21 February 2009 01:46:33AM 1 point [-]

Paolo Freire said, "Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral."

If the outcome of their conflict is not being affected by your existence, it can be said that you are neutral. If you disagree with me, I would be interested to hear what definition of "neutral" you are using.

In response to OB Status Update
Comment author: John_Maxwell 28 January 2009 12:25:17AM 0 points [-]

>A completely unbiased user culture would view anything that was posted (or not posted) as equally valuable. What use is that?

I think your definition of "unbiased" resides on the opposite side of the galaxy from mine.

I also like Daniel Franke's idea.

In response to OB Status Update
Comment author: John_Maxwell 28 January 2009 12:19:33AM 0 points [-]

>Once the initial site is up and running, the next items on the agenda include much better support for reading through sequences. And I'll organize more of my old posts (and perhaps some of Robin's) into sequences.

Great! This is an excellent excuse to further put off my sequence-reading!

In response to Harmful Options
Comment author: John_Maxwell 25 December 2008 10:06:49PM 0 points [-]

Barry Schwartz's The Paradox of Choice - which I haven't read, though I've read some of the research behind it

Yay, a book I've read that Eliezer hasn't! That said, I don't actually recommend it; it was kinda tedious and repetitive.

In response to Thanksgiving Prayer
Comment author: John_Maxwell 30 November 2008 05:06:47AM 0 points [-]

To a degree, it is useful to value truth over happiness in each of the occupations you mention. But humans have the ability to restrict their critical analysis to certain domains. Allow me to rewrite my comment:

>As a firm atheist, I am fully open to the possibility that much of the world should stay religious, unless they're doing some sort of important work that's tangentially related to the question of God's existence (like studying humanity's origins), or they are doing some sort of work that requires them to make sure they don't compartmentalize their critical analysis.

In response to Thanksgiving Prayer
Comment author: John_Maxwell 30 November 2008 02:58:59AM 0 points [-]

@billswift:

The obviously religious ones like Abigail and Richard aren't really worth responding to except with general disdain.

Unless you care about atheism's reputation.

The fact is that religious belief, if fully attained, can be an enormously useful psychological crutch. As a firm atheist, I am fully open to the possibility that much of the world should stay religious, unless they're doing some sort of important work that necessitates them to value truth over happiness.

And if you decide that someone would be better off as an atheist, you shouldn't try to grab their psychological crutch all at once. They'll just grip tighter.

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