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Comment author: Jonnan 21 April 2011 11:53:01PM *  1 point [-]

This is one of those philosophical arguments where the premise is so absurdist as to make it impossible to take seriously, but at the end of the day I'm far less inclined to kowtow to the British example than the Islam.

Restricting an image is, at it's heart, restricting thought. Restricting nerve impulses and the way they interact with the brain. The Islam restriction is, to an extent, silly in this day and age - there are no pictures of Mohammed, therefore there can be no pictures of Mohammad; You can't commit that 'sin' anymore than you can commit the sin of operating heavy machinery while deceased.

Unless I go to the trouble of labelling, you can't even know I tried


/|\ <-- May or may not be Stick Man representation of Mohammad in XKCD

/ \

We obtain data from pictures, and the blow to nature photographers, is hardly the issue. Think about the problems regarding ecologists, wildlife preservationists, biologists, fisherman, et al.

As a matter which impinges upon no impulse to do so past contrarily labeling stickmen, of course I can politely consent not to draw Mohammed. Not photographing Salmon causes active harm.


In response to Learned Blankness
Comment author: Jonnan 21 April 2011 11:09:51PM -2 points [-]

A lot of the 'learned blankness' or black box problem (I prefer that) seems to me to be directly related to how afraid someone is of feeling (or worse, looking) stupid.

There are exceptions of course, but by and large the people that seem to hit that wall (or, at least have a higher than average number of those walls to hit) are people that were told over and over that they're dumb, or that pursuing 'X' is dumb.

And - they become that, or at least an unreasonable facsimile thereof. Within the realm of their expertise it's very obvious they're highly intelligent, but they either assume they are just as much an authority in unrelated realms without actually educating themselves in that realm, or they get out of their comfort zone and they stop - two divergent attempts to attempt to avoid looking dumb.

I'm convinced the average IQ is actually 300+ and we simply evoke it more and more as we're less and less afraid of feeling stupid.


Comment author: Jonnan 11 July 2009 03:32:55AM 1 point [-]

The one thing that stands out for me in this is that it seems to go from the same "figures don't lie but liars sure can figure" assumption that NTL is much easier fool people with than making stuff up.

But, in my experience, that's not true. There are indicators when someone is NTL, versus actually being honest, just as I've noticed over the years that there are indications when a statistic is being taken out of context.

Most forms of deceit are either very short term, or fall quite rapidly to logic of the form "If this is true as it stands, what else would that imply?"

And maybe that's my advantage - I'm not entirely sure I consider myself all that principled a person as such, I simply noticed at a very young age that deception doesn't actually work all that well. Simpler to convince people you are right because you're actually right and can tell people why.

In response to What's In A Name?
Comment author: Jonnan 30 June 2009 09:40:10AM 5 points [-]

But you've missed the most important point!

It means that the comic book tendency to get super-powers coincidentally related to your real name actually works!

Now if only I can figure out a superpower related to the name Jonnan, I can figure out what kind of radioactive bug to be bit by?


Comment author: JGWeissman 22 May 2009 11:48:46PM 1 point [-]

Evil Mirror JGWeissman asserts that you have committed the Correspondence Bias, though he offers no explanation, because he can't, as you have not even talked about the relative effects of circumstances and personality on a person's behavior.

But if you believe that his commission of the Catchy Fallacy Name Fallacy is a special case of Equivocation, then what two different but accurate definitions is he equivocating?

Comment author: Jonnan 23 May 2009 03:53:36AM 0 points [-]

I'm not entirely sure I understand your Correspondence Bias assertion, since I have made no actual assertions regarding whether the use of such vague definitions implied anything about someones personality. I certainly have my opinions on such, but they are irrelevant to the topic on hand.

That said - I'm not certain that what I title the Humpty Dumpty fallacy is a special case of Equivocation. Equivocation is typically defined as using two accurate definition as if they are interchangable, while Humpty Dumpty tends to use an inaccurate or vague definition as if it were perfectly interchangeable with the accurate and agreed upon definition.

They are obvious close relations, and I think there is a strong case to be made for it, but that is the difference between "Seems to Me" that such is the case and "Is" the case - I was merely putting it forward for consideration.

Please say Hi to Bizarro Jonnan for me, and tell him me hates him so much.

Thank - Jonnan

Comment author: Jonnan 22 May 2009 11:00:43PM *  0 points [-]

My personal definition for the general case of that is the 'Humpty Dumpty Fallacy' from Alice in Wonderland

'And only ONE for birthday presents, you know. There's glory for you!' I don't know what you mean by "glory,"' Alice said. Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. 'Of course you don't—till I tell you. I meant "there's a nice knock-down argument for you!"' 'But "glory" doesn't mean "a nice knock-down argument,"' Alice objected. 'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.'

Catchy Fallacy name fallacy seems to me to be a special case of that, which is in turn (to My mind) a special case of Equivocation (Using two different but accurate definitions as if they were identical). Except of course in Humpty Dumpty you're using an inaccurate or vaguely defined definition, rather than an accurate one.

Just a thought - Jonnan

Edit: I once heard the same thought called, in quite formal tone, "The Spaniards Observation" in reference to The Princess Bride -

Inigo Montoya: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

just so.

Comment author: Jonnan 19 May 2009 03:00:52AM 0 points [-]

I do not always agree with Kant, but his advice re (loose translation) "Act as if you were the leader of the world and everyone would copy their actions based on yours" has seemed to me to be good advice over the years.

Plus I get to pretend I run the world, instead of that cabal of unseen shadow-puppeteers secretly manipulating things from behind the scenes - I HATE them. HATE THEM HATE THEM HATE THEM . . . umm, have you read my resume yet?


Comment author: Cameron_Taylor 08 May 2009 04:45:01AM 2 points [-]

So I'm making a modest proposal. If you invent an interesting decision problem, please, first model it as a parlor game between normal people with stakes of around ten dollars. If the attempt fails, you have acquired a bit of information about your concoction; don't ignore it outright.

Absolutely not. If I want to play parlor games for stakes around ten dollars I'll do that at home. But that's not what I'm here for. Questions such as "How long do you wait before giving up (on the flakey date)?" are simply not best answered by the types of thinking we are trying to train here. They are best answered by embracing the dark side with both hands and following our social instincts and conditioning.

Comment author: Jonnan 15 May 2009 01:21:34AM 0 points [-]

If Bayesian rational thought is not the best answer for questions such as "How long do you wait before giving up (on the flakey date)?", then training oneself to think in those terms is training oneself to use a sub-optimal strategy for the real world.

The entire point, to me to using rational thought is because I believe rational thought is an optimal strategy. If it's not, why would you do it?

I would prefer a parlor game for $10 any day - {G}


In response to comment by JamesAndrix on Survey Results
Comment author: MichaelHoward 13 May 2009 09:05:38PM 1 point [-]

This wired article may interest you.

Comment author: Jonnan 15 May 2009 12:22:55AM 1 point [-]

Amusing article - I can't quite get my mind around feeling that way abuoy quake, but I'll cop to dreaming about Tetris when I was younger - <G>.


Comment author: Jonnan 05 May 2009 02:13:06AM *  2 points [-]

Looking at the original 'Allais Paradox' post - under what theorem is the reduction of uncertainty by 100% equivalent to the reduction of uncertainty by 1/67th?

It takes energy to plan ahead - the energy required to plan ahead with 100% certainty of outcome is considerably more than the energy required to plan ahead with 99% certainty. But there's no such difference in energy consumption planning between the possibilities inherent in 67% and 66% - those are functionally equivalent.

So, um, why is this result even slightly surprising?

Edit: - Now, what would be interesting would be the question of the decisions made if the options are $24K with 94% probability to $27K with 93% probability, and variants thereof where the reduction in uncertainty exactly balances out the increase in value.

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