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In response to Lawful Uncertainty
Comment author: Paul_Ogryzek 14 November 2008 05:06:10AM 0 points [-]

Just to clarify the utility of randomness issue, I think what some respondents are talking about is the benefit of unpredictablility, which is instrumental when playing a game against a live opponent. This is totally different from randomizing. I also don't think that saying that ants "randomly" search for food is the most accurate way to describe their process. So randomness, in its strict interpretation, is never optimal game strategy. Another thought I had is that there are some circumstances in which it would make sense to change one's prediction to red. If you had a good idea how many total cards were left and had the knowledge that blue cards had significantly over-represented themselves (50 total cards, 30 already flipped, all blue), it would lead to the conclusion that over half of the remaining cards would be red. Such a circumstance could lead to a higher than 70% success rate.

In response to Belief in Belief
Comment author: Paul_Ogryzek 14 November 2008 04:34:28AM 3 points [-]

I've always thought that the idea of "believing in" things was very curious. This is a very thought-provoking article. Every time I engage a debate about this subject (the relevance or usefulness of beliefs) someone is sure to say something about beliefs existing for the benefit of the believer. My feeling is that with most beliefs and with most believers, there is an internal acknowledgement of the falsifiablity of their belief which is outweighed by the perception that some benefit is derived from the belief. What I interpret from this is that most believers subtley admit their own practice of belief in belief. I also feel that even the idea of whether or not one believes in believing in belief can enter the mind of the mundane thinker at such an admission.

Comment author: Paul_Ogryzek 14 November 2008 03:52:58AM 1 point [-]

This may be worth pointing out. If you know of one person who is a perfectionist and others who aren't, you may have the tendency of thinking that the perfectionistic person is unhappy due to their perfectionism. In reality the person may be unhappy for other or diverse reasons, and you're projecting the perfectionism as the reason because you perceive that you would be unhappy if you had such a level of self-analysis. You may have also been right that this person is unhappy to a significant degree from the perfectionism, but that doesn't necessarily mean that being less perfectionistic would help them. They may be equally miserable and come to find out that they needed to manage their high drives better. The conclusion to all of this is that it is irrelevent to comment upon the causal relationship between level of perfectionism and level of happiness in other people, especially since these ideas are gross oversimplifications of the concepts they represent. Having said all of that, I would like to add my two cents that I think there is a strong determinant of how satisfied we are with our existence coming from how we evaluate ourselves compared to others. Along that thinking, if a person wants to be happier, he or she should try to find ways to surpass others in all ways. The article astutely points out that there is an egalitarian bias against this desire and I would point out that this bias has been on the rise over the last ten years. Never have I seen a time that it was considered as undesirable to dominate others and have them know that you are better than them. That's what human life is really all about.