Comment author: 14 August 2012 08:47:25AM 6 points [-]

I'm really excited about software similar to Anki, but with task-specialized user interfaces (vs. self-graded tasks) and better task-selection models (incorporating something like item response theory), ideally to be used for both training and credentialing.

Comment author: 09 July 2012 01:54:55AM 2 points [-]

Does anyone know if the probabilities output by Solomonoff Induction have been proven to converge? There could be as many as O(2^n) hypotheses of length n, each of which get a probability proportional to 2^-n. Once you sum that over all n, it doesn't converge, therefore the probability can't be normalized unless there's some other constraint on the number of hypotheses of length n consistent with the data. Does anyone know of such a constraint?

Comment author: 09 July 2012 02:46:53AM 6 points [-]

No hypothesis is a prefix of another hypothesis.

Comment author: 17 June 2012 08:18:59AM 3 points [-]

What happens when an antineutron interacts with a proton?

In response to comment by on Biased Pandemic
Comment author: 14 March 2012 12:59:13AM *  4 points [-]

I don't know if you've played the game. There are 4 disease, red, blue, yellow and black. "Curing red" doesn't automatically eliminate the disease - it just makes it easier to deal with, and possible to eliminate in the future (and also is part of the win condition).

Treating people who have a disease right now helps them right now. Curing red has only future benefits.

I now realise you might be asking "how does this demonstrate hyperbolic, as opposed to exponential, discounting", which might be a valid point, but hyperbolic discounting does lead to discounting the future too heavily, so the player's choices do sort of make sense.

In response to comment by on Biased Pandemic
Comment author: 14 March 2012 09:19:21AM *  0 points [-]

I now realise you might be asking "how does this demonstrate hyperbolic, as opposed to exponential, discounting", which might be a valid point, but hyperbolic discounting does lead to discounting the future too heavily, so the player's choices do sort of make sense.

That is what I was wondering. Actually, exponential discounting values the (sufficiently distant) future less than hyperbolic discounting. Whether this is too heavy depends on the your parameter (unless you think that any discounting is bad).

In response to Biased Pandemic
Comment author: 13 March 2012 07:40:36PM 0 points [-]

Another player with Hyperbolic Discounting went further: he treated cities, any city near him, while carrying 5 red city cards in his hand and pointing out, in response to entreaties to cure red, that red wasn't much of an issue right now.

How does this demonstrate hyperbolic discounting?

Comment author: 19 December 2011 05:23:27AM -1 points [-]

But there's nothing particularly special about a mosquito. It's still an incorrect application of modus tollens. We have: If something is a vampire, then it is not real. From this, we can infer (from modus tollens) that if something is real, then it is not a vampire. Thus, if a certain mosquito is real, it is not a vampire. However, there is nothing here that justifies the belief that if a certain mosquito is imaginary, then it is a vampire.

Comment author: 19 December 2011 09:29:40AM 2 points [-]

What's special about a mosquito is that it drinks blood.

Phil originally said this:

My point was that vampires were by definition not real - or at least, not understandable - because any time we found something real and understandable that met the definition of a vampire, we would change the definition to exclude it.

Note Phil's use of the word "because" here. Phil is claiming that if vampires weren't unreal-by-definition, then the audience would not have changed their definition whenever provided with a real example of a vampire as defined. It follows that the original definition would have been acceptable had it been augmented with the "not-real" requirement, and so this is the claim I was responding to with the unreal mosquito example.

Comment author: 19 December 2011 04:09:47AM 0 points [-]

His point is that: P(not real | vampire) ~= 1, which is not the same as: "vampire = not real". It's an if-then relationship, not a logical equivalency.

Comment author: 19 December 2011 04:45:06AM *  3 points [-]

I understand that Phil was not suggesting that all non-real things are vampires. That's why my example was a mosquito that isn't real, rather than, say, a Toyota that isn't real.

Comment author: 12 September 2008 01:45:51AM 18 points [-]

Once, in a LARP, I played Isaac Asimov on a panel which was arguing whether vampires were real. It went something like this (modulo my memory): I asked the audience to define "vampire", and they said that vampires were creatures that lived by drinking blood.

I said that mosquitoes were vampires. So they said that vampires were humanoids who lived by drinking blood.

I said that Masai who drank the blood of their cattle were vampires. So they said that vampires were humanoids who lived by drinking blood, and were burned by sunlight.

I (may have) said that a Masai with xeroderma pigmentosum was a vampire. And so on.

My point was that vampires were by definition not real - or at least, not understandable - because any time we found something real and understandable that met the definition of a vampire, we would change the definition to exclude it.

(Strangely, some mythical creatures, such as vampires and unicorns, seem to be defined in a spiritual way; whereas others, such as mermaids and centaurs, do not. A horse genetically engineered to grow a horn would probably not be thought of as a "real" unicorn; a genenged mermaid probably would be admitted to be a "real" mermaid.)

Comment author: 19 December 2011 03:39:41AM 2 points [-]

My point was that vampires were by definition not real

So according to you, a mosquito that isn't real is a vampire?

Comment author: 18 November 2011 12:34:22AM 2 points [-]

Yeah. But thinking about it some more, TKD was probably not the best example - I actually have thought, quite a few times, during fencing that 'man I wish I had faster reflexes, he's ridiculous'. (Weapons are a lot faster than legs.)

Comment author: 18 November 2011 02:54:22AM 2 points [-]

My fencing coach emphasizes modeling your opponent more accurately and setting up situations where you control when stuff happens. Both of these skills can substitute somewhat for having faster reflexes.

Comment author: 17 November 2011 06:49:00PM 5 points [-]

Phenotype screens off genotype, as the genetic saying goes. Infection reduces Openness? Well, do you have some reason to want to increase your Openness? (Are you also looking into acquiring some psilocybin, which might actually be cheaper than treatment if Morendil is generalizable about it taking 'months' ?)

Slower reactions - would that significantly improve your life? I'm a cat person so I may be infected, but I can't say I often think (outside of taekwondo) 'I wish I had 10% faster reflexes!'

The greater jealousy thing may be an issue.

Comment author: 18 November 2011 12:15:38AM 0 points [-]

Sounds like you should do more Tae Kwon Do.

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