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Comment author: Hiding 30 August 2015 04:27:19AM 0 points [-]

Also, if you add in some of the hyper-productive people, like Bach and maybe Noam Chomsky, I think that would skew the results even more. How do you evaluate Bach? He was clearly productive - or does this not count b/c it's in music?

Comment author: PhilGoetz 30 August 2015 03:21:39PM *  1 point [-]

Specifically WRT Bach, he couldn't be used as a datapoint because his fame was not achieved in an environment in which number of publications were counted and used in hiring/promotion decisions, or had any other impact on his success. Bach was before recorded music, so most of his compositions were (I think?) heard once in his life time, by a few people who were not influential. And he didn't achieve fame until later.

Bach also has the complication that his job required him to write new music each week.

Consider Beethoven vs. Mozart. Beethoven is in the "rigorous" camp; he revised for months or years, building complex structures into his music. Mozart was not rigorous. Mozart liked to say that he didn't need to revise; he just sat down and wrote music as it came to him, "like a cow pisses." So how valuable is rigor in music?

Personally, I don't consider Mozart to be on the level of Beethoven. The Mozart that rises to the level of Beethoven, maybe his Requiem, are ones he spent more time on and did revise. (And he wrote only half of the Requieum!) But that's a minority opinion, and I'm not a music scholar at all.

Comment author: entirelyuseless 30 August 2015 01:29:42PM *  1 point [-]

If they actually have no logical basis then it would be hard to expect that they would be better than random.

But a feeling that something is likely true is a logical basis, since it is caused by something, and it could be a reason why someone can make correct judgments at a rate better than random. For example, when I tried calibration games, whenever a binary question came up and I had no knowledge of the topic, I guessed based on what I happened to feel was more likely. So for example if the question was "Did team A or team B win the superbowl in 1984?" I had no knowledge of the answer because I am not interested in sports and pay no attention to them. But one of the team names might have felt slightly more familiar than the other, and so I guessed that name.

Following that policy of following my feelings, I was not able to get less than 60% accuracy on the binary questions that I had no real knowledge about.

Comment author: PhilGoetz 30 August 2015 03:03:42PM *  0 points [-]

That's a wonderful observation. Do you remember how many questions you counted?

But the belief could be said to be "true", if you're strict about what "logical" means. The brain doesn't use logical representations; it uses neural activation patterns, which are non-discrete, and which, unlike signs, exist in a metric space. However it combines these, it does so computationally, which is probably what you and I mean by logically. But in fact no logics that anyone actually uses for any applications have the power of a Turing machine.

In semiotics, they are that strict about what "logical" means. They believe that people think only in words. This is silly to anyone who knows much about biology or neuroscience. But if one believes that, then notes that people know things that can't be represented in the words we have for those concepts--for instance, knowing not just that they feel hot or cold, but how hot or how cold they are--one would have to call it extra-logical.

Comment author: Vaniver 29 August 2015 02:06:12PM 2 points [-]

When the federal government did a background check on me, they asked me for a list of references to contact. My uncertain recollection is that they ignored it and interviewed my neighbors and other contacts instead, as if what I had given them was a list of people not to bother contacting because they'd only say good things about me.

I've been contacted twice for friends' security clearances, which is similar but probably more likely that the due diligence is actually done (and it actually matters).

Comment author: PhilGoetz 29 August 2015 05:38:19PM 0 points [-]

But were they the people you listed on the SF-171?

Comment author: ChristianKl 29 August 2015 03:52:03PM 0 points [-]

He said other things as well, but they're called structuralism rather than semiotics, I think.

According to Wikipedia Structuralism is a subtopic of Semiotics.

However, so far I don't see that Saussure added anything to the notion of intensional representation developed by Frege, Church, and Carnap by 1947, and he had none of their logical rigor.

It seems like Saussure died in 1913. As such he couldn't really add something to Frege/Church/Carnap but rather presed them.

Comment author: PhilGoetz 29 August 2015 05:36:48PM 0 points [-]

Sorry, what I meant was that there isn't much to gain from his thoughts on the matter, because someone else did it more thoroughly, later, independently. Though Saussure's formulation is much simpler and easier to understand.

Comment author: Hiding 29 August 2015 12:51:00AM 1 point [-]

Since the best you can show with this is a loose correlation, you're going to run into troubles across different fields. For example, the Intelligent Design people aren't rigorous in their methodologies and don't produce a lot of academic writing. So they don't fit your model. Maybe if you add all non-academic sources, like the propaganda they produce?

Comment author: PhilGoetz 29 August 2015 03:40:20AM 1 point [-]

Yes, and Zizek has also made movies. Wittgenstein never published anything but his dissertation, but left 20,000 pages of manuscripts behind. Some people are known largely thru the publication of notes taken by students. There are many difficulties.

Just figuring out how much time a person had to write seems pretty important. Einstein was at the Princeton institute for advanced studies, so he had no teaching duties. Nietzsche was sick a lot of the time. Wittgenstein spent years working as a gardener.

Number of journals in a field is also probably important. Reputation of journals may or may not be worth factoring in. And now we have blog posts to count.

Comment author: PhilGoetz 29 August 2015 03:18:11AM *  4 points [-]

Another update:

It seems the semiotician I spoke to had some ontology in mind that most famous semioticians don't use.

A/The key foundational figure in semiotics was Saussure. His most-cited contribution was to say that words did not operate by referring to things in the world, but to concepts in the mind. He said other things as well, but they're called structuralism rather than semiotics, I think.

In other words, he proposed that language uses intensional rather than extensional representations.

This is a crucial insight for logic, philosophy, linguistics, and artificial intelligence. However, so far I don't see that Saussure added anything to the notion of intensional representation developed by Frege, Church, and Carnap by 1947, and he had none of their logical rigor.

Saussure seems to have developed the concept independently around 1907. Somehow, despite his fame, his ideas seems not to have been referenced in the development of intensional logic in the decades after his death.

Comment author: TheMajor 28 August 2015 09:54:17PM *  1 point [-]

The parent argument proves too much, I think. Try adding the following, for example:

Since any communication can be described as the transmission of information, and, in order to be transmitted, this information must exist, any formal system of semiotics (providing it exists) can be encompassed by a larger formal system of physics. Taken together with the earlier observation (about the triviality of semiotics) we conclude that any formal explanation of physics must be trivial and/or incomplete.

I think the moral of the story is that one should not attempt to invoke Gödels Incompleteness Theorem in Social Science.

Comment author: PhilGoetz 29 August 2015 12:27:03AM *  2 points [-]

I think the parent argument is saying that a social science should not claim it supersedes logic.

Also, I'm afraid we may both be doing semiotics.

Comment author: Lumifer 28 August 2015 03:21:57PM 2 points [-]

If someone posts 100 random Wikipedia articles in the belief that this provides insight, they should be downvoted.

Yes, but not necessarily by one person.

Comment author: PhilGoetz 29 August 2015 12:23:45AM 0 points [-]

I think you may be using different definitions of "mass downvoting". I think Jiro means downvoting many of one user's comments with just one account. I think several people have "mass-downvoted" Clarity this week, but nobody complained.

Comment author: iceman 21 August 2015 10:48:52PM -2 points [-]

I am going to publicly call for banning user VoiceOfRa [...] VoiceOfRa almost certainly downvote bombed the user who made the grandparent comment, including downvoting some very uncontroversial and reasonable comments.

Consequentially...why bother even if this is true?

Assuming you are correct, Eugene's response to being banned (twice!) was to just make another account. It's highly likely that if you ban this new account, he will make a fourth account. That account will quickly quickly gain karma because, as you note, Eugene's comments are actually valuable. You are proposing that we do the same thing a third time and expect a different result.

Possible actual solutions that are way too much work:

  • move LW on to an Omnilibrium like system of voting where Eugene's votes will put him strongly into the optimate cluster and won't hurt as much.

  • give up on moderation democracy on the web.

Comment author: PhilGoetz 29 August 2015 12:19:51AM 1 point [-]

How does Omnilibrium voting work?

Comment author: hairyfigment 22 August 2015 05:57:38PM 4 points [-]

It is clearly the same person. And yes, he's actively trying to drive away people for disagreeing with his politics (and/or correctly predicting the presence of neo-reactionaries in a conversation, based on past experience). He also seems to use multiple sockpuppets for upvotes, although I suppose lots of people could just be functionally illiterate.

Giving him a "second" chance seems like a clear failure at reflective decision theory. The punishment should discourage the crime, not just stop the crime. So far it's done neither.

No doubt Nier believes the whole "Cathedral" has defected against him - but unless you think he started out responding to some credible abuse on LW, I really don't care. His beliefs are not Bayesian evidence.

Comment author: PhilGoetz 29 August 2015 12:18:40AM 1 point [-]

Why is it clearly the same person?

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