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Comment author: Good_Burning_Plastic 23 August 2015 04:31:31PM 0 points [-]

Well, where would you guess a larger fraction of people to be openly homosexual, in New England or in Appalachia? In which of the two would you guess more people go to college?

Comment author: Stephen_Cole 24 August 2015 11:44:51AM 0 points [-]

This is not evidence, this is opinion. Granted, good evidence on these points is hard to come by. But treating opinion like fact is detrimental to communication.

Seems my opinions differ from yours. We have different utility functions with respect to these issues. You get yours, I get mine. On any joint decision for a shared utility we each get weight 1/n.

I pose we should spend our time/resources not arguing about our utilities, but collecting high-quality evidence to improve the probability portions of our MEU.

Comment author: Lumifer 22 August 2015 04:34:47PM 3 points [-]

The accusation is not of sockpuppetry, the accusation is that VoiceOfRa downvotes comments regardless of their content as a "punishment" for the poster. It's still one vote, but some people feel it's... misused.

Comment author: Stephen_Cole 22 August 2015 04:40:19PM 1 point [-]

Thanks, I see. But how does one decide whether someone believes something about the comment, or is just punishing generally? I guess we might require a comment if there is a down vote? Or the moderators could look at voting patterns overall, or in special cases where attention has been called. I am new to LW so I have little sense of context.

Comment author: arundelo 22 August 2015 02:59:40PM 2 points [-]

Fixed Jaynes link (no trailing period).

Comment author: Stephen_Cole 22 August 2015 03:17:11PM 0 points [-]

Oops. Thanks for the fix!

Comment author: VoiceOfRa 22 August 2015 05:53:30AM *  2 points [-]

Well, lesbians certainly seem to be disproportionately represented among women with scholarly inclinations.

Edit: and an even higher proportion of women who stay single.

Comment author: Stephen_Cole 22 August 2015 01:16:47PM 2 points [-]

Source? Or just your n = 1 observation?

Comment author: IlyaShpitser 10 August 2015 07:09:49PM *  1 point [-]

No, not quite. Counterfactual consistency is what allows you to link observed and hypothetical data (so it is also extremely important). Counterfactual definiteness is even more basic than that. It basically sets the size of your ontology by allowing you to talk about Y(a) and Y(a') together, even if we only observe Y under one value of A.

edit: Stephen, I think I realized who you are, please accept my apologies if I seemed to be talking down to you, re: potential outcomes, that was not my intention. My prior is people do not know what potential outcomes are.

edit 2: Good talks by Richard Gill and Jamie Robins at JSM on this:


Comment author: Stephen_Cole 22 August 2015 01:09:36PM 0 points [-]

No offense taken. I am sorry I did not get to see Gill & Robins at JSM. Jamie also talks about some of these issues online back in 2013 at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjcoJ0gC_po

Comment author: Anders_H 21 August 2015 08:12:15PM *  12 points [-]

I am going to publicly call for banning user VoiceOfRa for the following reasons:

(1) VoiceOfRa is almost certainly the same person as Eugene_Nier and Azathoth123. This is well known in rationality circles; many of us have been willing to give him a second chance under a new username because he usually makes valuable contributions.

(2) VoiceOfRa almost certainly downvote bombed the user who made the grandparent comment, including downvoting some very uncontroversial and reasonable comments.

(3) As I have said before in this context, downvote abuse is very clear evidence of being mindkilled. It is also a surefire way to ensure you never change your mind, because you discourage people who disagree with you from taking part in the discussion and therefore prohibit yourself from updating on their information. I do not understand how someone who genuinely believes in epistemic rationality could think this is a good strategy.

I will also note that I was the first person to publicly call out Eugine_Nier under his previous username, Azathoth123, at http://lesswrong.com/lw/l0g/link_quotasmicroaggressionandmeritocracy/bd4o . Like I said in that comment, I continue to believe he is a valuable contributor to the community. Like many other people, I have been willing to give him a second chance under his new username. However, this was conditional on completely ceasing and desisting with the downvote abuse. And yes, any downvoting of old comments made in a different context is a clear example of abuse.

The following links provide background material for readers who are unfamiliar with Eugine_Nier and the context in which I am requesting a ban:

http://lesswrong.com/r/discussion/lw/kbk/meta_policy_for_dealing_with_users/ http://lesswrong.com/lw/kfq/moderator_action_eugine_nier_is_now_banned_for/ http://lesswrong.com/lw/ld0/psa_eugine_nier_evading_ban/

Edited to add: If I see clear evidence that VoiceOfRa is not Eugine_Nier, or that he was not behind the most recent downvote abuse, I will retract this message and publicly apologize

Comment author: Stephen_Cole 22 August 2015 04:27:27AM 1 point [-]

I think people should vote how they believe, up or down. But I feel very strongly that we should each have 1 vote.

Comment author: VoiceOfRa 17 August 2015 05:02:19AM *  4 points [-]

He seemed like a misogynist asshole

Care to define "misogynist asshole". These days it seems to mean "someone who believes there are behavioral differences between men and women and takes these differences seriously". Of course these beliefs appear to be true, or at least well supported by evidence. So the term ultimately seems to cash out as "someone who has a certain class of (true) beliefs that I don't like". If you meant something else by the term please specify and keep in mind you're using it in a way that is highly likely to be misunderstood.

Comment author: Stephen_Cole 22 August 2015 04:25:31AM 1 point [-]

Rather than define it, here is a (purported, I don't recall this one from Beyond Good and Evil) quote:

When a woman has scholarly inclinations there is usually something wrong with her sexuality. – Friedrich Nietzsche

Comment author: [deleted] 14 August 2015 11:52:54PM -1 points [-]

I get your point that we can have greater belief in logical and mathematical knowledge.

That wasn't quite my point. As a simple matter of axioms, if you condition on the formal system, a proven theorem has likelihood 1.0. Since all theorems are ultimately hypothetical statements anyway, conditioned on the usefulness of the underlying formal system rather than a Platonic "truth", once a theorem is proved, it can be genuinely said to have probability 1.0.

In response to comment by [deleted] on Open thread, Aug. 10 - Aug. 16, 2015
Comment author: Stephen_Cole 22 August 2015 04:13:59AM 0 points [-]

I will assume by likelihood you meant probability. I think you have removed by concern by conditioning on it. The theorem has probability 1, in your formal system. For me that is not probability 1, I don't give any formal system full control of my beliefs/probabilities.

Of course, I believe arithmetic with probability approaching 1. For now.

Comment author: Regex 21 August 2015 08:24:39AM 1 point [-]

That seems a solid enough explanation, but how can something of probability zero have a chance to occur? How then do you represent an impossible outcome? It seems like otherwise 'zero' is equivalent to 'absurdly low'. That doesn't quite jive with my understanding.

Comment author: Stephen_Cole 22 August 2015 12:07:25AM 1 point [-]

I think one of the clearest expositions on these issues is ET Jaynes. The first three chapters (which is some of the relevant part) can be found at http://bayes.wustl.edu/etj/prob/book.pdf.

Comment author: 27chaos 06 August 2015 07:19:28PM 6 points [-]

The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die. As well the minds which are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be mind.

Nietzsche in Daybreak: Reflections on Moral Prejudice.


I wasn't aware of this quote at the time, but similar views were influential in my deconversion from Christianity. I decided that if I believed in God, that meant I needn't be afraid to subject that belief to fair tests of evidence or argumentation. In hindsight, I'm very grateful this was my view, unlike so many others I was lucky enough to avoid getting stuck in a stagnated belief system.

I now try to randomly change my priors every now and then, to the extent that I am able. I figure that either they'll repair themselves over time, or they weren't worth having in the first place. This means that I am less likely to get trapped in models at local maxima or to become stuck within any biasing cognitive finger traps. In addition to its utility as a tool, this emotionally involves a quite enjoyable sense of freedom for me. I don't have to be afraid of losing the truth, because reality is consilient. I highly recommend this technique for everyone here.

Comment author: Stephen_Cole 16 August 2015 07:29:40PM -1 points [-]

Have you read Nietzsche? I read Beyond Good and Evil. He seemed like a misogynist asshole, but perhaps just a product if his time.

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