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Comment author: a_soulless_automaton 25 April 2009 11:56:34PM 0 points [-]

Hal, sorting by "popular" doesn't seem to do what you think it does (what it actually does I can't figure out). Sort by "Top" to get ordered by score.

Also, anecdotally, I can tell the difference between "agree" and "high quality" to some extent. I've up-voted several comments I disagreed with because I thought they presented their idea well.

Comment author: a_soulless_automaton 25 April 2009 05:17:16PM 3 points [-]

The general rule in groups with reasonably intelligent discussion and community moderation, once a community consensus is reached on a topic, is that:

  1. Agreement with consensus, well articulated, will be voted up strongly
  2. Disagreement with consensus, well articulated, will be voted up and start a lengthy discussion
  3. Agreement with consensus, expressed poorly, will be voted up weakly or ignored
  4. Disagreement with consensus, expressed poorly, will be voted down viciously

People who complain about groupthink are typically in the habit of doing #4 and then getting upset because they don't get easy validation of their opinions the way people who agree inarticulately do.

As an example on LW, consider Annoyance, who does both #2 and #4 with some regularity and gets wildly varying comment scores because of it.

In response to Wrong Tomorrow
Comment author: a_soulless_automaton 02 April 2009 07:27:22PM 0 points [-]

I agree, it would be interesting to have more results than just right vs. wrong.

Exempli gratia, with Scoble, one prediction was arguably half-right (minus the stylus pen, the iPhone essentially qualifies), one that was correct at a later date (as Joe said), one that is marked correct already (RSS becoming mainstream), and one that is simply wrong (re: friendfeed).

I also agree that selection bias could skew results badly, but the idea overall is excellent.

Also, props for the disclaimer on the page! "Past performance is no guarantee of future results." Almost hofstadterian levels of indirect self-reference.

In response to Formative Youth
Comment author: a_soulless_automaton 25 February 2009 12:39:46AM 0 points [-]

This probably cuts both ways, actually; the other common reaction is wholesale rejection of childhood experience and values, especially if it causes too much inconvenience or cognitive dissonance later in life. e.g., how many people with strong political opinions hold them because their parents held equally strong, opposed views?

Anecdotally speaking it seems to me that, for instance, more staunch atheists come from conservative/very orthodox/fundamentalist religious households than one would reasonably expect from chance; whereas children of, say, the type of Christians who only think about God on Christmas and Easter tend to pretty reliably be "Holiday-only Christians" as well.

Comment author: a_soulless_automaton 25 February 2009 12:28:00AM 5 points [-]

Zargon, I think the time given was how long it would take from beginning the feedback loop to the actual supernova, and they began the process the moment they arrived. If they could have destroyed the star immediately, they would have done so, but with the delay they encouraged as many people as possible to flee.

At least, that's how it sounded to me.

In response to Wise Pretensions v.0
Comment author: a_soulless_automaton 20 February 2009 06:16:06PM 3 points [-]

This comparison brings to mind a possible... experiment, of sorts. Create two blogs, anonymously, and otherwise unconnected to one's prior writings. Prepare a series of posts, communicating the same concepts, with different degrees of emotion, rhetorical flourish, and eloquence. Promote the two blogs in an identical manner, but never in the same place as each other.

Then, at the end of some length of time, one could compare metrics, such as number of readers and comments left, frequency of agreement/disagreement in comments, or possibly degree of communication accuracy through some means (soliciting guest posts on the blog's theme, degree of comprehension in comments, &c.?)

What might the results of such an experiment be? I suspect the consensus here would be to expect that the "flashier" blog would get more readers, comments, and agreement, but a lower median comprehension level.

In response to Against Maturity
Comment author: a_soulless_automaton 20 February 2009 05:50:07PM 1 point [-]

" Certainly arrogance does not help in overcoming bias."

On the contrary; when dealing with deep-seated, common, and possibly hard-wired cognitive biases, I'd say it actually requires a certain degree of hubris to even consider attempting to overcome such.

In response to Against Maturity
Comment author: a_soulless_automaton 19 February 2009 12:43:56AM 6 points [-]

Good heavens, Eliezer. Rationality is Serious Business. Grow up and stop acting like you... enjoy it or something!

Comment author: a_soulless_automaton 16 February 2009 12:17:20AM 1 point [-]

I'm pretty sure Eliezer is familiar with 4chan, given his explicit reference to it a couple weeks ago...

The weird hive mind culture and memetic cesspit that is /b/ is actually interesting as well, in its own way, if one can tolerate looking at it (I heard that "lieking mudkipz" helps).

Comment author: a_soulless_automaton 15 February 2009 03:18:54PM 0 points [-]

That's a bit too strong, I think.

I am my mind, of course. My body is just a convenient support system for the mind. But I'm not indifferent to it, much as I am not indifferent to the computer I am typing this post on--it's a useful tool, to which I hold a certain sentimental attachment, and with which my mind can accomplish things.

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