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Comment author: wedrifid 04 October 2013 10:22:01PM *  1 point [-]

It goes against the spirit of "15 words" to insist on strict truth.

I would suggest that it goes against the spirit of Judea Pearl's Causality to say things that are false or misleading.

Do note that I actually support the example, despite the problems. I expect that the surrounding context in Pearl's work more than adequately explains the relevant details. What I would object to is any attempt to suppress discussion of the limitations of such claims---so if it was the case that the "spirit of '15 words'" discourages discussion and clarification then I would reject it as inappropriate on this site.

In response to comment by wedrifid on The best 15 words
Comment author: apophenia 10 October 2013 06:48:33AM *  1 point [-]

"15 words" is a secretly a verb rather than a noun. I definitely think discussion and clarification is good, although in this particular thread I'm sad to some people engaging solely in that and missing an opportunity to try out the exercise instead.

In response to The best 15 words
Comment author: Ishaan 04 October 2013 11:58:44AM *  0 points [-]

Hehe...here's a controversial one.

The process and the consequences of fighting oppressive heirarchies are worse the heirarchies themselves - my take on Mencius Moldbug.

I don't really agree. But I've tried pretty hard to wrap my head around his ideology (he's incredibly long winded) and this is what I got from it. If I had to add a second sentence, it would be this:

"Progressive culture seduces intellectual elites and redirects their power to destructive, unreflective, self-righteous reformation."

..."This reformation inevitably strengthens the Progressive ideology and institutions, resulting in an invisible feedback cycle of power".

If there are any actual formalists reading this thread, I'd like to see one of them condense the main point into a supershort string like this, because it's really long...

In response to comment by Ishaan on The best 15 words
Comment author: apophenia 06 October 2013 09:36:44PM *  1 point [-]

Adding a note because I said "quotes don't belong in this thread" elsewhere. However, this quote belongs in this thread, because

I've tried pretty hard to wrap my head around his ideology (he's incredibly long winded) and this is what I got from it

In response to The best 15 words
Comment author: shminux 03 October 2013 03:12:13PM 5 points [-]

Neat. It would be nice to describe this site in a dozen or so words and put this description on the front page.

In response to comment by shminux on The best 15 words
Comment author: apophenia 06 October 2013 09:34:49PM 0 points [-]

That would be great, but it would be more in the keeping of this thread to try and condense some section of this site to a dozen or so words. (Not leaving in everything, of course)

In response to The best 15 words
Comment author: Lumifer 04 October 2013 03:59:18PM 8 points [-]

I feel this quote belongs in this thread.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." -- H.L.Mencken

In response to comment by Lumifer on The best 15 words
Comment author: apophenia 06 October 2013 09:11:02PM 3 points [-]

No, quotes don't belong in this thread, your intuition is wrong. This thread is about something closer to learning how to speak in original quotes.

In response to The best 15 words
Comment author: efim 03 October 2013 06:04:49PM 8 points [-]

Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene

Without the [view of life from gene perspective] there is no particular reason why an organism should 'care' about its reproductive success and that of its relatives, rather than, for instance, its own longevity

In response to comment by efim on The best 15 words
Comment author: apophenia 03 October 2013 08:24:10PM 0 points [-]

Great subset to have picked! Are there ways to shorten this style-wise or throw out technical vocabulary to make it accessible? Is some part of it less important than others, so that you can throw out ideas as well?

In response to The best 15 words
Comment author: Dorikka 03 October 2013 01:47:43PM *  12 points [-]

Belongs in Discussion IMO

In response to comment by Dorikka on The best 15 words
Comment author: apophenia 03 October 2013 08:21:40PM 4 points [-]

Could you break down that intuition? Why?

If you think that because it's short, I STRONGLY disagree--value added is not proportional to length.

If you think that because it's an exercise, I disagree, although that's a stronger case. We happen to be doing original research in exercise form, and evidence shows exercises work better than academic articles.

If you think that for some other reason, or something like the above but not quite, I'd love to hear it!

In response to comment by wedrifid on The best 15 words
Comment author: paulfchristiano 03 October 2013 05:30:26PM 5 points [-]

To the mathematicians, correlation is a statement about random variables, and not the same as empirical correlation (which is a statement about samples, and might be spurious).

Of course the world isn't made of random variables, but only in the same sense that the world isn't made of causal models. They are models, and "correlation" and "causation" are features of the model which don't exist in the real world. In a causal model, correlation implies causation (somewhere).

Comment author: apophenia 03 October 2013 08:18:49PM *  -2 points [-]

thanks, this is exactly the case. a better objection is, it's not strictly true because things can be some complex net of the above cases, and it doesn't always break down into one of the four, but that doesn't fit in "15" words, and it's less important

edit: also it's possible in rare cases for things to be uncorrelated but causally connected

In response to The best 15 words
Comment author: apophenia 03 October 2013 09:11:57AM *  8 points [-]

Chip & Dan Heath, Made to Stick:

Communicate one thing.

In response to The best 15 words
Comment author: apophenia 03 October 2013 09:11:12AM *  17 points [-]

Judea Pearl, Causality:

If two things are correlated, there is causation. Either A causes B, B causes A, they have common cause, or they have a common effect you're conditioning on.

Edit: If two variables are correlated, there is causation. Either A causes B, B causes A, they have common cause, or they have a common effect you're conditioning on.

The best 15 words

12 apophenia 03 October 2013 09:08AM

People want to tell everything instead of telling the best 15 words.  They want to learn everything instead of the best 15 words.  In this thread, instead post the best 15-words from a book you've read recently (or anything else).  It has to stand on its own. It's not a summary, the whole value needs to be contained in those words.

 

  • It doesn't need to cover everything in the book, it's just the best 15 words.
  • It doesn't need to be a quote, it's just the best 15 words.
  • It doesn't have to be 15 words long, it's just the best "15" words.
  • It doesn't have to be precisely true, it's just the best 15 words.
  • It doesn't have to be the main 15 words, it just has to be the best 15 words.
  • It doesn't have to be the author's 15 words, it just has to be the best 15 words.
  • Edit: It shouldn't just be a neat quote--the point of the exercise is to struggle to move from a book down to 15 words.

 

I'll start in the comments below.

(Voted by the Schelling study group as the best exercise of the meeting.)

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