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Comment author: dxu 03 March 2015 10:50:00PM *  4 points [-]

It's also not always good advice.

Of course it isn't. But I don't think that's a very good standard to be holding most forms of advice to. Very little advice is always good advice; nearly all sayings have exceptions. The fact is, however, that Lasker's (sort of Lasker's, anyway) quotation is useful most of the time, both in chess and out of chess (since unless you're playing a blitz game, you're likely to have plenty of time to think), and for a rationality quote, that suffices.

Comment author: bentarm 04 March 2015 01:33:40PM 0 points [-]

It's not at all obvious to me that the failure mode of not looking for a better move when you've found a good one is more common than the failure mode of spending too long looking for a better move when you've found a good one - in general, I think the consensus is that people who are willing to satisfice actually end up happier with their final decisions than people who spend too long maximising, but I agree that this doesn't apply in all areas, and that there are likely times when this would be useful advice.

In the particular example I gave, if you've already found a move that wins a rook, then it's all-but irrelevant if you're missing a better move that wins a queen, as winning a rook is already equivalent to winning the game, but there are obviously degrees of this (it's obviously not irrelevant if you settle for winning a pawn and miss checkmate). This suggests you should be careful how you define a "satisficing" solution, but not necessarily that satisficing is a bad strategy (in the extreme, if your "good move" is a forced checkmate, then it's obviously a waste of time to look for a "better move", whatever that might mean).

Comment author: dxu 02 March 2015 03:52:32AM 12 points [-]

When you see a good move, look for a better one.

Emanuel Lasker

Comment author: bentarm 03 March 2015 05:07:35PM *  3 points [-]

<nitpick> Lasker may have said this, but it also pre-dates him: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emmanuel_Lasker#Quotations </nitpick>

It's also not always good advice. Sometimes you should just satisfice. Chess is often one of these times, as you have a clock. If you see something that wins a rook, and spend the rest of your time trying to win a queen, you're not going to win the game.

Comment author: bentarm 04 January 2015 03:04:02PM 5 points [-]

Serious question - why do you (either CFAR as an organisation or Anna in particular) think in-person workshops are more effective than, eg, writing a book, or making a mooc-style series of online lessons for teaching this stuff? Is it actually more about network building than the content of the workshops themselves? Do you not understand how to teach well enough to be able to do it in video format? Videos are inherently less profitable?

Comment author: stellartux 17 November 2014 04:42:35PM 0 points [-]

I saw this before the meeting happened but couldn't get off work on such short notice, but would be interested in future meetups.

Comment author: bentarm 18 November 2014 12:33:29PM 0 points [-]

We will be organising another one relatively soon. If you pm me your email address, I'll include you in hype discussion

Comment author: bentarm 14 November 2014 05:21:20PM 2 points [-]

Just to be absolutely explicit, if you can't come, but would be interested in coming to a future meet up in Glasgow, please post here so we know you exist.

Meetup : Glasgow (Scotland) Meetup

1 bentarm 12 November 2014 11:55PM

Discussion article for the meetup : Glasgow (Scotland) Meetup

WHEN: 16 November 2014 03:30:00PM (+0000)

WHERE: Curler's Rest, 256-260 Byres Rd, Glasgow G12 8SH

At lest two of us will be meeting in the Curler's Rest on Byers Road at 3.30 on Sunday. We decided we might as well advertise here so that a. anyone who is interested can come along and b. (more likely) anyone who thinks this is much too short notice for a meetup can let us know that they exist, and we can arrange something that better suits other people next time.

I'll bring along some sort of activity/game/something that can keep us entertained/avoid awkward silences if people do turn up.

If you are intending to come, feel free to PM me on here, and I'll get back to you with contact details so you can find us.

Discussion article for the meetup : Glasgow (Scotland) Meetup

Comment author: bentarm 28 October 2014 01:31:15PM 32 points [-]

Did the survey. I don't know what cisgender means, but I assume that's me, as I'm definitely not transgender...

Comment author: bentarm 10 May 2014 12:00:06AM 0 points [-]

The Revelation Principle feels like one of those results that flip flops between trivially obvious and absurdly impossible... I'm currently in an "absurdly powerful" frame of mind.

I guess the principle is mostly useful for impossibility results? Given an arbitrary mechanism, will you usually be able to decompose it to find the associated incentive compatible mechanism?

Comment author: napieed 02 December 2013 09:47:16PM *  7 points [-]

One shouldn't compare apples to oranges. But it's fair to say both are food.

--Scott Adams

Comment author: bentarm 06 December 2013 06:13:19PM 2 points [-]

I'm not sure I get this - If you're not allowed to compare apples to oranges, how do you decide which to eat? Is that the point this quote is trying to make?

Comment author: Alejandro1 02 December 2013 12:23:26AM 10 points [-]

A classic illustration of how to use (and how to not use) conditional probabilities:

"'Her foot,' says the journal, 'was small- so are thousands of feet. Her garter is no proof whatever- nor is her shoe- for shoes and garters are sold in packages. The same may be said of the flowers in her hat. One thing upon which M. Beauvais strongly insists is, that the clasp on the garter found had been set back to take it in. This amounts to nothing; for most women find it proper to take a pair of garters home and, fit them to the size of the limbs they are to encircle, rather than to try them in the store where they purchase.'

Here it is difficult to suppose the reasoner in earnest. Had M. Beauvais, in his search for the body of Marie, discovered a corpse corresponding in general size and appearance to the missing girl, he would have been warranted (without reference to the question of habiliment at all) in forming an opinion that his search had been successful. If, in addition to the point of general size and contour, he had found upon the arm a peculiar hairy appearance which he had observed upon the living Marie, his opinion might have been justly strengthened; and the increase of positiveness might well have been in the ratio of the peculiarity, or unusualness, of the hairy mark. If, the feet of Marie being small, those of the corpse were also small, the increase of probability that the body was that of Marie would not be an increase in a ratio merely arithmetical, but in one highly geometrical, or accumulative. Add to all this shoes such as she had been known to wear upon the day of her disappearance, and, although these shoes may be 'sold in packages,' you so far augment the probability as to verge upon the certain. What, of itself, would be no evidence of identity, becomes through its corroborative position, proof most sure. Give us, then, flowers in the hat corresponding to those worn by the missing girl, and we seek for nothing farther. If only one flower, we seek for nothing farther- what then if two or three, or more? Each successive one is multiple evidence- proof not added to proof, but multiplied by hundreds or thousands. Let us now discover, upon the deceased, garters such as the living used, and it is almost folly to proceed. But these garters are found to be tightened, by the setting back of a clasp, in just such a manner as her own had been tightened by Marie shortly previous to her leaving home. It is now madness or hypocrisy to doubt. … But it is not that the corpse was found to have the garters of the missing girl, or found to have her shoes, or her bonnet, or the flowers of her bonnet, or her feet, or a peculiar mark upon the arm, or her general size and appearance- it is that the corpse had each and all collectively.

--Edgar Allan Poe, "The Mystery of Marie Roget"

Comment author: bentarm 02 December 2013 12:34:04AM 3 points [-]

If only one flower, we seek for nothing farther- what then if two or three, or more? Each successive one is multiple evidence- proof not added to proof,

Hard to tell out of context, but is this claiming that each successive flower is independent evidence? In general, it feels like the reasoner is missing some dependency relationships between bits of evidence here.

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