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Comment author: Oscar_Cunningham 14 August 2017 10:59:39AM *  1 point [-]

EDIT: Clarified some things.

Suppose we have a bunch of spherical billiard balls rolling around on an infinite plane. Suppose there is no friction and the collisions are elastic. They don't feel the influence of gravity or any other force except the collisions. At least one ball is moving. Can they ever return to their original positions and velocities?

Comment author: jmh 18 August 2017 03:54:28PM *  0 points [-]

Possibly not a rational answer (so possilbly not living up to the less wrong philosophy!) but given the assumption of an infinite plane I would think the probability is vanishingly small of returning to the original position and velocity.

Something would need to constrain the vectors taken to prevent any ball from taking off in some direction that could be described as "away from the group". Perhaps that could be understood be be on a path for which the the path of no other ball can possible intersect. At that point this ball can will never change it's current velosity and never return to it's oiginal position.

I cannot offer a proof that such a condition must eventually occur in your experimnt but my intuition is that it will. If so that vanishing small probablity that everyting return to some orginal state goes to zero.

Comment author: Thomas 16 August 2017 05:51:44PM 0 points [-]

Yes. And any sufficiently advanced technology is already assumed as (an impossible) magic.

I am quite sure, that a human with an IQ of 1000 or above would appear very much like a wizard Merlin or something like that. An impossible magic for the majority of people I know.

Comment author: jmh 18 August 2017 03:35:18PM 0 points [-]

Or been seen as too mundane -- like in the Hichiker's Guide series where the really smart intelligance on earth were the mice, not humans or dalphin. I suspect someone that smart might realize they do better apearing less gifted (and probably simply terribly bored with any intelectual interaction with the other humans)

Comment author: jmh 17 August 2017 04:15:08PM 0 points [-]

Two thoughts -- one perhaps very trivial. 1) If you believe the statement about the market response to stupidity then you're you essentially attempting to supply a good with very little demand?

2) Maybe part of the issue is context -- whenever the average person talks about economics I think it's more in the political economy context, so perhaps inseparable from politics -- leading to the direct linkage between market outcomes and regulatory aspects (after all, even in a pure neoclassical analysis the underlying -- if generally unstated -- assumption is that a host of rules underly and define market actions, incentives and results).

Perhaps such a comment in a setting where the discussion is more about science or engineering, or even baking, assuming the comment fits in somehow, I would think the reaction might not immediately jump to that of a pro regulatory response.

Comment author: jmh 12 April 2017 11:40:57AM 1 point [-]

I've not read the comments so perhaps repeating something (or saying something that someone has already refuted/critiques).

I think it's problematic to net all this out on an individual bases much less some aggregate level even for a single species much less multiple species.

First, we're adaptive creatures so the scale is always sliding over time and as we act.

Second, disutility feeds into actions that produce utility (using your terms which might be wrong as my meaning here is want/discomfort/non-satisfaction and satisfaction/fulfillment type internal states). If on net a person is on the plus side of the scale you defined what do they do? In this case I'm thinking of some of the scifi themes I've read/seen where some VR tool leave the person happy but then they just starve to death.

Finally, isn't the best counter here the oft stated quip "Life sucks but it's better than the alternative." If one accepts that statement then arguments the lead to the conclusion choosing death (and especially the death of others) really need to review the underlying premises. At least one must be false as a general case argument. (I'll concede that in certain special/individual cases death may be preferred to the conditions of living)

Comment author: ragintumbleweed 28 March 2017 11:01:02PM *  4 points [-]

"Figure 2 provides a basis for anticipating the unique value spatial ability might contribute to understanding intellectually talented youth. In the late 1970s, because of his interest in identifying and developing scientific talent—and knowing that by utilizing exclusively a general ability measure, Terman assessed and missed two Nobel Laurates (viz., Luis Alvarez and William Shockley, see Shurkin, 1992) Stanley gave a group of 563 SMPY participants tests of spatial ability designed for high school seniors."

"Clearly, the creative outcomes under analysis are supported by different configurations of intellectual talent. For example, among participants who secure patents, their spatial ability is commensurate with those who publish in STEM, but the latter are more impressive in mathematical and verbal reasoning. Participants who publish in Art–Humanities–Law–Social Sciences are the lowest in spatial ability of all four groups. This graph is psychologically informative, depicting the intellectual design space of creative thought."

I think this really hits at the main purpose of what I wrote -- that by over-emphasizing general intelligence, we may be missing opportunities to find more domain-specific talent indicators. Of course more general ability matters. But more specific ability applied to the right field probably matters even more.

Comment author: jmh 29 March 2017 09:08:42AM 0 points [-]

So you point was that we don't make the mistake of evaluating or thinking basketball skills are all a direct relationship with a simple metric as height but that's what everyone is doing with IQ?

Comment author: jmh 27 March 2017 02:54:47PM 2 points [-]

The answer seems fairly simple to me. You're not in any position to decide the risks others assume. If you're concerned about the potential torture the only mind you can really do anything about is yours -- you don't run around killing everyone else, just yourself.

Comment author: CronoDAS 22 March 2017 07:54:49PM *  5 points [-]

Home appliances have improved on measures other than durability, though, such as energy efficiency. And cars are significantly more durable, lasting for roughly twice the mileage before requiring repairs that amount to rebuilding the car...

Comment author: jmh 23 March 2017 10:11:59AM 1 point [-]

I wonder how much of that is improvements in their manufacture (I suspect at least some) versus improvements in things like oils and other lubricants which then reduce the wear.

Comment author: jmh 20 March 2017 12:21:43PM 0 points [-]

Just wondering if you've ever read an old economic article by Ron Heiner: The Origins of Predictable Behavior. 1984 (I think) Am. Econ. Rev. It's probably very sympathetic to your last paragraph. (and on a slightly different slant, the recent Qunata article about evolution: https://www.quantamagazine.org/20170314-time-dependent-rate-phenomenon-evolution-viruses/)

Comment author: jmh 15 March 2017 04:19:09PM 0 points [-]

I liked one of (well I liked them all but this one made me think about the comment I'm making) comments, DavidC.Brayton, about the difference in views between engineers and theorists. I cannot help but wonder if there's a difference in behavior between wanting to test the theory versus wanting to apply the theory in terms of one's confirmation biases and ability to step beyond them.