Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

Fictional Bias

1 thomblake 02 April 2012 02:10AM

As rationalists, we are trained to maintain constant vigilance against common errors in our own thinking.  Still, we must be especially careful of biases that are unusually common amongst our kind.

Consider the following scenario: Frodo Baggins is buying pants.  Which of these is he most likely to buy:

(a) 32/30

(b) 48/32

(c) 30/20

continue reading »

"Politics is the mind-killer" is the mind-killer

32 thomblake 26 January 2012 03:55PM

Summary: I propose we somewhat relax our stance on political speech on Less Wrong.

Related: The mind-killer, Mind-killer

continue reading »

[POLL] Year survey

7 thomblake 09 December 2011 08:00PM

Please take this easy one-question survey.  For Science! Survey link

Off-topic: Russian machine translation

0 thomblake 16 May 2011 08:12PM

This is a little off-topic, but I can't find the answer and I realized this might actually be an excellent place to ask this question:

I've noticed Google Translate seems to do a pretty bad job sometimes of Russian-to-English and vice versa, assuming that my human-translated documents are correct.  Does anyone know of a better free service for machine translation for Russian?

H+ Summit Meetup Harvard 6/12

4 thomblake 10 June 2010 05:25PM

Just realized I hadn't seen a post about this, and couldn't find mention of it by searching...

The H+ Summit is happening this Saturday and Sunday at Harvard.  I assume there are quite a few Humanity+ fellow-travelers here who might be going (though it's kindof late notice if this is the first time you've heard of it).

I'm interested in a Lw meet-up or anything of the sort on Saturday evening (June 12).  Who's in?

 

EDIT (6/12): Meeting at h+ afterparty instead.  It will be 6 to 8 at Sprout.  http://diybio.org/hplusbeer/

I'll be the one named Thom Blake.

continue reading »

The role of neodeconstructive rationalism in the works of Less Wrong

33 thomblake 01 April 2010 02:17PM

Summary: Yudkowsky's fiction emphasizes neodeconstructive rationalism, which serves as a bridge between class and sexual identity. Materialist libertarianism (in the metaphysical sense) implies quantum nonrealism, but examining the works of Vinge, Gibson, and especially Egan in this light generates the discourse of semitoic consciousness.

1. Precapitalist textual theory and neodeconstructive rationalism

In the works of Yudkowsky, a predominant concept is the concept of cultural reality. It is not enough to believe in belief; one must make beliefs pay rent  It could be said that Salamon’s model of neodeconstructive rationalism implies that class has significance, given that the premise of materialist libertarianism is invalid. Given that absence of evidence is evidence of absence, an abundance of discourses concerning Pearlean absurdity may be revealed.

The main theme of the works of Alicorn is not depatriarchialism, but postdepatriarchialism. Thus, Yvain suggests the use of neoconstructive narrative to modify culture. After all, guessing the teacher's password is merely a route to more semantic stopsigns. The defining characteristic, and subsequent dialectic, of materialist libertarianism intrinsic to Yudkowsky’s Three Worlds Collide is also evident in The Sword of Good, although in a more mythopoetical sense.

It could be said that the primary theme of Jaynes's analysis of neodeconstructive rationalism is the bridge between class and sexual identity. pjeby promotes the use of the cultural paradigm of consensus to deconstruct class divisions.

Thus, if neodeconstructive rationalism holds, we have to choose between postdialectic conceptualist theory and subcapitalist theory. But would that take place on a level greater than merely disputing definitions? Several appropriations concerning the stasis of dialectic art exist.

But the characteristic theme of the works of Bayes is a postpatriarchial reality. Hanson’s critique of materialist libertarianism holds that the establishment is meaningless. But is it really just an empty label?

2. Expressions of futility

“Sexual identity is part of the stasis of language,” says Vinge. Thus, Dennett states that we have to choose between Sartreist absurdity and capitalist libertarianism; taw's critique brings this into sharp focus. If neodeconstructive rationalism holds, the works of Yudkowsky are modernistic.

“Culture is used in the service of the status quo,” says Dennett; however, according to Crowe, it is not so much culture that is used in the service of the status quo, but rather the failure, and therefore the defining characteristic, of culture. But the subject is interpolated into a materialist libertarianism that includes art as a whole. Pearl holds that we have to choose between Humean qualitative post praxis and the neodialectic paradigm of consensus.

In the works of Yudkowsky, a predominant concept is the distinction between figure and ground; the generalized anti-zombie principle stands in tension with the tragedy of group selectionism It could be said that Blake uses the term neodeconstructive rationalism to denote the role of the participant as artist. The main theme of Hanson's analysis of materialist libertarianism is the economy, and eventually the stasis, of semiotic society.

But the primary theme of the works of Egan is not constructivism as such, but neoconstructivism. Sarkar states that the works of Egan are postmodern.

In a sense, Hanson uses the term 'materialist libertarianism' to denote the role of the writer as artist. Quantum non-realism implies that sexuality is used to marginalize minorities, but only if culture is distinct from language.

3. Yudkowsky and neodeconstructive rationalism

In the works of Yudkowsky, a predominant concept is the concept of timeless control. However, MichaelVassar suggests the use of materialist libertarianism to analyse and modify narrativity. The characteristic theme of the works of Gibson is the role of the writer as observer.

Therefore, in Virtual Light, Gibson deconstructs the conscious sorites paradox; in All Tomorrow’s Parties, however, he analyses the moral void. It could be said that the subject is contextualised into a neodeconstructive rationalism that includes art as a whole. Any number of situationisms concerning Bayesian rationality may be discovered.

LW/OB Quotes - Fall 2009

2 thomblake 01 September 2009 03:11PM

This is a monthly thread for posting any interesting rationality-related quotes you've seen on LW/OB.

  • Please post all quotes separately (so that they can be voted up/down separately) unless they are strongly related/ordered.
  • Do not quote yourself.
  • Do not post quotes that are NOT comments/posts on LW/OB - there is a separate thread for this.
  • No more than 5 quotes per person per thread, please.
"this thread is insanely incestuous" - Z_M_Davis

 

Rationality Quotes - September 2009

2 thomblake 01 September 2009 03:06PM

A monthly thread for posting any interesting rationality-related quotes you've seen recently on the Internet, or had stored in your quotesfile for ages.

  • Please post all quotes separately (so that they can be voted up/down separately) unless they are strongly related/ordered.
  • Do not quote yourself.
  • Do not quote comments/posts on LW/OB - there is a separate thread for it.
  • No more than 5 quotes per person per monthly thread, please.
"A witty saying proves nothing." -- Voltaire

Zwicky's Trifecta of Illusions

18 thomblake 17 July 2009 04:59PM

Linguist Arnold Zwicky has named three linguistic 'illusions' which seem relevant to cognitive bias. They are:

  1. Frequency Illusion - Once you've noticed a phenomenon, it seems to happen a lot.
  2. Recency Illusion - The belief that something is a recent phenomenon, when it has actually existed a long time.
  3. Adolescent Illusion - The belief that adolescents are the cause of undesirable language trends.

Zwicky talks about them here, and in not so many words links them to the standard bias of selective perception.

As an example, here is an exerpt via Jerz's Literacy Weblog (originally via David Crystal), regarding text messages:

  • Text messages aren't full of abbreviations - typically less than ten percent of the words use them. [Frequency Illusion]
  • These abbreviations aren't a new language - they've been around for decades. [Recency Illusion]
  • They aren't just used by kids - adults of all ages and institutions are the leading texters these days. [Adolescent Illusion]

It is my conjecture that these illusions are notable in areas other than linguistics. For example, history is rife with allusions that the younger generation is corrupt, and such speakers are not merely referring to their use of language. Could this be the adolescent illusion in action?

So, are these notable biases to watch out for, or are they merely obvious instances of standard biases?

Don't Count Your Chickens...

3 thomblake 17 June 2009 03:21PM

A blog post by Derek Sivers links to evidence that stating one's goals makes one less likely to accomplish them.

Excerpt:

Announcing your plans to others satisfies your self-identity just enough that you're less motivated to do the hard work needed.

Link: Shut up! Announcing your plans makes you less motivated to accomplish them.

View more: Next