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Tag Archives: rationality

Confirmation Bias As Misfire Of Normal Bayesian Reasoning

From the subreddit: Humans Are Hardwired To Dismiss Facts That Don’t Fit Their Worldview. Once you get through the preliminary Trump supporter and anti-vaxxer denunciations, it turns out to be an attempt at an evo psych explanation of confirmation bias: … Continue reading

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Mental Mountains

I. Kaj Sotala has an outstanding review of Unlocking The Emotional Brain; I read the book, and Kaj’s review is better. He begins: UtEB’s premise is that much if not most of our behavior is driven by emotional learning. Intense … Continue reading

Book Review: Reframing Superintelligence

Ten years ago, everyone was talking about superintelligence, the singularity, the robot apocalypse. What happened? I think the main answer is: the field matured. Why isn’t everyone talking about nuclear security, biodefense, or counterterrorism? Because there are already competent institutions … Continue reading

Caution On Bias Arguments

“You say it’s important to overcome biases. So isn’t it hypocritical that you’re not trying to overcome whichever bias prevents you from realizing you’re wrong and I’m right?” — everybody Correcting for bias is important. Learning about specific biases, like … Continue reading

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Against Lie Inflation

[Related to: The Whole City Is Center] I. I got into an argument recently with somebody who used the word “lie” to refer to a person honestly reporting their unconsciously biased beliefs – her example was a tech entrepreneur so … Continue reading

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Asymmetric Weapons Gone Bad

[Previously in sequence: Epistemic Learned Helplessness, Book Review: The Secret Of Our Success, List Of Passages I Highlighted In My Copy Of The Secret Of Our Success. Deleted a controversial section which I still think was probably correct, but which … Continue reading

[REPOST] Epistemic Learned Helplessness

[This is a slightly edited repost of an essay from my old LiveJournal] A friend recently complained about how many people lack the basic skill of believing arguments. That is, if you have a valid argument for something, then you … Continue reading

Rule Thinkers In, Not Out

Imagine a black box which, when you pressed a button, would generate a scientific hypothesis. 50% of its hypotheses are false; 50% are true hypotheses as game-changing and elegant as relativity. Even despite the error rate, it’s easy to see … Continue reading

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Fallacies Of Reversed Moderation

A recent discussion: somebody asked why people in Silicon Valley thought that only high-tech solutions to climate change (like carbon capture or geoengineering) mattered, and why they dismissed more typical solutions like international cooperation and political activism. Another person cited … Continue reading

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The Tails Coming Apart As Metaphor For Life

[Epistemic status: Pretty good, but I make no claim this is original] A neglected gem from Less Wrong: Why The Tails Come Apart, by commenter Thrasymachus. It explains why even when two variables are strongly correlated, the most extreme value … Continue reading

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