[LINK] XKCD Comic #1236, Seashells and Bayes' Theorem

post by Petruchio · 2013-07-10T11:05:49.235Z · score: -7 (18 votes) · LW · GW · Legacy · 32 comments

A fun comic about seashells and Bayes' Theorem. http://xkcd.com/1236/

32 comments

Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by Viliam_Bur · 2013-07-10T11:33:40.777Z · score: 12 (12 votes) · LW · GW

I nominate this article for the most obvious Open Thread candidate of the month.

comment by sixes_and_sevens · 2013-07-10T12:36:56.598Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

It seems to me that most people don't bother putting things on the Open Thread if it's more than five days old, and there isn't any other random tat outlet.

comment by JoshuaZ · 2013-07-10T12:52:22.167Z · score: 12 (12 votes) · LW · GW

I wonder how much of that is an issue of trivial inconvenience. Once the Open Thread is more than a few days old, locating where it is can take more work.

comment by [deleted] · 2013-07-10T13:12:05.143Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

The value of posting something to the Open Thread also decays rapidly away from the first and fifteenth of the month.

comment by Adele_L · 2013-07-10T14:51:31.611Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

It seems to me that most people don't bother putting things on the Open Thread if it's more than five days old,

Once the Open Thread is more than a few days old, locating where it is can take more work.

The value of posting something to the Open Thread also decays rapidly away from the first and fifteenth of the month.

Seems like we should have Open Threads more often.

comment by Benito · 2013-07-10T16:37:04.667Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

No, just a link to it on the welcome page, along with some other important pages... Like the various repositories, and Public Annoucnements.

comment by Adele_L · 2013-07-10T17:22:55.684Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I think that would only solve this issue: "Once the Open Thread is more than a few days old, locating where it is can take more work."

There is significantly less visibility with posting in an already crowded thread, and that's the main reason people don't like posting in it after a few days. This is also a problem with the repositories and other similar pages. Maybe the current format is bad for this, and a different format would be better, in addition to a more prominent link.

comment by JoshuaZ · 2013-07-11T02:22:40.811Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Well, it seems I've made an inadvertent test of this, although a very weak one, since I posted this to the open thread and got no responses. But I can't rule out people just finding it to be not that interesting.

comment by JoshuaZ · 2013-07-10T13:14:16.627Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Why is that? I was under the impression that most people see new comments based on the recent comments display.

comment by [deleted] · 2013-07-10T13:23:37.095Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Most of the time, imo, recent comments moves too quickly to keep track of actual new comments, particularly when HPMoR updates.

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2013-07-10T13:54:22.940Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Making Light has a "see last 1000 comments" link which I find very useful. Granted, it's more useful there (relatively few active threads at the same time) than here, but it would still help.

comment by fractalman · 2013-07-10T13:45:36.958Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

actually, I think the HPMoR comments don't show up in recent comments unless you're already looking at an HPMoR thread... Is it just some setting I randomly edited on my profile and don't remember editing?

comment by [deleted] · 2013-07-10T15:15:42.968Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Go home, fractalman; you're drunk.

comment by fractalman · 2013-07-10T20:09:03.335Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I wasn't drunk, I was sleep deprived. I DO admit that my mental capacity while sleep deprived looks a lot like the mental capacity of a drunk...but I happen to get dizzy and nauseous at the mere smell of alchohol, so the chance for me to be drunk is pretty slim, if not negligible.

comment by gjm · 2013-07-13T14:04:52.096Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

In case you're unaware of it, "Go home, X, you're drunk" is something of an internet meme; paper-machine wasn't making a serious accusation.

(One instance of this trope that's attached to stuff that might amuse a fair fraction of LW readers: Go home, evolution, you are drunk. (Actual title "WTF, Evolution?" but the GHYAD meme is in the "About" section at the right.)

comment by [deleted] · 2013-07-13T14:16:18.566Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

It isn't generally used with sentients, though.

comment by [deleted] · 2013-07-13T16:43:38.615Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

“Recent comments” shows recent comments on Main if you're on Main and recent comments on Discussion if you're on discussion.

comment by JoshuaZ · 2013-07-10T13:24:11.934Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Ah, that makes sense.

comment by sixes_and_sevens · 2013-07-10T13:19:57.498Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I almost never use this to observe new content.

comment by William_Quixote · 2013-07-11T02:11:01.450Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I wonder if always having the most recent open thread at the top of the most recent comments sidebar would effectively pull open thread content into the open thread

comment by [deleted] · 2013-07-11T10:04:25.368Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The most obvious place for this is the Rationality Quotes thread, and indeed it's there too.

comment by Emile · 2013-07-10T13:44:43.470Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

The formula he wrote is wrong, you'd need to switch P(I picked up a seashell) and P(I'm near the ocean) for it to be right.

comment by hwrd · 2013-07-10T16:19:12.892Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I agree that the formula is wrong. I considered the possibility that it was sarcasm, but either way it's wrong.

comment by gjm · 2013-07-10T16:57:57.078Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Either he's fixed it since the two of you wrote what you wrote, or you're wrong, or I'm terribly confused. It now says (with obvious abbreviations)

P(A|B) = P(B|A)P(A)/P(B)

which is correct.

comment by wedrifid · 2013-07-10T17:07:45.443Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Either he's fixed it since the two of you wrote what you wrote, or you're wrong, or I'm terribly confused.

Make that all four of us are wrong. Yes, it seems that the cartoon has been fixed. I quadruple checked the positions of those clauses when I was verifying nshepperd's claim, since it was surprising. I also observed at the time that it is fortunate that the image would be easy to fix even with my meagre gimp skills. Or MSPaint from windows 95 for that matter.

EDIT: The xkcd forum confirms our sanity and shows the original.

comment by gjm · 2013-07-10T18:11:55.072Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The image in the forum shows the fixed version, at least for me right now. (Maybe it will for you too, if you clear your browser cache? Or maybe there's a copy of the old version elsewhere in the discussion.)

I think he should have put a note on the comic page acknowledging that he'd fixed a mistake.

comment by tim · 2013-07-10T21:36:36.013Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The old version is there if you scroll down.

comment by thomblake · 2013-07-10T18:44:57.775Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

He fixes things a lot. There is practically never a notice.

comment by wwa · 2013-07-10T13:30:40.175Z · score: -4 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Downvoted for decreasing signal-to-noise ratio of the site.

comment by wwa · 2013-07-10T21:31:09.657Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

May I kindly ask for reasons of the two downvotes to my comment? I precommited to explaining why I downvote anything, unless already explained by someone else. What was wrong in this particular instance?

comment by tim · 2013-07-10T21:40:33.011Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I would imagine its because explaining your downvote (unless there is a particularly good reason) also decreases the signal to noise ratio.

comment by wedrifid · 2013-07-11T05:36:07.813Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

May I kindly ask for reasons of the two downvotes to my comment?

It was mildly annoying and unnecessary.

I precommited to explaining why I downvote anything, unless already explained by someone else.

A precommitment to breaking wind in public whenever the urge arises would be unwise for the same reason.