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Comment by biased_tracer on Tegmark's talk at Oxford · 2013-06-20T22:03:38.051Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I'm a bit confused about the prior that he uses in order to assign uniform probability on the existence of extraterrestrial life. Although I agree with that a logarithmic flat prior is a good idea for this problem, it is important to acknowledge that it is biased towards the unconstrained large scales. Since there is a minimum length scale by construction (the size of the earth or so) it would look more fair if he imposed a large scale cutoff as well (at radius of the observable Universe say). This way we can no longer claim that the extraterrestrial life is most likely to be found further than the edge of our Universe, but we could possibly still rule out our own galaxy.

Aside from that, an excellent (and entertaining) talk by Tegmark.

Comment by biased_tracer on 2012 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2012-11-04T11:04:58.554Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I presumed it refers to the currently residing country.

Comment by biased_tracer on 2012 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2012-11-04T08:51:45.910Z · score: 33 (33 votes) · LW · GW

My first census at LW is done. I gave up on the questions requiring to answer other surveys before, apart from the political compass one which I already did. Looking forward for the results.

Comment by biased_tracer on [Link] The real end of science · 2012-10-03T21:45:02.078Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Possible reasons for a scientist to be fraudulent is glory and fierce competition (which is usually for jobs and grants). Both factors existed prominently in the past as well as nowadays. On the other hand, as buybuydandavis points out, there are good reasons to believe that we've become better at spotting suspect scientific articles.

Comment by biased_tracer on Rationality Quotes October 2012 · 2012-10-03T20:33:43.456Z · score: 7 (9 votes) · LW · GW

[W]hen one hasn't gone wrong, it's often because one hasn't the chance.

Émile Zola

Comment by biased_tracer on Welcome to Less Wrong! (July 2012) · 2012-09-12T21:49:15.815Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Hi all! I'm Leonidas and I was also a lurker for quite some time. I forget how I exactly found Less Wrong but most likely is via Nick Bostrom's website, when I was reading about anthropics about a year ago. I'm an astronomer working on observational large-scale structure and I have a big interest in all aspects of cosmology. I also enjoy statistics, analyzing data and making inferences and associated computational techniques.

It was only during the final year of my undergraduate studies in physics that I consciously started to consider myself a rationalist and then begun trying to improve my thinking. Even though I discovered Less Wrong years later the excitement was still there and I had great pleasure reading its posts and learning about a variety of subjects. I'm now looking forward to contribute in the discussions.