Comment by brent on Searching for Bayes-Structure · 2008-02-29T02:00:02.000Z · score: -1 (2 votes) · LW · GW


I am SO buying your book when you write it - if only because then your writing will have an introduction. I feel like I've jumped in at the middle here.

Comment by brent on Perpetual Motion Beliefs · 2008-02-28T02:06:51.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

hang on - they don't say "evolution is only a religion" they say "Evolution is only a theory".

....dumbarse atheistic types who don't proofread their own rantings....

Comment by brent on Perpetual Motion Beliefs · 2008-02-28T02:04:03.000Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I thought this post was actually very easy to follow. It actually gave me the vocab I needed to settle scores of arguments with dumbarse religious types who say daft things like "Evolution is only a religion" and "You can't PROVE that blah blah blah magic fairy dust blah blah blah blah".

"But you don't know that!"

I don't know it with certainty, but it is mandatory that I expect it to happen. Probabilities are not logical truths, but the laws of probability are.

I love that. "I don't know it with certainty - that's because of your ridiculous understanding of what 'certainty' means - but it is mandatory that I expect it to happen."


Comment by brent on Leave a Line of Retreat · 2008-02-26T01:26:46.000Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I too prefer less mathy - well, to be precise I'll actually read the less mathy stuff in the first place.

More to the point, I've stopped listening to news reports about global warming - and this is harming my ability to think rationally about it. I'll change the channel instead of hear someone say "You know how we all thought we've got 50 years to live? Turns out it's only 30/25/20."

Comment by brent on Taboo Your Words · 2008-02-16T05:50:03.000Z · score: -6 (18 votes) · LW · GW

"Why wouldn't you just say "An artificial group conflict in which you use a long wooden cylinder to whack a thrown spheroid, and then run between four safe positions"?"

...because you might not be a total total nerd :-)

Comment by brent on Disputing Definitions · 2008-02-12T01:23:13.000Z · score: 5 (9 votes) · LW · GW


"Abortion is murder because it's evil to kill a poor defenseless baby."

I am so sick of arguing with people who's definition of the issue constitutes 99% of their argument, and who aren't willing to acknowledge that their definition needs consensus before their point is even meaningful let alone valid.

Like you say - most of the time an argument is completely settled once/if everyone agrees one the terms being used.

Comment by brent on Allais Malaise · 2008-01-21T04:24:58.000Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

well that sure was a lot of bold text.

Comment by brent on 0 And 1 Are Not Probabilities · 2008-01-10T08:38:56.000Z · score: -5 (7 votes) · LW · GW

that anecdote wasn't amusing at all.

and it wasn't an anecdote.

and it doesn't prove the point. all it shows is that a single person didn't know their 17 times tables off the top of their head. there's no reason to expect someone to be as confident that 51 is or is not prime than 7 is or is not prime - and anyway, the point of the story should have been that, eventually, 7 might NOT be prime. which it's always going to be.

i didn't get it.

Comment by brent on Guardians of Ayn Rand · 2007-12-18T22:43:20.000Z · score: -1 (11 votes) · LW · GW

Great post.

Sure, let's say we accept that Ayn Rand turned out to be a mega-bitch mad control freak in later life?

Does that mean that 'A is A' is somehow wrong?

Can anyone say 'ad hominem fallacy'?

Comment by brent on When None Dare Urge Restraint · 2007-12-11T06:06:00.000Z · score: -2 (6 votes) · LW · GW

hi. i'm not going to use any capital letters because i come from a very small country. australia has no weapons of mass destruction. we promise. we promise promise promise. please don't invade australia like you did iraq - even though we do have an abundance of natural resources, mostly steel and uranium. we're on your side. really really.

Why are you all talking about the US's over-reaction to the 9/11 attacks? You all realise that the invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with terrorism or nukes or polie-actions. You know this. It was about oil. From the very beginning America invaded Iraq in order to obtain a foothold in the upcoming struggle for the remaining dregs of Middle Eastern oil. Everyone knows this. Why are you wasting your time arguing about this as if the Iraq war were motivated by 9/11?

Comment by brent on Belief in Belief · 2007-12-07T02:15:12.000Z · score: -1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I've got a double garage... what if the dragon sneaks out one door while I'm coming in through the other door, then comes in behind me through the second door while I look for it outside the first door?? Dragons everywhere now!!