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Comment by sparrowsfall on Catchy Fallacy Name Fallacy (and Supporting Disagreement) · 2009-05-22T15:53:38.068Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

dismissing the arguments of others by simply linking to the relevant OB/LW article

Not just when dismissing arguments. Discussions here--even top-level posts--often remind me of my sister's complaint about Louis Diat's Basic French Cooking--every recipe refers to other recipes, so you end up having to slaughter a calf in order to make vichysoisse.

It makes it bloody hard for us newbies who have read less than a few dozen posts on LW and OB--and internalized even fewer.

I realize it's difficult with many concepts being discussed here, but when possible try to define concepts briefly and clearly when writing about them?

And yes: instead of just naming a fallacy, clearly demonstrate how it is instantiated in the material being replied to. (In itself, an excellent teaching moment.)

Comment by sparrowsfall on Rationality quotes - May 2009 · 2009-05-20T15:11:31.056Z · score: 14 (14 votes) · LW · GW

"From the inside, ideology usually looks like common sense."

--John Quiggin

http://crookedtimber.org/2009/04/22/the-ideology-that-dare-not-speak-its-name/

Comment by sparrowsfall on Rationality in the Media: Don't (New Yorker, May 2009) · 2009-05-12T20:40:51.049Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

While this may not be practically helpful since one can do little about one's IQ, some might find interesting this recent study showing correlation between cognitive skills and patience, as well as other economically valuable preferences.

If this is safe, the patient marshmallow kids' 210-point SAT advantage is unsurprising (if less than revealing in terms of causation).

(A quick search didn't turn this up on LW or OB, but excuse me if it's a repeat.)

From the abstract: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2009/04/23/0812360106.short?rss=1

Individuals with better CS are more patient, in both short- and long-run. Better CS are also associated with a greater willingness to take calculated risks. Second, CS predict social awareness and choices in a sequential Prisoner's Dilemma game. Subjects with better CS more accurately forecast others' behavior and differentiate their behavior as a second mover more strongly depending on the first-mover's choice. Third, CS, and in particular, the ability to plan, strongly predict perseverance on the job in a setting with a substantial financial penalty for early exit."

Ungated pdf: http://www.cemmap.ac.uk/resources/files/rustichini.pdf

Comment by sparrowsfall on Willpower Hax #487: Execute by Default · 2009-05-12T15:05:41.202Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Given the various research suggesting that our back brains make decisions before "we" know about them (admittedly rather nicely challenged by Daniel Dennett in Freedom Evolves), here's to suggest that the only real influence we have on decisions is the processed information we feed into that back brain.

In other words, we formulate a problem, feed it back, and ask, "how do I feel about this?" Back comes the decision, with no take-it-or-leave-it options. It's a done deal.

Comment by sparrowsfall on The uniquely awful example of theism · 2009-05-09T16:21:28.073Z · score: 3 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Just to suggest another belief (and belief system) that at least approaches that frontier:

"There has not been one tax increase in history that actually raised revenue. And every tax cut, from the 1920s to Kennedy’s to ours, has produced more."

-Ronald Reagan to David Stockman and Martin Feldstein.

(It is perhaps only coincidental that the year was 1984.)

http://books.google.com/books?id=dBlELVvaj4cC&pg=PA43&lpg=PA43&dq=%22There+has+not+been+one+tax+increase+in+history%22+reagan+stockman&source=bl&ots=MbAlKL-1Xt&sig=FXF-KfDngpgcArtRX5ERD7gvlic&hl=en&ei=oaYFSqL_PKG8tAPXiKn3AQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1