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Comment by sperling on Cleaning up the "Worst Argument" essay · 2012-09-08T00:51:34.600Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

They are still appealing to your feelings about murder and you are entitled to respond "That's TWAitW, the typical case of murder bothers me because of XYZ, which aren't present here." I feel like the phrase "That's TWAitW" is adding to that sentence by explaining that, to you, this might be a case of murder you don't care about, so just hammering on "it's murder" won't persuade you.

"Self evident" beliefs could be the basis of any of the examples, e.g. "theft is wrong because we have a right to our property" could be a belief supporting the statement "Taxes are theft, therefore taxes are wrong." But when they use "Taxes are theft, therefore taxes are wrong" as persuasive argument, they are in fact appealing to my definition of theft and to my feelings towards theft, in an attempt to get from the common ground of "theft is wrong" to the new ground "taxes are wrong." That's TWAitW.

Comment by sperling on Cleaning up the "Worst Argument" essay · 2012-09-07T23:15:20.123Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

How about "Archetypal Association" as an alternative to Guilt by Association? I'd just like a term that is more descriptive than TWAitW without the prior baggage of GbA. "Saying taxation is theft is just an Archetypal Association. In fact, taxation differs from the archetypal case of theft in the following relevant ways..."

Comment by sperling on So You Think You're a Bayesian? The Natural Mode of Probabilistic Reasoning · 2010-07-15T22:26:56.540Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Many subjects fail to recognize that when a 6-sided die with 4 green faces and 2 red faces will be rolled several times, betting on the occurrence of the sequence GRRRRRG is dominated by betting on the sequence RRRRRG, when the subject is given the option to bet on either at the same payoff. This (well, something similar, I didn't bother to look up the actual sequences used) is cited as evidence that more is going on than subjects misunderstanding the meaning of "and" or "or". Sure, some subjects just don't use those words as the experimenters do, and perhaps this accounts for some of why "Linda" shows such a strong effect, but it is a very incomplete explanation of the effect.

Explanations of "Linda" based on linguistic misunderstandings, conversational maxims, etc., generally fail to explain other experiments that produce the same representativeness bias (though perhaps not as strongly) in contexts where there is no chance that the particular misunderstanding alleged could be present.

Comment by sperling on The Fundamental Question · 2010-04-20T19:04:07.080Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

"Define And thus expunge The ought The should ... Truth's to be sought In Does and Doesn't "

-B. F. Skinner (an interesting soundbite from an otherwise misguided disagreement with Chomsky over language acquisition)