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tallon




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A few years ago I had the idea of writing a book review after every book I've read. I also tried to read a book once every few weeks. I have a bad habit of not finishing books, because I get bored of them (though I'm unsure of how bad such a habit - perhaps I'm falling prey to the sunk cost fallacy and allowing my guilt of not finishing the book to keep me from capitalizing on other opportunity costs). This was mainly to keep up my writing skills. Unfortunately, I only finished one review, and left the others simply as outlines of main points I wanted to discuss.

Perhaps if you don't feel like writing an entire appraisal of the book is useful to you, you could focus instead on writing about one (or more, if you find them) really interesting concepts, events, or well-written passages.

tallon  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: A Very Hubski Christmas.
Cute. :) Merry Christmas!
tallon  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Could Gambling Save Science
I think you're misunderstanding the article. It would matter if they were betting against an idea that seems impossible. The point is that they'd have to spend their own credit, and put their own reputation on the line, in order to make the idea seem "impossible." There would be no reason or incentive for people to randomly bet against ideas that seem impossible just because they disliked someone, since it would still cost them; even if they did continue doing so, they would quickly lose all their credit, just like in modern gambling enterprises.

Read this part: "With idea futures, Wegener could have opened a market for people to bet on his theory, perhaps to be judged by some official body of geologists in a century. He could have then offered to bet a token amount at, say, 1-4 odds, in effect saying there was at least at 20% chance his claim would be vindicated. His opponents would have had to either accept this estimate, and its implications about the importance of Wegener's research, or bet enough to drive the market odds down to something a little closer to "impossible". They could not suppress Wegener merely by silence or ridicule.

As Wegener increased his stake, buying more bets to move the price back up, his opponents would hopefully think just a little more carefully before betting even more to move the price back down. Others might find it in their interest to support Wegener; anyone who thought the consensus odds were wrong would expect to make money by betting, and would thereby move the consensus toward what they believe. Everyone would have a clear incentive to be careful and honest!"

Moreover, Hanson doesn't mention that anonymous bets wouldn't be possible; in fact, in the "Killer Peanut Butter" scenario, he brings it up.

tallon  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Could Gambling Save Science
The article is very long, but that's because a lot of is the addressing of 30 or so possible objections to this idea. It's not so long if you read up to that point - Hanson addresses that this indeed would get rid of tenure, since it would be completely unnecessary in a system where funding for scientific ideas is guaranteed based on the continuation of production of good ideas. From my understanding, the focus would be brought onto ideas, not the person or group who is presenting them.
I encourage the use of any kind of method that increases efficiency and the rate of information absorption. Consider how much information was available now from 10 years ago: no facebook, no reddit, no wikipedia, no social news aggregation sites. Sure, we had the internet, but at least personally I didn't find it as addicting. I feel apprehension for the new generation at the information boom that they are faced with: how will they possibly learn to distinguish what they need to know from what isn't as relevant? How will they possibly absorb massive amounts of information, and actually learn instead of using google and wikipedia and online sources as just references? References are useful and important, but of course there is a basic amount of knowledge necessary that you need to obtain.

Every day as I browse hubski, ycombinator, and other webpages for news, I find myself spending hours on this stuff. Sometimes it's easy to rationalize in my mind that at least I'm not playing videogames, that I am learning something. But it's still distracting and takes away from actual work time. In the end, it ()is() still an activity I do for leisure. So I installed Website Blocker for Chrome, where I specified the blocking of certain websites that I visit daily between certain hours on the weekdays, to force myself to get back to work.

Thank you for sharing.

I think the main point of the article is that everyone has a right to his or her feelings. When telling someone that their feelings are invalid, that is a blow to their dignity. The author of the article points out that women are more prone to becoming insecure after hearing such comments, both because of their nature and because of social conditioning. Even comments such as "You're too sensitive" indicate that you do not believe a person has a right to his or her feelings, which will most likely lead to frustration, resentment, and poor communication.

What I wanted to accomplish by sharing this article is simply to make others more aware of how women respond to such comments. Obviously, people are nowadays more knowledgeable on differences in communication styles. However, what you mention isn't entirely relevant to the original article. The message the author is trying to convey is how people use their words, not how often. After all, "You're too sensitive, relax" is not a typical response to a woman who's talking too much (which is what you reference). This isn't an issue of sharing too much or too little, it's a matter of how people - even women - view women - which seems to be needy, irrational, emotional, and on. Yet because of these views, which people may not even know that they believe, women are often put down and, even worse, they blame themselves for it by simply attributing it to their own nature. They are effectively unable to do anything in an environment which overwhelms them with the idea that they are not in control of their own emotions. Sounds a bit like brainwashing, doesn't it?

Therefore, one solution to this problem that I see is to make people more aware of it, since then you can consciously catch yourself in the act and, hopefully, stop doing it over time. I believe that the welfare of humanity depends on the happiness people derive from creativity and their expression. If people are happy and fulfilled, they will create more and increase happiness for others in general. So, in my mind, why foster negative viewpoints and perpetuate negative stereotypes, which seem so redundant and hamper the development of humans?

The last thing I want to say is that I hope no man takes this as an attack on men. I myself have often "gaslighted" girls. Even now, I am aware that my own view is biased negatively in subtle ways towards women...which seems sad to me, considering that I am one.

I know. I'm sure the concept itself isn't so innovative, but here's what seems to be the beginning of a possibly useful method. Of course, there's probably still at least a couple decades of research involved before it can even be thought to go public. On page 2 of the article, it says that the treatment was experimentally given to a woman with colon cancer, but it killed her because the T-cells destroyed a certain protein target in her lungs. So...they really should make many checks to ensure that the T-cells react -only- to the desired cells. But with so many proteins and factors in a body, it's obviously not easy to always achieve that kind of result.
tallon  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Reddit User explains aging vs. cancer
Thank you for your reply.

"In fact, I believe that you could induce the same tumorigenic mutations in cells of two individuals, and one would grow a tumor and one would not."

What makes you state that? Have there been any studies done to point to this conclusion?

Also, your research sounds very interesting. Are you at a university, or a national lab (or elsewhere)?

tallon  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Microchip Based on the Human Brain
Does anyone else find this absolutely awesome? Microchips that can play Pong! This reminds me of applying optogenetics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optogenetics) to microchips. Shine light on parts of the brain, and the thousands of neural connections that are normally extremely hard to follow in the brain are now replicated on an electronic interface. To me, definitely seems like a potentially useful technique for AI developers.
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