nhaliday + spock   94

Reasoning From First Principles: The Dumbest Thing Smart People Do
Most middle-class Americans at least act as if:
- Exactly four years of higher education is precisely the right level of training for the overwhelming majority of good careers.
- You should spend most of your waking hours most days of the week for the previous twelve+ years preparing for those four years. In your free time, be sure to do the kinds of things guidance counselors think are impressive; we as a society know that these people are the best arbiters of arete.
- Forty hours per week is exactly how long it takes to be reasonably successful in most jobs.
- On the margin, the cost of paying for money management exceeds the cost of adverse selection from not paying for it.
- You will definitely learn important information about someone’s spousal qualifications in years two through five of dating them.
-Human beings need about 50% more square feet per capita than they did a generation or two ago, and you should probably buy rather than rent it.
- Books are very boring, but TV is interesting.

All of these sound kind of dumb when you write them out. Even if they’re arguably true, you’d expect a good argument. You can be a low-risk contrarian by just picking a handful of these, articulating an alternative — either a way to get 80% of the benefit at 20% of the cost, or a way to pay a higher cost to get massively more benefits — and then living it.[1]
techtariat  econotariat  unaffiliated  wonkish  org:med  thinking  skeleton  being-right  paying-rent  rationality  pareto  cost-benefit  arbitrage  spock  epistemic  contrarianism  finance  personal-finance  investing  stories  metameta  advice  metabuch  strategy  education  higher-ed  labor  sex  housing  tv  meta:reading  axioms  truth  worse-is-better/the-right-thing 
16 days ago by nhaliday
Eternity in six hours: intergalactic spreading of intelligent life and sharpening the Fermi paradox
We do this by demonstrating that traveling between galaxies – indeed even launching a colonisation project for the entire reachable universe – is a relatively simple task for a star-spanning civilization, requiring modest amounts of energy and resources. We start by demonstrating that humanity itself could likely accomplish such a colonisation project in the foreseeable future, should we want to, and then demonstrate that there are millions of galaxies that could have reached us by now, using similar methods. This results in a considerable sharpening of the Fermi paradox.
pdf  study  article  essay  anthropic  fermi  space  expansionism  bostrom  ratty  philosophy  xenobio  ideas  threat-modeling  intricacy  time  civilization  🔬  futurism  questions  paradox  risk  physics  engineering  interdisciplinary  frontier  technology  volo-avolo  dirty-hands  ai  automation  robotics  duplication  iteration-recursion  von-neumann  data  scale  magnitude  skunkworks  the-world-is-just-atoms  hard-tech  ems  bio  bits  speedometer  nature  model-organism  mechanics  phys-energy  relativity  electromag  analysis  spock  nitty-gritty  spreading  hanson  street-fighting  speed  gedanken  nibble 
march 2018 by nhaliday
Charity Cost-Effectiveness in an Uncertain World – Foundational Research Institute
Evaluating the effectiveness of our actions, or even just whether they're positive or negative by our values, is very difficult. One approach is to focus on clear, quantifiable metrics and assume that the larger, indirect considerations just kind of work out. Another way to deal with uncertainty is to focus on actions that seem likely to have generally positive effects across many scenarios, and often this approach amounts to meta-level activities like encouraging positive-sum institutions, philosophical inquiry, and effective altruism in general. When we consider flow-through effects of our actions, the seemingly vast gaps in cost-effectiveness among charities are humbled to more modest differences, and we begin to find more worth in the diversity of activities that different people are pursuing.
ratty  effective-altruism  subculture  article  decision-making  miri-cfar  charity  uncertainty  moments  reflection  regularizer  wire-guided  robust  outcome-risk  flexibility  🤖  spock  info-dynamics  efficiency  arbitrage 
august 2017 by nhaliday
trees are harlequins, words are harlequins — bayes: a kinda-sorta masterpost
lol, gwern: https://www.reddit.com/r/slatestarcodex/comments/6ghsxf/biweekly_rational_feed/diqr0rq/
> What sort of person thinks “oh yeah, my beliefs about these coefficients correspond to a Gaussian with variance 2.5″? And what if I do cross-validation, like I always do, and find that variance 200 works better for the problem? Was the other person wrong? But how could they have known?
> ...Even ignoring the mode vs. mean issue, I have never met anyone who could tell whether their beliefs were normally distributed vs. Laplace distributed. Have you?
I must have spent too much time in Bayesland because both those strike me as very easy and I often think them! My beliefs usually are Laplace distributed when it comes to things like genetics (it makes me very sad to see GWASes with flat priors), and my Gaussian coefficients are actually a variance of 0.70 (assuming standardized variables w.l.o.g.) as is consistent with field-wide meta-analyses indicating that d>1 is pretty rare.
ratty  ssc  core-rats  tumblr  social  explanation  init  philosophy  bayesian  thinking  probability  stats  frequentist  big-yud  lesswrong  synchrony  similarity  critique  intricacy  shalizi  scitariat  selection  mutation  evolution  priors-posteriors  regularization  bias-variance  gwern  reddit  commentary  GWAS  genetics  regression  spock  nitty-gritty  generalization  epistemic  🤖  rationality  poast  multi  best-practices  methodology  data-science 
august 2017 by nhaliday
On the effects of inequality on economic growth | Nintil
After the discussion above, what should one think about the relationship between inequality and growth?

For starters, that the consensus of the literature points to our lack of knowledge, and the need to be very careful when studying these phenomena. As of today there is no solid consensus on the effects of inequality on growth. Tentatively, on the grounds of Neves et al.’s meta-analysis, we can conclude that the impact of inequality on developed countries is economically insignificant. This means that one can claim that inequality is good, bad, or neutral for growth as long as the effects claimed are small and one talks about developed countries. For developing countries, the relationships are more negative.

http://squid314.livejournal.com/320672.html
I recently finished The Spirit Level, subtitled "Why More Equal Societies Almost Almost Do Better", although "Five Million Different Scatter Plot Graphs Plus Associated Commentary" would also have worked. It was a pretty thorough manifesto for the best kind of leftism: the type that foregoes ideology and a priori arguments in exchange for a truckload of statistics showing that their proposed social remedies really work.

Inequality: some people know what they want to find: https://www.adamsmith.org/blog/economics/inequality-some-people-know-what-they-want-to-find

Inequality doesn’t matter: a primer: https://www.adamsmith.org/blog/inequality-doesnt-matter-a-primer

Inequality and visibility of wealth in experimental social networks: https://www.nature.com/articles/nature15392
- Akihiro Nishi, Hirokazu Shirado, David G. Rand & Nicholas A. Christakis

We show that wealth visibility facilitates the downstream consequences of initial inequality—in initially more unequal situations, wealth visibility leads to greater inequality than when wealth is invisible. This result reflects a heterogeneous response to visibility in richer versus poorer subjects. We also find that making wealth visible has adverse welfare consequences, yielding lower levels of overall cooperation, inter-connectedness, and wealth. High initial levels of economic inequality alone, however, have relatively few deleterious welfare effects.

https://twitter.com/NAChristakis/status/952315243572719617
https://archive.is/DpyAx
Our own work has shown that the *visibility* of inequality, more then the inequality per se, may be especially corrosive to the social fabric. https://www.nature.com/articles/nature15392 … I wonder if @WalterScheidel historical data sheds light on this idea? end 5/
ratty  unaffiliated  commentary  article  inequality  egalitarianism-hierarchy  economics  macro  growth-econ  causation  meta-analysis  study  summary  links  albion  econotariat  org:ngo  randy-ayndy  nl-and-so-can-you  survey  policy  wonkish  spock  nitty-gritty  evidence-based  s:*  🤖  🎩  world  developing-world  group-level  econ-metrics  chart  gray-econ  endo-exo  multi  yvain  ssc  books  review  critique  contrarianism  sociology  polisci  politics  left-wing  correlation  null-result  race  culture  society  anglosphere  protestant-catholic  regional-scatter-plots  big-picture  compensation  meaningness  cost-benefit  class  mobility  wealth  org:anglo  rhetoric  ideology  envy  money  endogenous-exogenous  org:nat  journos-pundits  anthropology  stylized-facts  open-closed  branches  walter-scheidel  broad-econ  twitter  social  discussion  backup  public-goodish  humility  charity 
june 2017 by nhaliday
Is Economic Activity Really “Distributed Less Evenly” Than It Used To Be?
http://xenocrypt.github.io/CountyIncomeHistory.html

First, imagine if you had a bar chart with every county in the United States sorted from lowest to highest by wages per capita, with the width of each bar proportional to the population of the county.

In fact, whenever anyone talks about “clustering” and “even distributions”, they’re mostly really talking about ways of comparing monotonic curves with integral one, whether they realize it or not.
org:med  wonkish  unaffiliated  debate  critique  trends  economics  commentary  douthatish  urban  distribution  inequality  polarization  malaise  regularizer  clarity  usa  history  mostly-modern  data  analysis  spock  nitty-gritty  compensation  vague  data-science  visual-understanding  🎩  thinking  plots  ssc  multi  tools  dynamic  money  class  class-warfare  left-wing  time-series  density  realness  geography  urban-rural  grokkability-clarity 
may 2017 by nhaliday
Anonymous Mugwump: The Empirics of Free Speech and Realistic Idealism: Part II
1. News Media: Murdoch and the Purple Land
2. The Effects of Money and Lobbying in Politics
3. Video Games: Crash Bandicoot Shouting Fire in a Crowded Theatre
4. Porn: Having an Orgasm in a Crowded Theatre
5. Sexist Speech: Crash Bandicoot Making Rape Jokes in a Crowded Theatre
6. Race Related Speech: Hollywood, Skokie and Umugandas in Rwanda
7. Incitement, Obedience and Speech Act Theory: Eichmann to Jihadi Twitter
8. Conclusion: Epistemic Humility

...

Here is what I am seeking to show in the next few paragraphs:
1. Corporate ownership of the media does not lead to corporate-friendly media output arising from a conflict of interest.
2. The main driver of media output is consumer demand (i.e., people read what they already agree with) as the above extract indicates.
3. This could create a new negative effect of a free media: people living in a bubble where their views are reinforced by an uninformative partisan press.
4. I do not believe this bubble exists: reputational effects and consumer demand for truth rather than reinforcement of existing beliefs means that the partisan media does not, uniformly or consistently, distort the truth.

...

For clarity: my primary argument is that things like campaign contributions and lobbying don’t matter. But, in deference to how mixed the literature is, I would say that our aversion to interest groups is misguided. Whether it’s Save the Children campaigning for minimum levels of aid or Citigroup lobbying for certain legislation, we needn’t jump to accusations of corruption or cronyism. Democratic politics is about legislators listening, being persuaded in a marketplace of ideas – and it really doesn’t matter if the person putting forward that idea is Exxon Mobil or a constituent. The burden for suggesting that there is impropriety is necessarily high and I simply haven’t seen any convincing evidence that there is necessarily or mostly a link between money, lobbying, politics and impropriety.

...

[some stuff on video games, porn, sexism, and racial hate speech]

[this is pretty crazy:]
In essence, ‘learning from the peasant ideology… and the everyday propaganda during umuganda had also motivated people to see their fellow ba-Tutsi as enemies’ in the run up the genocide. When the genocide finally hit, umugandas were used more directly in the genocide:

During the genocide, umuganda did not involve planting trees but ‘clearing out the weeds’ – a phrase used by the genocidaires to mean the killing of Tutsis. Chopping up men was referred to as ‘bush clearing’ and slaughtering women and children as ‘pulling out the roots of the bad weeds’... The slogan, ‘clearing bushes and removing bad weeds’, were familiar terms used in the course of ordinary agricultural labour undertaken in umuganda.

...

One more Saturday with rainfall above 10mm corresponds to a 0.41 percentage point reduction in the civilian participation rate. Those who wish to stop curtail certain forms of hate speech might very easily rely on studies like this. But there is an even better study which they can rely on in doing so: RTLM was the radio station in Rwanda and much like the umugandas: referring to Tutsis as cockroaches and dirty.

Bowling for Fascism: Social Capital and the Rise of the Nazi Party: http://www.nber.org/papers/w19201
Towns with one standard deviation higher association density saw at least 15% faster Nazi Party entry. All types of societies – from veteran associations to animal breeders, chess clubs and choirs – positively predict NS Party entry.

White, middle-class social capital helps to incarcerate African-Americans in racially diverse states.: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/usappblog/2017/09/22/white-middle-class-social-capital-helps-to-incarcerate-african-americans-in-racially-diverse-states/
Social capital is mostly seen as a ‘good’: bringing communities together and, in the case of criminal justice, encouraging social empathy which can lead to less harsh sentencing. But these analyses ignore racial divisions in social capital. In new research, Daniel Hawes finds that while social capital can reduce the Black-White disparity in incarceration rates in states with few African Americans, in states with greater numbers of African Americans, perceptions of racial threat can activate social capital in white communities, leading to greater targeting, profiling and arrests for minorities.
albion  analysis  essay  meta-analysis  study  summary  list  empirical  civil-liberty  media  institutions  roots  business  info-dynamics  endo-exo  religion  natural-experiment  polisci  politics  wonkish  propaganda  nl-and-so-can-you  epistemic  supply-demand  🎩  spock  nitty-gritty  history  early-modern  usa  britain  MENA  unaffiliated  scale  incentives  market-power  competition  piketty  inequality  government  elections  money  null-result  stylized-facts  polarization  distribution  data  visualization  poll  gilens-page  coalitions  foreign-policy  realpolitik  israel  neocons  iran  nuclear  managerial-state  regularizer  policy  games  crime  sex  gender  discrimination  biodet  variance-components  behavioral-gen  race  diversity  africa  stories  death  social-capital  europe  woah  unintended-consequences  h2o  community  internet  terrorism  correlation  tv  tradeoffs  optimism  intervention  faq  putnam-like  madisonian  chart  article  exit-voice  microfoundations  germanic  mostly-modern  world-war  multi  economics  fluid  cliometrics  news  org:ngo 
april 2017 by nhaliday
‘How dare you work on whites’: Professors under fire for research on white mortality - The Washington Post
the paper: http://www.pnas.org/content/112/49/15078

https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/03/angus-deaton-qa/518880/
The Nobel laureate Angus Deaton discusses extreme poverty, opioid addiction, Trump voters, robots, and rent-seeking.

co-authored the "dead white people paper" w/ wife

http://andrewgelman.com/2017/03/23/mortality-rate-trends-age-ethnicity-sex-state/
point about expansion of education seems important
https://spottedtoad.wordpress.com/2016/01/17/correlates-of-middle-aged-white-mortality/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/03/24/the-disease-killing-white-americans-goes-way-deeper-than-opioids/
https://www.wsj.com/articles/death-rates-rise-for-wide-swath-of-white-adults-1490240740
http://www.newyorker.com/news/benjamin-wallace-wells/the-despair-of-learning-that-experience-no-longer-matters
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/09/02/upshot/fentanyl-drug-overdose-deaths.html

Diverging Life Expectancies and Voting Patterns in the 2016 US Presidential Election.: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28817322
Changes in county life expectancy from 1980 to 2014 were strongly negatively associated with Trump's vote share, with less support for Trump in counties experiencing greater survival gains. Counties in which life expectancy stagnated or declined saw a 10-percentage-point increase in the Republican vote share between 2008 and 2016.

DESPAIR AND DECADES-LONG DEINDUSTRIALIZATION: https://spottedtoad.wordpress.com/2018/01/10/despair-and-decades-long-deindustrialization/

WE’VE BEEN HERE BEFORE: https://spottedtoad.wordpress.com/2018/01/12/weve-been-here-before/
A concept that seems to me to be missing from the Ruhm vs. Case/Deaton debate on “deaths of despair” is that of social crisis.

This seems to me to be the case for American Indians, who began experiencing what looks like a similar social crisis to non-college educated whites about a decade beforehand: rapidly escalating rates of suicide, drug overdoses, exit from the workforce, and even alcohol-related deaths (which were already very high for American Indians well before 2000, of course):

...

The common thread here would seem to be replacement of workforce participation with transfer payments, particularly cash transfers (since, my own reservations about Medicaid aside, increases in in-kind payments and SNAP since the 80s haven’t seemed to exert the same disruptive effect.) As I’ve said before, it seems very likely to me that technology will push an ever larger segment of society out of the economy, sooner or later, but how to prevent this from tearing apart our social fabric I don’t know.

Once It Was Overdue Books. Now Librarians Fight Overdoses.: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/28/nyregion/librarians-opioid-heroin-overdoses.html
news  org:rec  current-events  sociology  academia  society  race  managerial-state  patho-altruism  class  clown-world  malaise  death  longevity  education  stagnation  wonkish  autor  opioids  public-health  coming-apart  dignity  org:mag  labor  usa  trends  age-generation  politics  social-capital  health  demographics  study  summary  anomie  economics  inequality  rent-seeking  automation  2016-election  drugs  interview  comparison  developing-world  midwest  northeast  trump  gelman  scitariat  gender  confounding  media  regularizer  class-warfare  medicine  polisci  disease  org:nat  epidemiology  data  spock  causation  analysis  ratty  unaffiliated  obesity  correlation  critique  debate  chart  🎩  visualization  time-series  multi  nihil  speculation  roots  impetus  trade  nationalism-globalism  china  asia  monetary-fiscal  money  debt  investing  heavy-industry  world  the-bones  rot  unintended-consequences  farmers-and-foragers  africa  reflection  welfare-state  futurism  books  urban-rural 
april 2017 by nhaliday
Burden of proof: A comprehensive review of the feasibility of 100% renewable-electricity systems
On the basis of this review, efforts to date seem to have substantially underestimated the challenge and delayed the identification and implementation of effective and comprehensive decarbonization pathways.
study  wonkish  energy-resources  environment  climate-change  policy  meta-analysis  critique  pessimism  contrarianism  regularizer  cost-benefit  analysis  data  spock  nitty-gritty  deep-materialism  biophysical-econ  volo-avolo 
april 2017 by nhaliday
Performance Trends in AI | Otium
Deep learning has revolutionized the world of artificial intelligence. But how much does it improve performance? How have computers gotten better at different tasks over time, since the rise of deep learning?

In games, what the data seems to show is that exponential growth in data and computation power yields exponential improvements in raw performance. In other words, you get out what you put in. Deep learning matters, but only because it provides a way to turn Moore’s Law into corresponding performance improvements, for a wide class of problems. It’s not even clear it’s a discontinuous advance in performance over non-deep-learning systems.

In image recognition, deep learning clearly is a discontinuous advance over other algorithms. But the returns to scale and the improvements over time seem to be flattening out as we approach or surpass human accuracy.

In speech recognition, deep learning is again a discontinuous advance. We are still far away from human accuracy, and in this regime, accuracy seems to be improving linearly over time.

In machine translation, neural nets seem to have made progress over conventional techniques, but it’s not yet clear if that’s a real phenomenon, or what the trends are.

In natural language processing, trends are positive, but deep learning doesn’t generally seem to do better than trendline.

...

The learned agent performs much better than the hard-coded agent, but moves more jerkily and “randomly” and doesn’t know the law of reflection. Similarly, the reports of AlphaGo producing “unusual” Go moves are consistent with an agent that can do pattern-recognition over a broader space than humans can, but which doesn’t find the “laws” or “regularities” that humans do.

Perhaps, contrary to the stereotype that contrasts “mechanical” with “outside-the-box” thinking, reinforcement learners can “think outside the box” but can’t find the box?

http://slatestarcodex.com/2017/08/02/where-the-falling-einstein-meets-the-rising-mouse/
ratty  core-rats  summary  prediction  trends  analysis  spock  ai  deep-learning  state-of-art  🤖  deepgoog  games  nlp  computer-vision  nibble  reinforcement  model-class  faq  org:bleg  shift  chart  technology  language  audio  accuracy  speaking  foreign-lang  definite-planning  china  asia  microsoft  google  ideas  article  speedometer  whiggish-hegelian  yvain  ssc  smoothness  data  hsu  scitariat  genetics  iq  enhancement  genetic-load  neuro  neuro-nitgrit  brain-scan  time-series  multiplicative  iteration-recursion  additive  multi  arrows 
january 2017 by nhaliday
Information Processing: How Brexit was won, and the unreasonable effectiveness of physicists
‘If you don’t get this elementary, but mildly unnatural, mathematics of elementary probability into your repertoire, then you go through a long life like a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest. You’re giving a huge advantage to everybody else. One of the advantages of a fellow like Buffett … is that he automatically thinks in terms of decision trees and the elementary math of permutations and combinations… It’s not that hard to learn. What is hard is to get so you use it routinely almost everyday of your life. The Fermat/Pascal system is dramatically consonant with the way that the world works. And it’s fundamental truth. So you simply have to have the technique…

‘One of the things that influenced me greatly was studying physics… If I were running the world, people who are qualified to do physics would not be allowed to elect out of taking it. I think that even people who aren’t [expecting to] go near physics and engineering learn a thinking system in physics that is not learned so well anywhere else… The tradition of always looking for the answer in the most fundamental way available – that is a great tradition.’ --- Charlie Munger, Warren Buffet’s partner.

...

If you want to make big improvements in communication, my advice is – hire physicists, not communications people from normal companies, and never believe what advertising companies tell you about ‘data’ unless you can independently verify it. Physics, mathematics, and computer science are domains in which there are real experts, unlike macro-economic forecasting which satisfies neither of the necessary conditions – 1) enough structure in the information to enable good predictions, 2) conditions for good fast feedback and learning. Physicists and mathematicians regularly invade other fields but other fields do not invade theirs so we can see which fields are hardest for very talented people. It is no surprise that they can successfully invade politics and devise things that rout those who wrongly think they know what they are doing. Vote Leave paid very close attention to real experts. ...

More important than technology is the mindset – the hard discipline of obeying Richard Feynman’s advice: ‘The most important thing is not to fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.’ They were a hard floor on ‘fooling yourself’ and I empowered them to challenge everybody including me. They saved me from many bad decisions even though they had zero experience in politics and they forced me to change how I made important decisions like what got what money. We either operated scientifically or knew we were not, which is itself very useful knowledge. (One of the things they did was review the entire literature to see what reliable studies have been done on ‘what works’ in politics and what numbers are reliable.) Charlie Munger is one half of the most successful investment partnership in world history. He advises people – hire physicists. It works and the real prize is not the technology but a culture of making decisions in a rational way and systematically avoiding normal ways of fooling yourself as much as possible. This is very far from normal politics.
albion  hsu  scitariat  politics  strategy  tactics  recruiting  stories  reflection  britain  brexit  data-science  physics  interdisciplinary  impact  arbitrage  spock  discipline  clarity  lens  thick-thin  quotes  commentary  tetlock  meta:prediction  wonkish  complex-systems  intricacy  systematic-ad-hoc  realness  current-events  info-dynamics  unaffiliated  grokkability-clarity 
january 2017 by nhaliday
Fact Posts: How and Why
The most useful thinking skill I've taught myself, which I think should be more widely practiced, is writing what I call "fact posts." I write a bunch of these on my blog. (I write fact posts about pregnancy and childbirth here.)

To write a fact post, you start with an empirical question, or a general topic. Something like "How common are hate crimes?" or "Are epidurals really dangerous?" or "What causes manufacturing job loss?"

It's okay if this is a topic you know very little about. This is an exercise in original seeing and showing your reasoning, not finding the official last word on a topic or doing the best analysis in the world.

Then you open up a Google doc and start taking notes.

You look for quantitative data from conventionally reliable sources. CDC data for incidences of diseases and other health risks in the US; WHO data for global health issues; Bureau of Labor Statistics data for US employment; and so on. Published scientific journal articles, especially from reputable journals and large randomized studies.

You explicitly do not look for opinion, even expert opinion. You avoid news, and you're wary of think-tank white papers. You're looking for raw information. You are taking a sola scriptura approach, for better and for worse.

And then you start letting the data show you things.

You see things that are surprising or odd, and you note that.

You see facts that seem to be inconsistent with each other, and you look into the data sources and methodology until you clear up the mystery.

You orient towards the random, the unfamiliar, the things that are totally unfamiliar to your experience. One of the major exports of Germany is valves? When was the last time I even thought about valves? Why valves, what do you use valves in? OK, show me a list of all the different kinds of machine parts, by percent of total exports.

And so, you dig in a little bit, to this part of the world that you hadn't looked at before. You cultivate the ability to spin up a lightweight sort of fannish obsessive curiosity when something seems like it might be a big deal.

And you take casual notes and impressions (though keeping track of all the numbers and their sources in your notes).

You do a little bit of arithmetic to compare things to familiar reference points. How does this source of risk compare to the risk of smoking or going horseback riding? How does the effect size of this drug compare to the effect size of psychotherapy?

You don't really want to do statistics. You might take percents, means, standard deviations, maybe a Cohen's d here and there, but nothing fancy. You're just trying to figure out what's going on.

It's often a good idea to rank things by raw scale. What is responsible for the bulk of deaths, the bulk of money moved, etc? What is big? Then pay attention more to things, and ask more questions about things, that are big. (Or disproportionately high-impact.)

You may find that this process gives you contrarian beliefs, but often you won't, you'll just have a strongly fact-based assessment of why you believe the usual thing.
ratty  lesswrong  essay  rhetoric  meta:rhetoric  epistemic  thinking  advice  street-fighting  scholar  checklists  🤖  spock  writing  2016  info-foraging  rat-pack  clarity  systematic-ad-hoc  bounded-cognition  info-dynamics  let-me-see  nitty-gritty  core-rats  evidence-based  truth  grokkability-clarity 
december 2016 by nhaliday
A Fervent Defense of Frequentist Statistics - Less Wrong
Short summary. This essay makes many points, each of which I think is worth reading, but if you are only going to understand one point I think it should be “Myth 5″ below, which describes the online learning framework as a response to the claim that frequentist methods need to make strong modeling assumptions. Among other things, online learning allows me to perform the following remarkable feat: if I’m betting on horses, and I get to place bets after watching other people bet but before seeing which horse wins the race, then I can guarantee that after a relatively small number of races, I will do almost as well overall as the best other person, even if the number of other people is very large (say, 1 billion), and their performance is correlated in complicated ways.

If you’re only going to understand two points, then also read about the frequentist version of Solomonoff induction, which is described in “Myth 6″.

...

If you are like me from, say, two years ago, you are firmly convinced that Bayesian methods are superior and that you have knockdown arguments in favor of this. If this is the case, then I hope this essay will give you an experience that I myself found life-altering: the experience of having a way of thinking that seemed unquestionably true slowly dissolve into just one of many imperfect models of reality. This experience helped me gain more explicit appreciation for the skill of viewing the world from many different angles, and of distinguishing between a very successful paradigm and reality.

If you are not like me, then you may have had the experience of bringing up one of many reasonable objections to normative Bayesian epistemology, and having it shot down by one of many “standard” arguments that seem wrong but not for easy-to-articulate reasons. I hope to lend some reprieve to those of you in this camp, by providing a collection of “standard” replies to these standard arguments.
bayesian  philosophy  stats  rhetoric  advice  debate  critique  expert  lesswrong  commentary  discussion  regularizer  essay  exposition  🤖  aphorism  spock  synthesis  clever-rats  ratty  hi-order-bits  top-n  2014  acmtariat  big-picture  acm  iidness  online-learning  lens  clarity  unit  nibble  frequentist  s:**  expert-experience  subjective-objective  grokkability-clarity 
september 2016 by nhaliday
Risk Arbitrage | Ordinary Ideas
People have different risk profiles, and different beliefs about the future. But it seems to me like these differences should probably get washed out in markets, so that as a society we pursue investments if and only if they have good returns using some particular beliefs (call them the market’s beliefs) and with respect to some particular risk profile (call it the market’s risk profile).

As it turns out, if we idealize the world hard enough these two notions collapse, yielding a single probability distribution P which has the following property: on the margins, every individual should make an investment if and only if it has a positive expected value with respect to P. This probability distribution tends to be somewhat pessimistic: because people care about wealth more in worlds where wealth is scarce (being risk averse), events like a complete market collapse receive higher probability under P than under the “real” probability distribution over possible futures.
insight  thinking  hanson  rationality  explanation  finance  🤖  alt-inst  spock  confusion  prediction-markets  markets  ratty  decision-theory  clever-rats  pre-2013  acmtariat  outcome-risk  info-econ  info-dynamics 
september 2016 by nhaliday
Shut Up And Guess - Less Wrong
At what confidence level do you guess? At what confidence level do you answer "don't know"?

I took several of these tests last month, and the first thing I did was some quick mental calculations. If I have zero knowledge of a question, my expected gain from answering is 50% probability of earning one point and 50% probability of losing one half point. Therefore, my expected gain from answering a question is .5(1)-.5(.5)= +.25 points. Compare this to an expected gain of zero from not answering the question at all. Therefore, I ought to guess on every question, even if I have zero knowledge. If I have some inkling, well, that's even better.

You look disappointed. This isn't a very exciting application of arcane Less Wrong knowledge. Anyone with basic math skills should be able to calculate that out, right?

I attend a pretty good university, and I'm in a postgraduate class where most of us have at least a bachelor's degree in a hard science, and a few have master's degrees. And yet, talking to my classmates in the cafeteria after the first test was finished, I started to realize I was the only person in the class who hadn't answered "don't know" to any questions.

even more interesting stories in the comments
street-fighting  lesswrong  yvain  essay  rationality  regularizer  len:short  ratty  stories  higher-ed  education  decision-theory  frontier  thinking  spock  biases  pre-2013  low-hanging  decision-making  mental-math  bounded-cognition  nitty-gritty  paying-rent  info-dynamics  analytical-holistic  quantitative-qualitative 
september 2016 by nhaliday
Say you don’t need no diamond ring – spottedtoad
women almost never marry down

Most of these graphs are for middle aged (40-55 year old) respondents; relative incomes for men and women in 2016 are already much closer to 1 for younger workers, with some surveys suggesting that young women are already exceeding young men in earnings. If the pattern Bertrand and her colleagues observe persists, this would suggest that marriage rates may decline much faster than previously anticipated.

Gender Identity and Relative Income within Households: http://www.nber.org/papers/w19023
We examine causes and consequences of relative income within households. We establish that gender identity - in particular, an aversion to the wife earning more than the husband - impacts marriage formation, the wife's labor force participation, the wife's income conditional on working, marriage satisfaction, likelihood of divorce, and the division of home production. The distribution of the share of household income earned by the wife exhibits a sharp cliff at 0.5, which suggests that a couple is less willing to match if her income exceeds his. Within marriage markets, when a randomly chosen woman becomes more likely to earn more than a randomly chosen man, marriage rates decline. Within couples, if the wife's potential income (based on her demographics) is likely to exceed the husband's, the wife is less likely to be in the labor force and earns less than her potential if she does work. Couples where the wife earns more than the husband are less satisfied with their marriage and are more likely to divorce. Finally, based on time use surveys, the gender gap in non-market work is larger if the wife earns more than the husband.

https://twitter.com/toad_spotted/status/913860206773391360
https://archive.is/9NxIC
Still think falling M:F income ratios important to secular decline in marriage, but seems like Tinderpocalypse might really be happening too

Millennials are still not getting married: http://www.statsblogs.com/2016/10/14/millennials-are-still-not-getting-married/
Percentage of U.S. women never married, by age, 1980 & 2015 [OC]: https://www.reddit.com/r/dataisbeautiful/comments/7b31li/percentage_of_us_women_never_married_by_age_1980/dpevgj6/
https://archive.is/o5Lao

How Many Women Earn More Than Their Husbands?: https://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/how-many-women-earn-more-than-their-husbands/

Trends in Relative Earnings and Marital Dissolution: Are Wives Who Outearn Their Husbands Still More Likely to Divorce?: http://www.rsfjournal.org/doi/full/10.7758/RSF.2016.2.4.08
A: no
likely due to selection...

How Did Marriage Become a Mark of Privilege?: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/25/upshot/how-did-marriage-become-a-mark-of-privilege.html
Let them become elite.: https://dalrock.wordpress.com/2017/09/26/let-them-become-elite/

https://twitter.com/toad_spotted/status/1176572270136954880
https://archive.is/ds8qp
If you are a young married person, you're probably no more egalitarian in your earnings than you would've been 25 years ago; but you're less likely to be a married person if you're young, probably partially because your earnings are egalitarian
society  sex  gender  money  class  data  spock  ratty  unaffiliated  wonkish  compensation  sociology  age-generation  trends  social-capital  social-norms  chart  coming-apart  dignity  life-history  modernity  multi  study  economics  distribution  shift  general-survey  analysis  twitter  social  discussion  backup  zeitgeist  demographics  labor  news  org:data  optimism  gender-diff  pro-rata  rot  social-structure  malaise  org:rec  gnon  noblesse-oblige  assortative-mating  time-series  reddit  visualization  crosstab  pic  begin-middle-end 
september 2016 by nhaliday
The Rise and Fall of the Bourgeois Era – spottedtoad
That is, the Bourgeois Era allowed and required men (and then women) to work within the market system to support their families, but a changing technology of production means we are more in need of consumers than producers now. The Bourgeois Era benefited from people who were in some ways “bred for capitalism,” by the combination of Malthusian circumstances and strong states that punished violence with violence and starved the children of those who couldn’t make a living with market labor. But the majority of the people on the planet did not go through that same, centuries-long process, which was only partially effective in the places it operated in any case.

Just in time, however, the “need” for bourgeois lives has dissipated.
trends  culture  society  data  anomie  anthropology  civilization  spock  ratty  insight  innovation  unaffiliated  hmm  🤖  c:*  2016  optimate  consumerism  supply-demand  fertility  wonkish  labor  winner-take-all  malthus  migration  redistribution  technocracy  nl-and-so-can-you  capitalism  the-great-west-whale  biophysical-econ  managerial-state  malaise  sociology  westminster  current-events  nationalism-globalism  roots  civic  madisonian  chart  coming-apart  dignity  welfare-state  zeitgeist  rot  the-bones  kumbaya-kult  tradition  modernity  peace-violence  recent-selection  gregory-clark  spearhead  counter-revolution  nascent-state  :/  utopia-dystopia 
august 2016 by nhaliday
Achilles and the Tortoise Talk About Floss – spottedtoad
Exactly- people already want their teeth to be clean. People already can afford floss if they want to get it. People already have been told their whole life, more-or-less, that they should floss. To a large degree, if they’re the kind of person who can follow through with flossing, they’re already doing it. So if you go and put up signs around your medical school telling people they can get paid for a study of flossing if they don’t already floss and then you randomly assign them to be told to floss or not, you’re not testing the effect of flossing, you’re testing the effect of being told one more time to floss if you’ve already proved that you don’t like to do it. Maybe it’s not even that good for you personally, but that doesn’t mean it’s not good for most people who are already flossing.
health  medicine  thinking  science  parable  counterfactual  🤖  spock  evidence-based  regularizer  ratty  map-territory  unaffiliated  marginal  wonkish  dental  intricacy  measurement  confounding  discipline  intervention  persuasion  get-fit 
august 2016 by nhaliday
« earlier      
per page:    204080120160

bundles : vague

related tags

2016-election  80000-hours  :/  ability-competence  absolute-relative  abstraction  academia  accretion  accuracy  acm  acmtariat  additive  advanced  adversarial  advice  africa  age-generation  aggregator  agriculture  ai  ai-control  akrasia  albion  alignment  alt-inst  analogy  analysis  analytical-holistic  anglosphere  anomie  anthropic  anthropology  antidemos  aphorism  applications  arbitrage  architecture  aristos  arrows  art  article  asia  assortative-mating  atmosphere  attaq  audio  authoritarianism  automation  autor  aversion  axioms  backup  bayesian  begin-middle-end  behavioral-gen  being-right  benevolence  best-practices  better-explained  bias-variance  biases  big-peeps  big-picture  big-surf  big-yud  bio  biodet  biohacking  biophysical-econ  bits  blog  books  bostrom  bounded-cognition  brain-scan  branches  brexit  britain  broad-econ  business  c:*  c:**  c:***  calculation  california  caltech  canon  capital  capitalism  causation  chapman  charity  chart  cheatsheet  checking  checklists  china  christianity  civic  civil-liberty  civilization  clarity  class  class-warfare  clever-rats  climate-change  cliometrics  clown-world  coalitions  cog-psych  comedy  coming-apart  commentary  communism  community  comparison  compensation  competition  complex-systems  complexity  computation  computer-vision  concept  conceptual-vocab  confidence  confluence  confounding  confusion  conquest-empire  consumerism  contrarianism  cool  cooperate-defect  coordination  core-rats  correlation  cost-benefit  cost-disease  counter-revolution  counterfactual  courage  cracker-econ  creative  crime  criminal-justice  criminology  critique  crosstab  cs  culture  culture-war  curiosity  current-events  cybernetics  cycles  data  data-science  database  death  debate  debt  debugging  decentralized  decision-making  decision-theory  deep-learning  deep-materialism  deepgoog  defense  definite-planning  definition  demographics  dennett  density  dental  dependence-independence  descriptive  detail-architecture  developing-world  developmental  diet  dignity  dimensionality  direction  dirty-hands  discipline  discovery  discrimination  discussion  disease  distribution  diversity  divide-and-conquer  douthatish  drugs  duplication  dynamic  dynamical  early-modern  econ-metrics  econ-productivity  econometrics  economics  econotariat  eden-heaven  education  effective-altruism  efficiency  egalitarianism-hierarchy  elections  electromag  embodied  embodied-cognition  embodied-pack  embodied-street-fighting  emergent  emotion  empirical  ems  encyclopedic  endo-exo  endogenous-exogenous  energy-resources  engineering  enhancement  environment  environmental-effects  envy  epidemiology  epistemic  error  essay  ethics  ethnocentrism  EU  europe  evidence  evidence-based  evolution  examples  exit-voice  expansionism  experiment  expert  expert-experience  explanation  exploratory  explore-exploit  exposition  faq  farmers-and-foragers  fashun  fermi  fertility  feudal  field-study  finance  fitness  fitsci  flexibility  fluid  flux-stasis  food  foreign-lang  foreign-policy  formal-values  forum  frequentist  frontier  fungibility-liquidity  futurism  gallic  games  gedanken  gelman  gender  gender-diff  general-survey  generalization  genetic-load  genetics  geography  germanic  get-fit  giants  gilens-page  gnon  gnxp  good-evil  google  gotchas  government  graphical-models  graphs  gravity  gray-econ  gregory-clark  grokkability  grokkability-clarity  group-level  growth  growth-econ  growth-mindset  GT-101  guilt-shame  GWAS  gwern  GxE  h2o  hacker  hanson  happy-sad  hard-tech  health  healthcare  heavy-industry  heuristic  hi-order-bits  higher-ed  history  hmm  homo-hetero  honor  housing  hsu  human-study  humanity  humility  hypochondria  hypocrisy  ideas  identity-politics  ideology  idk  iidness  illusion  impact  impetus  incentives  increase-decrease  industrial-revolution  inequality  inference  info-dynamics  info-econ  info-foraging  infographic  information-theory  infrastructure  init  innovation  input-output  insight  instinct  institutions  integrity  intelligence  interdisciplinary  internet  intervention  interview  intricacy  intuition  investigative-journo  investing  iq  iran  iron-age  israel  iteration-recursion  janus  journos-pundits  judgement  knowledge  kumbaya-kult  labor  land  language  large-factor  latent-variables  latin-america  leadership  learning  left-wing  legibility  len:long  len:short  lens  lesswrong  let-me-see  letters  leviathan  lexical  life-history  lifehack  links  list  literature  local-global  long-short-run  long-term  longevity  longform  love-hate  low-hanging  machine-learning  macro  madisonian  magnitude  malaise  malthus  managerial-state  map-territory  maps  marginal  marginal-rev  market-failure  market-power  markets  markov  martial  math  math.CO  mathtariat  matrix-factorization  meaningness  measurement  mechanics  media  medicine  medieval  mediterranean  MENA  mena4  mental-math  meta-analysis  meta:prediction  meta:reading  meta:rhetoric  meta:war  metabolic  metabuch  metameta  methodology  metrics  micro  microfoundations  microsoft  midwest  migration  military  miri-cfar  mobility  model-class  model-organism  models  modernity  moments  monetary-fiscal  money  money-for-time  monte-carlo  morality  mostly-modern  multi  multiplicative  mutation  mystic  nascent-state  nationalism-globalism  natural-experiment  nature  near-far  neocons  neuro  neuro-nitgrit  neurons  new-religion  news  nibble  nihil  nitty-gritty  nl-and-so-can-you  nlp  noahpinion  noblesse-oblige  noise-structure  nootropics  northeast  novelty  nuclear  null-result  nutrition  obesity  objective-measure  objektbuch  occam  offense-defense  old-anglo  online-learning  open-closed  operational  opioids  optimate  optimism  optimization  order-disorder  org:anglo  org:biz  org:bleg  org:bv  org:data  org:econlib  org:edu  org:health  org:lite  org:mag  org:mat  org:med  org:nat  org:ngo  org:rec  organization  organizing  oscillation  outcome-risk  outliers  oxbridge  p:null  p:whenever  papers  parable  paradox  parallax  parenting  pareto  parsimony  paste  patho-altruism  patience  paying-rent  pdf  peace-violence  people  personal-finance  personality  persuasion  pessimism  phalanges  philosophy  phys-energy  physics  pic  piketty  planning  plots  poast  polanyi-marx  polarization  policy  polisci  political-econ  politics  poll  pop-diff  pragmatic  pre-2013  pre-ww2  prediction  prediction-markets  prejudice  prepping  preprint  primitivism  priors-posteriors  pro-rata  probability  problem-solving  productivity  propaganda  properties  property-rights  proposal  protestant-catholic  pseudoE  psychology  psychometrics  public-goodish  public-health  putnam-like  puzzles  q-n-a  qra  quality  quantified-self  quantitative-qualitative  questions  quixotic  quiz  quotes  race  rand-approx  rand-complexity  random  randy-ayndy  rat-pack  rationality  ratty  reading  realness  realpolitik  reason  recent-selection  recommendations  recruiting  reddit  redistribution  reference  reflection  regional-scatter-plots  regression  regularization  regularizer  reinforcement  relativity  religion  rent-seeking  replication  research-program  retention  review  revolution  rhetoric  rigor  risk  robotics  robust  roots  rot  russia  s-factor  s:*  s:**  s:null  sampling  sanctity-degradation  scale  scholar  science  science-anxiety  scitariat  scott-sumner  search  security  selection  self-interest  sequential  sex  shalizi  shift  signal-noise  signaling  signum  similarity  simulation  singularity  sinosphere  skeleton  skunkworks  smoothness  social  social-capital  social-norms  social-psych  social-science  social-structure  sociality  society  sociology  space  speaking  spearhead  speculation  speed  speedometer  spock  spreading  ssc  stagnation  state-of-art  stats  status  steel-man  stereotypes  stories  strategy  stream  street-fighting  stress  structure  study  stylized-facts  subculture  subjective-objective  summary  supply-demand  survey  sv  symmetry  synchrony  synthesis  systematic-ad-hoc  tactics  taxes  tcs  teaching  technocracy  technology  techtariat  telos-atelos  temperance  terrorism  tetlock  the-bones  the-classics  the-great-west-whale  the-monster  the-self  the-south  the-world-is-just-atoms  theory-of-mind  thick-thin  things  thinking  threat-modeling  tidbits  time  time-series  todo  tools  top-n  track-record  trade  tradeoffs  tradition  transportation  trends  tribalism  trump  trust  truth  tumblr  turing  tv  twin-study  twitter  unaffiliated  uncertainty  unintended-consequences  unit  universalism-particularism  urban  urban-rural  us-them  usa  utopia-dystopia  vague  values  variance-components  virtu  visual-understanding  visualization  volo-avolo  von-neumann  vulgar  walter-scheidel  war  wealth  weightlifting  weird  weird-sun  welfare-state  west-hunter  westminster  whiggish-hegelian  white-paper  wiki  wild-ideas  winner-take-all  wire-guided  within-without  woah  wonkish  workflow  working-stiff  world  world-war  worse-is-better/the-right-thing  writing  xenobio  yoga  yvain  zeitgeist  zero-positive-sum  🌞  🎩  🐸  👽  🔬  🤖  🦉 

Copy this bookmark:



description:


tags: