Only for statistical dynamics geeks. An experiment I did on a spreadsheet. In the 2nd chart, the selection range for a random number shifted upward only 2%, and only when there was a superior neighbor on the left, yet note that even this modest increase in competitiveness significantly affected overall results. Continue reading
Thirty minutes ago, CNN Breaking News released the following headline.
A now-retracted UK study that linked autism to childhood vaccines was an “elaborate fraud,” a medical journal reports.
It’s hard to think of an issue that is not more emotional than autism. It involves children and parental responsibility. Love, guilt, shame, anger, and fear all played a role in a few parents and doctors taking 2 co-occurring events–the appearance of autism and vaccination–and running the notion past science before science had time to react. The the return to truth has now been much more painful than necessary due to the emotions of so many who hold to this myth. [http://whatstheharm.net/autismdenial.html]
This post is devoid of opinion, and simply relates 4 personal anecdotes. Feel free to respond with relevant opinions.
- A few years ago, a friend suddenly accused me of hitting on his girlfriend. A few days after assuring him I had no romantic interest in his girlfriend, my girlfriend informs me he had hit on her.
- Last summer I was in pretty good shape for a 49-year-old. A team of rugby players asked me about my “regimen”. I told them about my short, systematic workout every morning. They replied “riiiiiight”, then winked. Only later did I realize they thought I was taking steroids as many of them might have been.
- A decade or so ago, my girlfriend asked me whether I ever thought about leaving her. I thought she simply needed reassurance, and I told her honestly that I had never considered leaving her. She left me a few weeks later.
- When I was an innocent 19-year-old virgin, I was in love with a very lovely girl whose father pulled me aside, smirked, then informed me he knew what I was really after. A year later it was revealed that he had been molesting her.
An excellent clarification of “atheism” “faith” and “belief“.
This post is an elaboration of #4 from a list of things I’ve learned late in life.
When I was young, I believed to a great degree that truth would feel “truthful”. The underlying assumption I failed to recognize is the assumption that my mind was well-equipped without training to intuit truth accurately. I was certain god existed, because the concept was constantly being confirmed by this illegitimate intuition I had that god must exist, and the subsequent emotion of confidence in the mechanism of that intuition. Why would the concept of a personal god come to my mind if it were not real, and why would it feel so correct? I completely neglected to assess the reliability of my mind to assess claims. I simply assumed it was, by default, calibrated to process claims as they arrived.
Due to this erroneous assumption, Continue reading
This post is an elaboration of #3 from a list of things I’ve learned late in life.
How do we test the reliability of human knowledge? Don’t we have to first demonstrate what is true, then assess the percentage of the world that disagrees with that truth?
No. All we have to do is to determine the percentage of believers holding a world view that is logically exclusive of other dominant world views. Consider the logically exclusive religions of Christianity, Islam and Hinduism. Since Christianity has the largest market share of 33%, the percentage of humans who hold a false world view is at least 66%.
The interesting thing about this fact is that Continue reading