Vaden Masrani, a PhD alum in machine learning at UBC, and Ben Chugg, a PhD student in statistics at CMU, get into trouble arguing about everything except machine learning and statistics. Coherence is somewhere on the horizon. Bribes, suggestions, love-mail and hate-mail all welcome at [email protected].
#62 (Bonus) - The Principle of Optimism (Vaden on the Theory of Anything Podcast)
2:45:37Vaden has selfishly gone on vacation with his family, leaving beloved listeners to fend for themselves in the wide world of epistemological confusion. To repair some of the damage, we're releasing an episode of The Theory of Anything Podcast from last June in which Vaden contributed to a roundtable discussion on the principle of optimism. Featuring Bruce Nielson, Peter Johansen, Sam Kuypers, Hervé Eulacia, Micah Redding, Bill Rugolsky, and Daniel Buchfink. Enjoy! From The Theory of Anything Podcast description: Are all evils due to a lack of knowledge? Are all interesting problems soluble? ALL the problems, really?!?! And what exactly is meant by interesting? Also, should “good guys” ignore the precautionary principle, and do they always win? What is the difference between cynicism, pessimism, and skepticism? And why is pessimism so attractive to so many humans? Socials Follow us on Twitter at @IncrementsPod, @BennyChugg, @VadenMasrani Come join our discord server! DM us on twitter or send us an email to get a supersecret link Help us solve problems and get exclusive bonus content by becoming a patreon subscriber here (https://www.patreon.com/Increments). Or give us one-time cash donations to help cover our lack of cash donations here (https://ko-fi.com/increments). Click dem like buttons on youtube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_4wZzQyoW4s4ZuE4FY9DQQ) Which unsolvable problem would you most like to solve? Send your answer via quantum tunneling to [email protected] Special Guests: Bruce Nielson and Sam Kuypers.
#61 - Debating Free Will: Frankenstein's Monster and a Filmstrip of the Universe (with Lucas Smalldon)
1:42:49While you're reading this you're having a thought. Something like "wow, I love the Increments podcast", or "those hosts are some handsome" or "I really wish people would stop talking about free will." Do you have a choice in the matter? Are you free to choose what you're thinking in any given moment, or is it determined by your genetics, environment, and existing ideas? Is the universe determined, are we all Frankenstein's monster? How does one profitably think about that question? Today we have Lucas Smalldon on to help us think through these questions. We reference Lucas's blog post titled reconciling-determinism-and-free-will (https://barelymorethanatweet.com/2021/01/05/reconciling-determinism-and-free-will/). Because it's is barely more than a tweet, we've included the entire post here as well: Reconciling Free Will with Determinism Free will and determinism seem to conflict with each other. But the apparent conflict disappears when we understand that determinism and free will simply describe the world from radically different perspectives and at fundamentally different levels. Free will makes sense only within the context of the physical world, whereas determinism makes sense only from a perspective that is outside the physical world. Consider the determinist statement, “The future exists and has always existed”. It seems like a contradiction in terms, but only because our language forces us to express the idea misleadingly in terms of the past and future. If we assign special meanings to the temporal words in the statement—namely, if by the future we mean “objectively real events that from the perspective of our present have not yet happened”; and if by always we mean “transcending time itself” rather than the usual “existing across all time”—then the contradiction resolves. Assigning these special meanings allows us to express determinism as atemporal and objective: as a description of a physical reality of which time is an attribute. Conversely, free will, which is by far the more intuitive concept, is needed to explain certain kinds of events (i.e., choices) that occur within time, and thus within the physical world that determinism describes from the outside. Determinism and free will are compatible. We really do make choices. It’s just that, from an atemporal determinist perspective, these choices have “always” existed. Follow Lucas on twitter (https://twitter.com/reason_wit_me?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor) or check out his blog (https://barelymorethanatweet.com/). We discuss Levels of explanation regarding free will The (in)compatibility of different levels of explanation Why the lack of free will does not hinge on reductionism Memetic arguments for the non-existence of free will Whether we can have moral responsibility without free will The universe as a filmstrip Whether we're all just Frankenstein's monster Socials Follow us on Twitter at @IncrementsPod, @BennyChugg, @VadenMasrani Come join our discord server! DM us on twitter or send us an email to get a supersecret link Help us find freedom and get exclusive bonus content by becoming a patreon subscriber here (https://www.patreon.com/Increments). Or give us one-time cash donations to help cover our lack of cash donations here (https://ko-fi.com/increments). Click dem like buttons on youtube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_4wZzQyoW4s4ZuE4FY9DQQ) How much do you want to want Frankenstein's monster? Send your answer down the tubes and over to [email protected] Special Guest: Lucas Smalldon.
#60 - Creativity and Computational Universality (with Bruce Nielson)
1:58:42Today we [finally] have on someone who actually knows what they're actually talking about: Mr. Bruce Nielson of the excellent Theory of Anything Podcast. We bring him on to straighten us out on the topics of creativity, machine intelligence, Turing machines, and computational universality - We build upon our previous conversation way back in Ask Us Anything I: Computation and Creativity (https://www.incrementspodcast.com/52), and suggest listening to that episode first. Go follow Bruce on twitter (https://twitter.com/bnielson01) and check out his Theory of Anything Podcast here (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-theory-of-anything/id1503194218). (Also Vaden's audio was acting up a bit in this episode, we humbly seek forgiveness.) We discuss Does theorem proving count as creativity? Is AlphaGo creative? Determinism, predictability, and chaos theory Essentialism and a misunderstanding of definitions Animal memes and understanding Turing Machines and computational universality Penrose's "proof" that we need new physics References Ask Us Anything I: Computation and Creativity (https://www.incrementspodcast.com/52) (Listen first!) Logic theorist (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logic_Theorist) AlphaGo movie (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AlphaGo_(film)) Socials Follow us on Twitter at @IncrementsPod, @BennyChugg, @VadenMasrani Come join our discord server! DM us on twitter or send us an email to get a supersecret link Help us fund more 64 minute-long blog posts and get exclusive bonus content by becoming a patreon subscriber here (https://www.patreon.com/Increments). Or give us one-time cash donations to help cover our lack of cash donations here (https://ko-fi.com/increments). Click dem like buttons on youtube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_4wZzQyoW4s4ZuE4FY9DQQ) Create us up an email with something imaginatively rote, cliche and formulaic, and mail that creative stinker over to [email protected] Special Guest: Bruce Nielson.
#59 (C&R, Chap 8) - On the Status of Science and Metaphysics (Plus reflections on the Brett Hall blog exchange)
1:26:24Back to the C&R series baby! Feels goooooood. Need some bar-room explanations for why induction is impossible? We gotchu. Need some historical background on where your boy Isaac got his ideas? We gotchu. Need to know how to refute the irrefutable? Gotchu there too homie, because today we're diving into Conjectures and Refutations, Chapter 8: On the Status of Science and Metaphysics. Oh, and we also discuss, in admittedly frustrated tones, the failed blog exchange between Brett Hall and Vaden on prediction and Austrianism. If you want the full listening experience, we suggest reading both posts before hearing our kvetching: Vaden's post (https://vmasrani.github.io/blog/2023/predicting-human-behaviour/) Brett's "response" (https://www.bretthall.org/blog/humans-are-creative) Hold on to your hats for this one listeners, because she starts off rather spicy. We discuss Why Kant believed in the truth of Newtonian mechanics Newton and his assertion that he arrived at his theory via induction Why this isn't true and is logically impossible Was Copernicus influenced by Platonic ideals? How Kepler came up with the idea of elliptical orbits Why finite observations are always compatible with infinitely many theories Kant's paradox and his solution Popper's updated solution to Kant's paradox The irrefutability of philosophical theories How can we say that irrefutable theories are false? Annnnnd perhaps a few cheap shots here and there about Austrian Economics as well. # References Some background history (https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/copernicus/notes.html#note-6) on Copernicus and why Ben thinks Popper is wrong Quotes Listening to this statement you may well wonder how I can possibly hold a theory to be false and irrefutable at one and the same time—I who claim to be a rationalist. For how can a rationalist say of a theory that it is false and irrefutable? Is he not bound, as a rationalist, to refute a theory before he asserts that it is false? And conversely, is he not bound to admit that if a theory is irrefutable, it is true? Now if we look upon a theory as a proposed solution to a set of problems, then the theory immediately lends itself to critical discussion—even if it is non-empirical and irrefutable. For we can now ask questions such as, Does it solve the problem? Does it solve it better than other theories? Has it perhaps merely shifted the problem? Is the solution simple? Is it fruitful? Does it perhaps contradict other philosophical theories needed for solving other problems? Because, as you [Kant] said, we are not passive receptors of sense data, but active organisms. Because we react to our environment not always merely instinctively, but sometimes con- sciously and freely. Because we can invent myths, stories, theories; because we have a thirst for explanation, an insatiable curiosity, a wish to know. Because we not only invent stories and theories, but try them out and see whether they work and how they work. Because by a great effort, by trying hard and making many mistakes, we may sometimes, if we are lucky, succeed in hitting upon a story, an explanation, which ‘saves the phenomena’; perhaps by making up a myth about ‘invisibles’, such as atoms or gravitational forces, which explain the visible. Because knowledge is an adventure of ideas. These ideas, it is true, are produced by us, and not by the world around us; they are not merely the traces of repeated sensations or stimuli or what not; here you were right. But we are more active and free than even you believed; for similar observations or similar environmental situations do not, as your theory implied, produce similar explanations in different men. Nor is the fact that we create our theories, and that we attempt to impose them upon the world, an explanation of their success, as you believed. For the overwhelming majority of our theories, of our freely invented ideas, are unsuccessful; they do not stand up to searching tests, and are discarded as falsified by experience. Only a very few of them succeed, for a time, in the competitive struggle for survival. \ C&R Chapter 2 Socials Follow us on Twitter at @IncrementsPod, @BennyChugg, @VadenMasrani Come join our discord server! DM us on twitter or send us an email to get a supersecret link Help us fund more hour-long blog posts and get exclusive bonus content by becoming a patreon subscriber here (https://www.patreon.com/Increments). Or give us one-time cash donations to help cover anger management here (https://ko-fi.com/increments). Click dem like buttons on youtube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_4wZzQyoW4s4ZuE4FY9DQQ) Would you rather be wrong or boring? Tell us at [email protected]
#58 - Ask Us Anything V: How to Read and What to Read
1:40:32Alright people, we made it. Six months, a few breaks, some uncontrollable laughter, some philosophy, many unhinged takes, a little bit of diarrhea and we're here, the last Ask Us Anything. After this we're never answering another God D*** question. Ever. We discuss Do you wish you could change your own interests? Methods of information ingestion Taking books off their pedestal bit Intellectual influences Veganism (why Ben is, why Vaden isn't) Anti-rational memes Fricken Andrew Huberman again Stoicism Are e-fuels the best of the best or the worst of the worst? Questions (Andrew) Any suggested methods of reading Popper (or others) and getting the most out of it? I'm not from a philosophy background, and although I get a lot out of the books, I think there's probably ways of reading them (notes etc?) where I could invest the same time and get more return. (Andrew) Any other books you'd say added to your personal philosophical development as DD, KP have? Who and why? (Alex) Are you aware of general types of insidious anti-rational memes which are hard to recognise as such? Any ideas on how we can go about recognising them in our own thinking? (I do realise that perhaps no general method exists, but still, if you have any thoughts on this...) (Lorcan) What do you think about efuels? Listen to this take (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egTCIyNBpQw&ab_channel=FullyChargedShow) by Fully Charged. References Lying (https://www.samharris.org/books/lying) and Free Will (https://www.samharris.org/books/free-will) by Sam Harris Doing Good Better (https://www.amazon.ca/Doing-Good-Better-Effective-Altruism/dp/1592409660) by MacAskill Animal Liberation (https://www.amazon.ca/Animal-Liberation-Definitive-Classic-Movement/dp/0061711306) by Peter Singer Mortal Questions (https://www.amazon.ca/Mortal-Questions-Thomas-Nagel/dp/1107604710#:~:text=Thomas%20Nagel's%20Mortal%20Questions%20explore,%2C%20consciousness%2C%20freedom%20and%20value.) by Thomas Nagel Death and Life of Great American Cities (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Death_and_Life_of_Great_American_Cities) by Jane Jacobs Peace is Every Step (https://www.amazon.ca/Peace-Every-Step-Mindfulness-Everyday/dp/0553351397) and True Love (https://www.amazon.ca/True-Love-Practice-Awakening-Heart/dp/1590304047) by Thich Nhat Hanh Seeing like a State (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seeing_Like_a_State#:~:text=Seeing%20Like%20a%20State%3A%20How,accordance%20with%20purported%20scientific%20laws.) by James Scott The Truth Behind Cage-Free and Free-Range | STUFF YOU SHOULD KNOW (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foHv_MCBveA&ab_channel=StuffYouShouldKnow) People Producers of rational memes: - Everything: Christopher Hitchens, Vladimir Nabokov, Sam Harris, George Orwell, Scott Alexander, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Steven Pinker - Sex and Relationships: Dan Savage - Environment/Progress: Vaclav Smil, Matt Ridley, Steven Pinker, Hans Rosling, Bjorn Lomborg, Michael Shellenburger, Alex Epstein - Race: Glenn Loury, John Mcwhorter, Coleman Hughes, Kmele Foster, Chloe Valdery - Woke: John Mcwhorter, Yasha Mounk, Coleman Hughes, Sam Harris, Douglas Murrey, Jordan Peterson, Steven Hicks, James Lindsay, Ben Shapiro - Feminism: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Christina Hoff Summers, Camille Paglia (Note: Then follow each thinker's favorite thinker, and never stop. ) Producers of anti-rational memes: - Eric Weinstein - Bret Weinstein - Noam Chomsky (See A Potpourri Of Chomskyan Nonsense: https://lingbuzz.net/lingbuzz/001592/v6.pdf) - Glenn Greenwald - Reza Aslan - Medhi Hassan - Robin Diangelo - Ibraam x Kendi - George Galloway - Judith Butler Socials Follow us on Twitter at @IncrementsPod, @BennyChugg, @VadenMasrani Come join our discord server! DM us on twitter or send us an email to get a supersecret link Help us fund the anti-book campaign and get exclusive bonus content by becoming a patreon subscriber here (https://www.patreon.com/Increments). Or give us one-time cash donations to help therapy costs here (https://ko-fi.com/increments). Click dem like buttons on youtube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_4wZzQyoW4s4ZuE4FY9DQQ) What aren't you interested in, and how might you fix that? Tell us at [email protected]
#57 (Bonus) - A calm and soothing discussion of The Patriarchy
1:01:29We we're looking for a nice light topic for our patron only episode, so Vaden naturally chosen to chat about the patriarchy. I guess he didn't get into enough trouble in his personal life talking about it so he wanted to make his support and admiration for the patriarchy public. This is a sneak preview into the land of patreon bonus episodes, so be sure to fork over some cold hard cash if you'd like a bit more mansplaining in your life. We discuss Harassment of women in various spheres of life The patriarchy as a set of facts versus a causal explanation Why conflating these two notions of the patriarchy harms progress Domains where women are doing better than men (hint: education, mental health, and psychopathy) Why it's so hard to talk about this Why Canada is different than Afghanistan (OR IS IT) Socials Follow us on Twitter at @IncrementsPod, @BennyChugg, @VadenMasrani Come join our discord server! DM us on twitter or send us an email to get a supersecret link Help us pay for men's rights posters and get exclusive bonus content by becoming a patreon subscriber here (https://www.patreon.com/Increments). Or give us one-time cash donations to help with upholding the patriarchy here (https://ko-fi.com/increments). Click dem like buttons on youtube over hur (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_4wZzQyoW4s4ZuE4FY9DQQ). Who is a better meninist? Tell us at [email protected]
#56 - Ask Us Anything IV: Certainty, Emergence, and Popperian Imperatives
1:21:32Perhaps you thought, in your infinite ignorance, that the release of the previous episode marked the end of the age of the AMA! But nay my friends, the age of the AMA has just begun! We'll answer your questions until the cows come home; until Godot arrives; until all the world's babies are potty-trained. Or, at least, until we stop laughing. We discuss Potty training, taking babies seriously, and adult diapers Why Vaden never daydreams, fantasizes, or minds spending 10 hours in a car Whether the subjective notions of certainty, belief, or confidence deserve a spot in the objective world of epistemology Whether sports are authoritarian Whether spreading Popper's epistemology is a moral imperative The role of school and educational institutions Whether emergence is the result of the interplay between physical reality and the reality of abstraction Questions (Tom) Can any thinking take place completely independent of any certainty (explicitly acknowledged or inexplicit) whatsoever? Or can we introduce alternative terms to 'certainty' and 'confidence' to describe how individuals process their convictions, consent, and agreement? If 'certainty' and 'confidence' connote justificationism, can a fallibilist dismiss these terms entirely? (Tom) Can fallibilism, anti-authoritarianism, anti-justificationism, and critical rationalism overall operate effectively in the highly competitive space of sports, especially professional sports? (Andrew) If our best theory of how to make rapid progress comes from Popper's epistemology, should making it more widely known/understood be considered a moral imperative? If not, why? If so, thoughts? (Andrew) This one has been hanging about in my notes for a couple of years so I'm not sure it's a great question any more, but something zingy about the interplay between reality, abstractions and their effects on each other has pushed me to add it here: Is emergence the result of the interplay between physical reality and the reality of abstractions? Socials Follow us on Twitter at @IncrementsPod, @BennyChugg, @VadenMasrani Come join our discord server! DM us on twitter or send us an email to get a supersecret link Help us pay for diapers and get exclusive bonus content by becoming a patreon subscriber here (https://www.patreon.com/Increments). Or give us one-time cash donations to help with Diarrhea removal here (https://ko-fi.com/increments)). Click dem like buttons on youtube over hur (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_4wZzQyoW4s4ZuE4FY9DQQ). Who is more annoying in the mornings? Tell us at [email protected]
#55 - Is all thought problem-solving?
54:09Our argument at the end of last episode spilled over into discord, DMs, and world news, so we felt compelled to dedicate a full episode to addressing the question "Is all thought problem solving?" Some arguments make history, like whether atomic bombs were required in WWII, whether all philosophy is simply a language game, and whether the chicken did indeed come before the egg. Will this be one of them? We cover: - How Vaden listens to podcasts and why he thinks Andrew Huberman sucks (but studies show that Andrew Huberman is great!) - Popper's evolutionary take on problem-solving - Problems defined as "disappointed expectations" - Whether all volitional thought is problem-solving - Are irrefutable theories ever valuable, or should they all be discarded a-priori? References All life is problem-solving (https://www.amazon.com/Life-Problem-Solving-Karl-Popper/dp/0415249929) In Search of a Better World (https://www.amazon.ca/Search-Better-World-Lectures-Essays/dp/0415135486) Episode 51 of Increments (https://www.incrementspodcast.com/51), where we discuss "implicit definitions". Quotes Men, animals, plants, even unicellular organisms are constantly active. They are trying to improve their situation, or at least to avoid its deterioration. Even when asleep, the organism is actively maintaining the state of sleep: the depth (or else the shallowness) of sleep is a condition actively created by the organism, which sustains sleep (or else keeps the organism on the alert). Every organism is constantly preoccupied with the task of solving prob- lems. These problems arise from its own assessments of its condition and of its environment; conditions which the organism seeks to improve. - In Search Of A Better World, p.vii At bottom, this procedure seems to be the only logical one. It is also the procedure that a lower organism, even a single-cell amoeba, uses when trying to solve a problem. In this case we speak of testing movements through which the organism tries to rid itself of a troublesome problem. Higher organisms are able to learn through trial and error how a certain problem should be solved. We may say that they too make testing movements - mental testings - and that to learn is essentially to tryout one testing movement after another until one is found that solves the problem. We might compare the animal's successful solution to an expectation and hence to a hypothesis or a theory. For the animal's behaviour shows us that it expects (perhaps unconsciously or dispositionally) that in a similar case the same testing movements will again solve the problem in question. The behaviour of animals, and of plants too, shows that organisms are geared to laws or regularities. They expect laws or regularities in their surroundings, and I conjecture that most of these expectations are genetically determined - which is to say that they are innate. - All Life is Problem Solving, p.3 Socials Follow us on Twitter at @IncrementsPod, @BennyChugg, @VadenMasrani Come join our discord server! DM us on twitter or send us an email to get a supersecret link Solve all our problems and get exclusive bonus content by becoming a patreon subscriber here (https://www.patreon.com/Increments) Toss us some coin over hur (patreon subscription approach (https://www.patreon.com/Increments/posts) or the ko-fi, the "just give us cash you animals" approach (https://ko-fi.com/increments)), and click dem like buttons on youtube over hur (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_4wZzQyoW4s4ZuE4FY9DQQ). Do studies show that Ben or Vaden is correct? Tell us at [email protected]
#54 - Ask Us Anything III: Emotional Epistemology
1:18:26Back again with AUA #3 - we're getting there people! Only, uhh, seven questions to go? Incremental progress baby. Plus, we see a good old Vaden and Ben fight in this one! Thank God, because things were getting a little stale with Vaden hammering on longtermism and Ben on cliodynamics. We cover: Is hypnosis a real thing? Types of universality contained within the genetic code Pressures associated with turning political/philosophical ideas into personal identities How do emotions/feelings interface with our rational/logical mind? How should they? Vaden's (hopefully one-off) experience with Bipolar Type-1 and psychosis Is problem solving the sole purpose of thinking? Vaden says yes (with many caveats!) and Ben says wtf no you fool. Then we argue about how to watch TV. Questions (Neil Hudson) Are there any theories as to the type of universality achievable via the genetic code (in BOI it is presumed to fall short of coding for all possible life forms)? (Neil Hudson) Wd be gd to get your take on: riffing on the Sperber/Mercier social thesis v. individual, if one is scarce private space/time then the need to constantly avow one’s public identity may “swamp” the critical evaluation of arguments one hears? Goes to seeking truth v status (Arun Kannan) What are your thoughts on inexplicit knowledge (David Deutsch jargon) and more broadly emotions/feelings in the mind ? How do these interplay with explicit ideas / thoughts ? What should we prioritize ? If we don't prioritize one over the other, how to resolve conflicts between them ? Any tips, literature, Popperian wisdom you can share on this ? (Tom Nassis) Is the sole purpose of all forms of thinking problem-solving? Or can thinking have purposes other than solving a problem? Quotes Reach always has an explanation. But this time, to the best of my knowledge, the explanation is not yet known. If the reason for the jump in reach was that it was a jump to universality, what was the universality? The genetic code is presumably not universal for specifying life forms, since it relies on specific types of chemicals, such as proteins. Could it be a universal constructor? Perhaps. It does manage to build with inorganic materials sometimes, such as the calcium phosphate in bones, or the magnetite in the navigation system inside a pigeon’s brain. Biotechnologists are already using it to manufacture hydrogen and to extract uranium from seawater. It can also program organisms to perform constructions outside their bodies: birds build nests; beavers build dams. Perhaps it would it be possible to specify, in the genetic code, an organism whose life cycle includes building a nuclear-powered spaceship. Or perhaps not. I guess it has some lesser, and not yet understood, universality. In 1994 the computer scientist and molecular biologist Leonard Adleman designed and built a computer composed of DNA together with some simple enzymes, and demonstrated that it was capable of performing some sophisticated computations. At the time, Adleman’s DNA computer was arguably the fastest computer in the world. Further, it was clear that a universal classical computer could be made in a similar way. Hence we know that, whatever that other universality of the DNA system was, the universality of computation had also been inherent in it for billions of years, without ever being used – until Adleman used it. Beginning of Infinity, p.158 (emph added) References Derren brown makes people forget their stop (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kSq7dPlw0A) Bari Weiss's conversation (https://open.spotify.com/episode/2WvW8VnfzwIM155NcFXwe5) with Freddie deBoer on psychosis, bipolar, and mental health. This conversation addresses the New York Times article (https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/17/magazine/antipsychotic-medications-mental-health.html) which views having schizophrenia, bipolar, etc as no better or worse than not having schizophrenia, bipolar, etc. Also contains Vaden's favorite euphemism of 2022: "Nonconsensus Realities" Sad existentialist cat (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBjU3Ii7lfs) Send Vaden an email with a thought you have not designed to solve a problem at incrementspodcast.com Socials Follow us on Twitter at @IncrementsPod, @BennyChugg, @VadenMasrani Come join our discord server! DM us on twitter or send us an email to get a supersecret link Toss us some coin over hur (patreon subscription approach (https://www.patreon.com/Increments/posts) or the ko-fi, just give us cash you animal approach (https://ko-fi.com/increments)), and click dem like buttons on youtube over hur (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_4wZzQyoW4s4ZuE4FY9DQQ).
#53 - Ask Us Anything II: Disagreements and Decisions
1:34:10Ask us anything? Ask us everything! Back at it again with AUA Part 2/N. We wax poetic and wane dramatic on a number of subjects, including: - Ben's dark and despicable hidden historicist tendencies - Expounding upon (one of our many) critiques of Bayesian Epistemology - Ben's total abandonment of all of his principles - Similarities and differences between human and computer decision making - What can the critical rationalist community learn from Effective Altruism? - Ben's new best friend Peter Turchin - How to have effective disagreements and not take gleeful petty jabs at friends and co-hosts. Questions (Michael) A critique of Bayesian epistemology is that it "assigns scalars to feelings" in an ungrounded way. It's not clear to me that the problem-solving approach of Deutsch and Popper avoid this, because even during the conjecture-refutation process, the person needs to at some point decide whether the current problem has been solved satisfactorily enough to move on to the next problem. How is this satisfaction determined, if not via summarizing one's internal belief as a scalar that surpasses some threshold? If not this (which is essentially assigning scalars to feelings), by what mechanism is a problem determined to be solved? (Michael) Is the claim that "humans create new choices whereas machines are constrained to choose within the event-space defined by the human" equivalent to saying "humans can perform abstraction while machines cannot?" Not clear what "create new choices" means, given that humans are also constrained in their vocabulary (and thus their event-space of possible thoughts) (Lulie) In what ways could the critical rationalist culture improve by looking to EA? (Scott) What principles do the @IncrementsPod duo apply to navigating effective conversations involving deep disagreement? (Scott) Are there any contexts where bayesianism has utility? (steelman) (Scott) What is Vaden going to do post graduation? Quotes “The words or the language, as they are written or spoken,” he wrote, “do not seem to play any role in my mechanism of thought. The psychical entities which seem to serve as elements in thought are certain signs and more or less clear images which can be ‘voluntarily’ reproduced and combined...this combinatory play seems to be the essential feature in productive thought— before there is any connection with logical construction in words or other kinds of signs which can be communicated to others.” (Einstein) Contact us Follow us on Twitter at @IncrementsPod, @BennyChugg, @VadenMasrani Check us out on youtube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_4wZzQyoW4s4ZuE4FY9DQQ Come join our discord server! DM us on twitter or send us an email to get a supersecret link Send Ben an email asking him why god why over at incrementspodcast.com