[Chugalug] A comment on the Bitcoin .. fraud

James Nylen jnylen at gmail.com
Mon Apr 15 16:08:01 UTC 2013


So, how do you propose to determine the best way to make progress / come up
with valid theories?

My favorite example of how wrong established fields can be is in medicine
and nutrition.  America is undergoing an obesity
epidemic<http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/kbenfield/5_graphs_and_4_photos_tell_the.html>,
and we continue to develop and applaud new "wonder-drugs" such as statins
to "cure" related conditions.  Instead, we should be treating the cause
which I believe is principally poor diet and lack of exercise.  I also
think most people, even nutrition experts, claim to understand this but get
the details terribly wrong.

I also cite Sturgeon's Law
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sturgeon's_Law>(90% of everything is
crap), the need to
satisfice <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satisficing> when resource
constraints prevent developing and validating a well-informed opinion, and
this paper:  Why Most Published Research Findings Are
False<http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.0020124>.
 (I'm well aware of the irony of citing a research paper that debunks other
research papers, but I think they have a valid point.)



On Mon, Apr 15, 2013 at 11:42 AM, Stephen Kraus <ub3ratl4sf00 at gmail.com>wrote:

> Sure, everyone has an agenda. But if we are just going to go around
> declaring everyone's theories as invalid because they might have an agenda,
> we make no progress. Its just silly.
>
> 'The Big Bang Theory might be invalid because the scientists who proposed
> it were not wholly unbiased in their research'
>
> It just doesn't work for any field, but when it comes to economics I'll
> trust the college economist phds who spend their time doing nothing but
> modeling and research versus economists with an iron in the fire.
>
> Either way Randy, your viewpoint is offering no viable alternative other
> than sow distrust and paranoia. I cannot really work with it, even as valid
> as it could be.
>
>
>
>
> On Mon, Apr 15, 2013 at 11:37 AM, Randy Yates <lpcustom at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> "unbiased economists" are mythical beasts much like big foot
>>
>>
>> On Mon, Apr 15, 2013 at 11:34 AM, James Nylen <jnylen at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>> This is very interesting reading.  On the subject of learning about and
>>> working against cognitive biases, I also like the Center for Applied
>>> Rationality, http://appliedrationality.org/.
>>>
>>>
>>> On Mon, Apr 15, 2013 at 11:31 AM, William Wade <willm.wade at gmail.com>wrote:
>>>
>>>> This is even more off topic, but people are really bad at predicting
>>>> the future (often worse than a coin toss). This is one of the issues that
>>>> the Aggregative Contingent Estimation Program is trying to work on. (Best
>>>> place to learn about it is: http://goodjudgmentproject.com/blog/?p=87which is one of the teams.) Some of these teams are predicting events well
>>>> due to training regarding biases, some research, and a fair number of
>>>> people.
>>>>
>>>> Also on the subject, although not always the best source, generally a
>>>> good lay source:
>>>> http://www.freakonomics.com/2011/09/14/new-freakonomics-radio-podcast-the-folly-of-prediction/
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> On Mon, Apr 15, 2013 at 11:17 AM, Stephen Kraus <ub3ratl4sf00 at gmail.com
>>>> > wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> Paul Krugman actually predicted the housing crisis. A few economists
>>>>> did actually.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
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>>
>>
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