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Every couple has a boy, but half get a boy first time: one boy, no girl. Clearly the stopping rule skews the demographics in favour of boys. On the other hand I've falsely spun the stopping rule as pro-boy. The rule is actually "keep having lovely girls until a yucky boy comes along, then give up in disgust". Many families consist of many girls and one boy. Clearly the stopping rule skews the demographics in favour of girls. On the third hand the demographics are fixed by the 50:50 ratio of boys to girls. The stopping rule is irrelevant.
So there is the kind of panic when you cannot tell whether your answer is correct or not. Steve Landsburg is blogging the second kind of panic. Terror inside.
When I was young, 15 or 17, I made several attempts to read the Economist Magazine in the school library. It was nihilist, left-wing agit-prop. My self-image was as a reasonable center-right person and I was put off, not least because the magazines cynicism seemed so similar to the teenage angst that I was actively rejecting.
That would be be around 1976. Now that I am nearly fifty I know that the Economist magazine is a right wing part of the establishment. The sophisticated reader can discern subtle nuances, separating pro-market from pro-business, separating those for whom "free markets" is a cloak and those for whom it is a creed. Nevertheless one is left to wonder: how did my young self get it so wrong?
Detailed justification of my teenage views inside, based on September 12th-18th 2009 print edition of the Economist.
My previous diary entry concerned multiplying the sums of squares. Now I try to go the other way, factoring sums of squares. Since this is harder I make little progress, but make an interesting detour to visit the quarter-square multiplier.
Some numbers can be written as the sum of two squares. For example 113=7²+8² and 205=14²+3².
If we multiply 113×205=23165 is the result a sum of squares? Yes, 23165=146²+43², but why? 146 and 43 seem unrelated to any of 3,7,8,14.
Over on Overcoming Bias RH and EY are advocating cryonics. Get frozen promptly, when your doctors give up and declare death. Perhaps one day medical science will be so amazingly advanced as to reverse the effect freezing and cure the end stage of your last illness, proving that todays saw-bones called "death" too soon.
Overcoming Bias subscribes to reductionist materialism. If undoing the damage of freezing is too hard the brain could nevertheless be dissected in sufficient detail to recover the data and initialise a whole brain emulation on computer hardware. You would wake up in the future's version of second life, and need to be equipped with a prosthetic, robot body before you could resume normal life.
Overcoming Bias also subscribes to evolutionary psychology, the sophisticated version. Most of the data is lost in pre-history, but evolutionary psychology nevertheless provides the philosophical framework for designing modern experiments and interpreting the results.
Strangely though, raise the subject of cryonics and all this is abandoned. The subject is debated without any suspicion that the concept of the self has limits.
The main post asks: Is there anyone who's been in this position - really, really invested in a faith and then walked away? I've refrained from posting in the thread because I've not had that experience, but I cannot avoid having opinions.
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Sunday July 29th
- I feel like I'm catching a cold (10 comments)
Tuesday July 24th
- Say what you want about movies from the 30s and 40s but the fight scenes are crap (4 comments)
Saturday July 21st
- What is this place? (12 comments)
Thursday July 19th
- What's the difference between a hippo and a Zippo? (38 comments)
Sunday July 15th
- How can you run and plot at the same time? (2 comments)
Friday July 13th
- sigh (2 comments)
Tuesday July 10th
- Well that was fun.. (4 comments)
Sunday July 8th
- Boring stuff (9 comments)