Sandbox (4)

Sometimes very active discussions about peripheral issues overwhelm a thread, so this is a permanent home for those conversations.

I’ve opened a new “Sandbox” thread as a post as the new “ignore commenter” plug-in only works on threads started as posts.

1,514 thoughts on “Sandbox (4)”

1. BruceS: , mutual information as I (and Wiki) understand the term is a measure of the amount of statistical dependence of two random variables. So it needs a probability distribution, not just sequences. Covariance/correlation also measures the amount of statistical dependence but in a different way. MI and Cov each have their strengths and weaknesses.

AlanF: Oh, thanks. Can I quote you?

Sure, go ahead if you think it will help. It assumes Shannon information is what is being used. Possibly colewd has something else in mind.

Math is here:MI versus Correlation

2. FYI,

I’ve been using the calendar feature on weather underground for the last year to gather data for my little pattern recognition project and wouldn’t you know it something changed very recently.

A couple of the local default stations for this feature been replaced for some reason.

It’s critical that I compare data from the same station over time. If any one knows why a default station would seemingly disappear or how to access a station that no longer appears for with this feature I would appreciate the help

thanks

3. BruceS:
What I findinteresting is the eclectic (eccentric too IMHO) list ofexperts Horgan has chosen to interview for hisbook on the mind-body problem.The book is available online and is linked in this blog post:

Mind–Body Problems: My Meta-Solution to the Mystery of Who We Really Are

Interesting. Thanks.

I’ve started looking at his online book, but it will take a while to plough through that.

Commenting on Horgan’s blog post:

Science will never discover an objectively true solution to the mind-body problem, which tells all of us once and for all who we are and should be, because that solution doesn’t exist.

Yes, I agree with that. Consciousness is more a philosophical problem than a scientific problem.

If science can’t solve the mind-body problem, that means you’re free, I’m free, all of us are free to decide for ourselves who we are and what life means.

Yes, I agree with that, too. However, I wonder why Horgan is so late coming to recognize this.

In some sense, he has it backwards. It perhaps should be: “We are free, and therefore science cannot solve the mind-body problem.”

Also we all face our own private version of the mind-body problem, because we all have different minds and bodies and lives, so we have to find our own solutions. You might say there are as many mind-body problems and solutions as there are individuals.

I also agree with this. And that’s why there won’t be a scientific solution. For anything we consider a scientific solution would a “one size fits all” kind of thing. Nobody is going to come out with an individual scientific account of one person’s mind, and then have to completely redo it a year or two later because of changes to that person.

So if everyone reads my book and agrees with it, humanity will be more free, kind, peaceful and happy.

Well, I certainly disagree with that. And I think Horgan does, too.

4. I’ve started looking at his online book, but it will take a while to plough through that.

I’ve read/skimmed a few of the interviews. Based on that subset, it’s definitely not about the philosophical mind/body problem. Rather, he interviews philosophers who have had family or professional or health challenges and then asks them how it affected their philosophizing. He concludes by offering his own pop-psychoanalysis of each interviewee. He does not spare himself in that analysis.

Well, I certainly disagree with that.And I think Horgan does, too.

The intro to the Flanagan interview is about Chalmers’s “Does philosophy make progress” paper. The concluding sentence of that intro is also nicely ironic.

5. Alan Fox: Has he written on the mind – body “problem”?

More performance art

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Watch as this legendary wrestling star shocks, scares and stuns unsuspecting guests who think they’ve come to see a wax figure. Instead, they unexpectedly find themselves toe-to-toe with the real-life Hulk Hogan® and his 24-inch Pythons!

6. Thanks, walto. I see, in his most recent paper on mind (PDF), he writes:

We also advocate a form of experiential evidentialism concerning epistemic justification—roughly, the view that the justification-status of an agent’s beliefs is fully determined by the character of the agent’s conscious experience.

Totally agree with that!

7. Thought this Guardian article by George Monbiot was interesting. Scientific publiching is a rip-off. Monbiot writes:

The model was pioneered by the notorious conman Robert Maxwell. He realised that, because scientists need to be informed about all significant developments in their field, every journal that publishes academic papers can establish a monopoly and charge outrageous fees for the transmission of knowledge. He called his discovery “a perpetual financing machine”. He also realised that he could capture other people’s labour and resources for nothing. Governments funded the research published by his company, Pergamon, while scientists wrote the articles, reviewed them and edited the journalsfor free. His business model relied on the enclosure of common and public resources. Or, to use the technical term, daylight robbery.

Daylight robbery? What do folks in Academia think?

8. Alan Fox: Daylight robbery? What do folks in Academia think?

There seems to be a steady move toward open publishing (Internet Journals). It may take a while, but we will get there. Those publishers will need eventually to find another line of work.

9. There’s no need for official publishers. Just some way to keep track of what is being read by people doing actual research.

The problem is, all internet upvoting system become corrupt.

10. petrushka:
There’s no need for official publishers. Just some way to keep track of what is being read by people doing actual research.

I was under the apparently false impression that publishing houses ran the peer review system and reviewers got paid. If not the case what do publishing houses bring to the table.

The problem is, all internet up-voting systems become corrupt.

Perhaps open to manipulation by enough determined individuals or groups. Didn’t Bill Dembski get caught trying something like that on Amazon?

Here it is. Mark Perakh in 2004 How time flies.

11. Alan Fox: Thought this Guardian article by George Monbiot was interesting. Scientific publiching is a rip-off. Monbiot writes:

The model was pioneered by the notorious conman Robert Maxwell. He realised that, because scientists need to be informed about all significant developments in their field, every journal that publishes academic papers can establish a monopoly and charge outrageous fees for the transmission of knowledge. He called his discovery “a perpetual financing machine”. He also realised that he could capture other people’s labour and resources for nothing. Governments funded the research published by his company, Pergamon, while scientists wrote the articles, reviewed them and edited the journalsfor free. His business model relied on the enclosure of common and public resources. Or, to use the technical term, daylight robbery.

Daylight robbery? What do folks in Academia think?

Thanks for linking to this. I think this state of affairs should get as much publicity as possible. It doesn’t surprise me that Maxwell was heavily involved.

12. Alan Fox: I was under the apparently false impression that publishing houses ran the peer review system and reviewers got paid.

It is my impression that the editor manages the peer review system. The publishers get paid (and well paid). I assume the editor is paid, but probably not very well. And peer reviewers are mostly volunteers (or conscripts). I’m not aware that they are paid, but perhaps that varies with discipline.

Excuse my cynicism.

13. Alan Fox:
Thought this Guardian article by George Monbiot was interesting.Scientific publiching is a rip-off. Monbiot writes:

Daylight robbery? What do folks in Academia think?

The Guardian article mentions Plan S, the EU plan to force scientists funded by EU to publish in open access. A bunch of academics have decried Plan S (H/T Leiter)
Plan S Is Unethical and Too Risky

In any event, we already have the best of both worlds if you are willing to use SciHub!

I see you are cross-posting same topics between TSZ and Peaceful Science. Is this meant as an A/B test of Gregory’s hypothesis/query in his latest OP?

14. BruceS: I see you are cross-posting same topics between TSZ and Peaceful Science. Is this meant as an A/B test of Gregory’s hypothesis/query in his latest OP?

Rather I think it’s a rampant outbreak of SIWOTI syndrome! 🙂

15. Neil Rickert: It is my impression that the editor manages the peer review system. The publishers get paid (and well paid). I assume the editor is paid, but probably not very well. And peer reviewers are mostly volunteers (or conscripts). I’m not aware that they are paid, but perhaps that varies with discipline.

In the humanities, peer reviewers are never paid for journal articles. It’s expected of us that we’ll referee articles as part of our service to the profession, which is part of our contractual obligation to the universities that employ us. Right now I have four manuscripts to referee before the end of the month. I have gotten paid for reviewing book manuscripts but it’s never much and usually “in kind”: I reviewed a manuscript for one publisher and in exchange got a free copy of a book that they publish.

Since we were talking about the exorbitant price of journals, it’s worth mentioning that none of this goes to the contributors or the referees and very little to the editors. It’s just profit to the publishing companies, and they jack up prices because they can — because they know that libraries and universities have no choice but to pay those licensing fees.

16. Alan Fox: Rather I think it’s a rampant outbreak of SIWOTI syndrome!

Well, exactly. For that is what forums like TSZ and P-S are: mainly places for people to discuss what they think is wrong with some viewpoint.

The question is what leads to constructive engagement at such forums. In particular, is moderation policy a part of the answer?

17. BruceS: The question is what leads to constructive engagement at such forums. In particular, is moderation policy a part of the answer?

I don’t see how any change in moderation would allow for constructive engagement. Constructive engagement is difficult enough in person — it’s far more difficult on the internet. To get to constructive engagement, there has to be enough shared background about how to argue, what counts a good reason, and what kinds of expertise are relevant. The big problem we have at TSZ is that author privileges and posting privileges are extended to everyone equally, regardless of whether they know what they’re talking about or even whether they can write a coherent English sentence.

18. Kantian Naturalist: I don’t see how any change in moderation would allow for constructive engagement.

Take a look at peacefulscience, including the rules at the top, the conversations, and the people who frequent it (and these include current and past TSZ contributors).

I think most of the conversations there are constructive. Is the site owner doing something right? Or is it just that the site is new and it is only a matter of time before most of the constructive contributors leave and the site become another TSZ?

19. BruceS: Is the site owner doing something right? Or is it just that the site is new and it is only a matter of time before most of the constructive contributors leave and the site become another TSZ?

I think it is a combination of the two.

The site owner is willing to ban people who are repeatedly disruptive, and that’s missing at TSZ.

However, the newness of the site is also relevant. After a while, people become tired of hearing the same old arguments over and over again.

20. Its time. And its too much access. And its also the fact that the moderators at TSZ hands are tied because they can’t ban whoever they want. THOSE are the key problems at TSZ! Its of course Not the fact that you have douchebags as moderators are TSZ. That can’t possibly be the problem!

So what Neil and Alan and Bruce want you to know is that fundamentally the problem is Lizzie. You see Lizzie was wrong. Lizzie wanted to make a site that was a counter to UD. Where she couldn’t be banned. She hated being banned there so much, that she started her own, and stated emphatically, NO BANNING at TSZ. No Hierarchy at TSZ. Everyone will be treated the same, haha.

But Lizzie is an idiot according to Alan and Neil. And KN of course. If you let everyone talk, if you don’t ban those you don’t like, of course the site will suck. Why didn’t Lizzie know this? Why didn’t she listen to the Neils and Alans and KNs and of course Barrys of the world! Lizzie should throw in the towel and admit barry was right for banning her.

Ban! Censor! That is the key to success. And hire douchbags to do it!

Maybe Alan can start his own site where he can do that. Should be great.

21. BruceS: I think most of the conversations there are constructive. Is the site owner doing something right? Or is it just that the site is new and it is only a matter of time before most of the constructive contributors leave and the site become another TSZ?

I agree with Neil that’s a combination of the two. A willingness to wield a heavier hand with people who are disruptive or disrespectful would probably have helped delay the inevitable at TSZ. But eventually the bad drives away the good just because there’s more of it.

22. In other words, KN believes Lizzies mission was that of a fool. She should never have doubted the wisdom of Barry I guess.

Might be hard for her to eat crow if she listens to Neil and Alan and KN.

Luckily Mung might be able to stave off the mutineers. If Alan ever actually quits like he promised there might still be hope.

23. In one post answering questions addressed frankly & openly to him at PS, I learned more about the most important things for the character known as ‘Mung’ than almost anything he’s shared here at TSZ combined. https://discourse.peacefulscience.org/t/the-mystery-of-mung/2101/2

Why do people here who relish in ‘skepticism’ think that is? Does it make them stop to think others too might be only showing them a mere fraction of themselves when they dialogue here among ‘skeptics’ and those who are largely anti-theists by appearance or lack of any positive or culturally aware views of theology?

24. Everyone here already knew everything there was to know about me from Uncommon Descent. 🙂

25. Mung @ PS:
I do accept common descent. I do think it provides the best explanation for the patterns we see in the distribution of shared and different characters.

That’s news to me. What are those patterns? I take it none of them is the nested hierarchy, right?

26. dazz: I take it none of them is the nested hierarchy, right?

The nested hierarchy is what results from grouping the aforementioned patterns. Call it a meta-pattern if you will.

27. Mung: The nested hierarchy is what results from grouping the aforementioned patterns. Call it a meta-pattern if you will.

OOOOkay, and common descent is, according to you, the best explanation for these patterns, including the nested hierarchy, right?

28. dazz: and common descent is, according to you, the best explanation for these patterns, including the nested hierarchy, right?

Yes.

Others claim that “common design” might explain the pattern, but I have no idea what “common design” consists of nor how it offers an alternative explanation.

I’m pretty sure I have said all these things right here at TSZ so they should not be news.

29. Mung: Yes.

Others claim that “common design” might explain the pattern, but I have no idea what “common design” consists of nor how it offers an alternative explanation.

I’m pretty sure I have said all these things right here at TSZ so they should not be news.

What I remember you saying is that common descent doesn’t predict a nested hierarchy, what’s changed and when?

30. dazz: What I remember you saying is that common descent doesn’t predict a nested hierarchy, what’s changed and when?

Mung?

31. dazz: What I remember you saying is that common descent doesn’t predict a nested hierarchy, what’s changed and when?

Nothing has changed since then.

32. Mung: Nothing has changed since then.

WTF? Then why do you think common descent explains the nested hierarchy?

33. dazz,
Thanks for your concern but we just lost electricity during the storm last night and it’s taken a while to come back on. But not having TV or the internet, we had no idea of the mayhem elsewhere. There’s a dry watercourse that runs just below our property that turned into a mini-torrent but it was not till I went out (friends had their cellar flooded and I took them a pump over) that the scale became apparent. I drove over the Aude at Limoux and the river, normally quite low this time of year, was in frightening spate, muddily opaque, fast and tree-strewn, up to the top of the arches of the pont vieux and had swallowed up the carparks either side of the river, totally submerging a number of cars. Locals had turned out in force to take in the spectacle which was reported as unprecedented, certainly in living memory. Seems at least 12 people died elsewhere in the department. It was the speed of the flood from a standing start to, at Trèbes, a rise in river level of 7.5 metres (25 feet) in a few hours, that was astonishing – and worrying.

34. Glad to hear you’re OK! We had a similar thing happen to us in Sant Llorenç des Cardassar a few days ago… 12 deceased and a 5 year old kid missing.

Torrents are dangerous, and the climate change could be exacerbating the problem. Better avoid driving next to it, Alan, you never know when it might overflow the road.

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