Page 1 of 1

The forums seem a little under utilized

Posted: Wed May 11, 2011 3:55 pm
by OaktownSteve
but forums are way cool. Mind if I drop some random stuff in here from time to time? I'm a bored cubicle dweller as you might have guessed.

I kind of dig pretend baseball and cog sci and like to find ways to correlate the two. There's this cat named Jonathan can google him...that says the following:

"Reasoning was not designed to pursue the truth. Reasoning was designed by evolution to help us win arguments. That's why they call it The Argumentative Theory of Reasoning. So, as they put it, "The evidence reviewed here shows not only that reasoning falls quite short of reliably delivering rational beliefs and rational decisions. It may even be, in a variety of cases, detrimental to rationality. Reasoning can lead to poor outcomes, not because humans are bad at it, but because they systematically strive for arguments that justify their beliefs or their actions. This explains the confirmation bias, motivated reasoning, and reason-based choice, among other things."

I add my own layer to this which is reason often takes the form of cause and effect narrative. That is, chains of assumptions rolled up into the form of a story. Now what Grey does (what you do, Grey, if you're reading this) particularly well is reason, which is to say, argue. You give really convincing explanations based on relevant evidence. When you think about it, being a writer, that's kind of the job anyway. You create a story and you give it some heft and some plausibility.

But how much do these stories, especially the well told one's distract us from the actual facts. In this case the numbers, the role of chance and probability?

Re: The forums seem a little under utilized

Posted: Wed May 11, 2011 4:30 pm
by Grey
Thanks for the compliment... I try.

Re: The forums seem a little under utilized

Posted: Wed May 18, 2011 8:57 am
by OaktownSteve
"While the scientific method may lead us to a reasonably thorough understanding of some phenomenon, unfortunately that does not always translate into an accurate practical prediction capability that, for example, might help us avoid being killed by a natural disaster. When that is the case, we then find ourselves talking about risk, the likelihood that some dangerous event will take place, even though we do not know when. Risk assessment is necessitated by an inability to predict. That inability to predict may come from some deficiency in our knowledge, or it may be the result of a great complexity inherent in the phenomenon (for example, we may not have high-enough-resolution data to represent it, or the process may have a chaotic component that keeps us from determining exactly when it will occur). We are then left only with probabilities."

Bruce Parker on

Re: The forums seem a little under utilized

Posted: Fri May 20, 2011 2:45 pm
by OaktownSteve
Fantasy baseball you run into this all the time. Difficult to seperate perceived pattern from illusion, actual cause from narrative.

"The human brain is an amazing pattern-detecting machine. We possess a variety of mechanisms that allow us to uncover hidden relationships between objects, events, and people. Without these, the sea of data hitting our senses would surely appear random and chaotic. But when our pattern-detection systems misfire they tend to err in the direction of perceiving patterns where none actually exist.

...a superstitious athlete sees a connection between victory and a pair of socks, a parent refuses to vaccinate her child because of a perceived causal connection between inoculation and disease, a scientist sees hypothesis-confirming results in random noise, and thousands of people believe the random "shuffle" function on their music software is broken because they mistake spurious coincidence for meaningful connection.

In short, the pattern-detection that is responsible for so much of our species' success can just as easily betray us. This tendency to oversee patterns is likely an inevitable by-product of our adaptive pattern-detecting mechanisms. But the ability to acknowledge, track, and guard against this potentially dangerous tendency would be aided if the simple concept of "everyday Apophenia" were an easily accessible concept."

Re: The forums seem a little under utilized

Posted: Fri May 20, 2011 4:00 pm
by bookiebob
Then why the hell does my iPod insist on playing "Miss Murder" and "Psycho" back to back?

There's no message in that? U gots to b kiddin' me!

/adjusts tinfoil hat
//checks ammo supply
///hits the deadbolt..... 1...2....3....