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  #41  
Old 06-16-2008, 04:37 AM
robert61 robert61 is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 6
Default Re: Oh, Monty! Monty!

I finally understood the Monty Hall problem recently thanks to the 52 card case, a slightly less extreme version than William's zillion-door example above:

Play the game with a deck of 52 cards, trying to pick the ace of spades, and you pick one card. Suppose that of the remaining 51 cards, the dealer turns over 50 cards which he knows are not the ace of spades. This leaves one unturned card, aside from the one you picked. Should you switch? Of course! The probability that you picked the correct card to begin with is 1/52, and the probability that it is in the other 51 cards is 51/52. Neither of these probabilities are changed by the dealer's actions, since he knows the cards and will never turn over the ace of spades. You should therefore switch your choice.
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  #42  
Old 06-16-2008, 08:57 PM
psikeyhackr psikeyhackr is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 2
Default Catastrophic von Neumannism

Now IBM has a $100 million computer with 6948 dual-core processors.

But it is really just a multi-von Neumann machine.

The trouble is computers are SYMBOL MANIPULATING MACHINES. But the CYC project defines symbols in terms of other symbols. Faster more powerful computers manipulate more symbols faster. Up to a point this can appear to be intelligent. So we have simulated intelligence. The machine must be able to conceptualize reality to be intelligent. But many people are too fixated on words which are symbols. But much of what we learn about reality comes from symbols. Electron is a symbol for something but what we know about what it represents is mostly communicated by other symbols so how accurate is our concept in relation to the reality? So how can a machine that only deals in symbols connect to reality?

On the economics front doesn't physics cause cars purchased by consumers to waer out? So don't those cars depreciate? When consumers buy those cars economists add them to GDP. But our economists don't subtract that demand side depreciation from anywhere. They only do it for the supply side. So we are running the world economy on bad algebra.

Double entry accounting is 700 years old and cheap used computers are more powerful than what major corporations could get in 1980 so why shouldn't everyone know how to do accounting with their computers? No economists suggest mandatory accounting in our schools. But the last time I looked at Microsoft Money the documentation didn't have depreciation in the index.

Last edited by psikeyhackr; 06-16-2008 at 09:00 PM.. Reason: bad grammar
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  #43  
Old 06-17-2008, 03:48 AM
Quant Quant is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1
Default Re: Science Saturday: Avoiding Catastrophic Boredom

Regarding using evolving models to exploit tiny market inefficiencies, you fail to mention the well known hedge fund Renaissance Technologies (RN) run by James Simons that uses this exact method of beating the market. RN is probably the most successful hedge fund ever, making several billions for Mr. Simons. By the way, not everyone can do this. Mr. Simons was a highly accomplished mathematician before starting his hedge fund and employs many math and physics PhDs from top universities to develop new quantitative techniques for beating the market.
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  #44  
Old 06-21-2008, 10:43 PM
gbruno gbruno is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1
Default Re: Science Saturday: Avoiding Catastrophic Boredom

people dont have complete access to their own schematics. brains have multiple "interested" centers and mutliple "excited" chemicals washing around.

robots that build themselves would know where all the "interested" registers are, and be able to set them to "high" even with nothing happening. So they would sit around and do nothing, but feel great. That seems to be why robots have failed to disperse across the galaxy to visit us. They just filled their "disperse" register to "high". Perhaps a few robots might refuse to "dope" themselves up and set out to see something "really" interesting. But their descendants would always be tempted to tinker.
As Bill Hamilton said, life requi9res 2 drives:
1) to Reproduce and
2) to Disperse.
We might add 3) no ability to completely subvert drives 1 & 2

As Bill Burroughs said, junkies just sit around all day and look at their toes.

Perhaps we might design robots so complex they cant understand themselves. That would be "growth" not just replication. We grow via diffusion in watery cells, which need 8km of atmosphere to filter out radiation. Hard to see how a solid-state robot could grow, without knowing where all its pleasure registers are.
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  #45  
Old 11-21-2008, 06:46 AM
EnergyRecru
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Avoiding Catastrophic Boredom

Until recently it seemed that the continued expansion of scientific ways of thinking was destined to render religion extinct and spirituality unfeasible. But the example of the United States disproves this, since America is the most successful scientific nation of this era, church-going remains strong and New Age spiritualities are thriving. Therefore, despite the obvious conflicts; science, religion and spirituality are essentially compatible. Future science will continue to win territory from religion since its validation procedures are more objective and reliable. However, churches can survive and grow by dropping those aspects of doctrine which clash with science, and expanding their social functions.
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  #46  
Old 11-21-2008, 10:24 AM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: US Northeast
Posts: 6,784
Default Re: Science Saturday: Avoiding Catastrophic Boredom

Quote:
Originally Posted by EnergyRecru View Post
Until recently it seemed that the continued expansion of scientific ways of thinking was destined to render religion extinct and spirituality unfeasible. But the example of the United States disproves this, since America is the most successful scientific nation of this era, church-going remains strong and New Age spiritualities are thriving. Therefore, despite the obvious conflicts; science, religion and spirituality are essentially compatible. Future science will continue to win territory from religion since its validation procedures are more objective and reliable. However, churches can survive and grow by dropping those aspects of doctrine which clash with science, and expanding their social functions.
Good thoughts, Energy.

Some people need religion/spirituality, some want it, some wonder about it, and some are sick and tired of the confusion it creates all around. I'm looking forward to see how it all works out at the end. However, personally, I'm exhausted to see how much BS keeps going around about religion, morality and law. They all change, they evolve, hopefully for the better.

Unfortunately there are so many interest groups with their own agendas that the big picture gets very confusing. I have always believed that working cooperatively with others is the way of the future. However, it seems that some groups/individuals are so invested in putting obstacles all over the place that it seems impossible to work with them. You are probably right that in transition periods, since you can't change everything, at least the effort should go to set some boundaries and assign functions where they belong. Superstition can't override science. If 'supernatural' phenomena exists, then it becomes and object of study for science. And when science doesn't have the tools to study them, then they will have to be invented. Who knows someone in the wide world may have them already. And it's just that the right connections haven't been made. Or it could be that we have to wait until they are created. I wish I knew the answer. It's a fascinating topic, but the lack of answers sometimes wears even the most determined human being.

Well, thank you for the 'inspiration' to write some random thoughts.
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  #47  
Old 11-21-2008, 04:22 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Southern California
Posts: 5,694
Default Re: Science Saturday: Avoiding Catastrophic Boredom

Quote:
Until recently it seemed that the continued expansion of scientific ways of thinking was destined to render religion extinct and spirituality unfeasible. But the example of the United States disproves this, since America is the most successful scientific nation of this era, church-going remains strong and New Age spiritualities are thriving.
Disagree. You have to look at the decline of religion among HIGHLY-EDUCATED people, particularly the decline of literalist beliefs.

Furthermore, data from one country would not "prove" anything. There are counter-examples all over Europe of the decline of religion.

Contrary to what your statement suggests, it is RARE to find people with advanced science degrees who hold strongly religious or New Age beliefs.

Having said that, I believe human beings are hardwired for religious practices and that spiritual sensibilities are built-in and impossible to eradicate (like libido or our range of emotions). We can, however, refute fundamentalism and look critically on a whole range of irrational beliefs.

The future of religion among educated people is unlikely to be a return to literalism or New Age goofiness. It's more likely to be a softer, gentler, low-belief/high ritual-ceremony-community version that helps people celebrate, suffer, mourn and rely on each other in life passage events like birth, adolescence, marriage, senescene, death.
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