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The Ellsberg Paradox

 
Jan_CAN
 
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Jan_CAN
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28 January 2018 08:36
 
LadyJane - 28 January 2018 06:36 AM
Brick Bungalow - 27 January 2018 11:45 PM

I’m an odd duck then. I’m drawn to mystery and ambiguity. When given a choice, especially a non consequential choice like a snack or a song I will almost invariably choose the thing I’m less familiar with. With gambling type scenarios I’m drawn to bets where I don’t or can’t know the odds to any significant degree. Even with important real world choices I often go out on a limb. I have something of a history with this, mind you. I’ve been repeatedly rewarded for making the unintuitive choice. I’ve chosen the lower paying job on several occasions. I’ve definitely chosen the less stable romantic interest a few times. I’ve gone on a number of crazy adventures that could have and perhaps should have turned out very badly indeed. I don’t endorse this style but it’s worked out ok so far.

I wonder… how calculated do you think goals can be or ought to be? Is the security we feel in careful planning generally justified? I really can’t say.

I think it gets easier to trust our gut instincts as we get older.  As long as we remain grounded, that is.  This usually comes after a painstaking exercise in trial and error, of course, but micromanaging too many plans only sets us up for disappointment.  Besides, it’s hard to say how much control we have over things anyway.  Which is why I still prefer to wing it.

I agree that it gets easier to trust our instincts as we get older, as we have hopefully learned from our experiences.  We take into account our own particular tendencies if these lean towards being too adventurous or too cautious.  (I think there is a relationship to level of self-confidence.)  That is, our instincts become more finely tuned and less affected by our own personality ‘weaknesses’. 

 

[ Edited: 28 January 2018 17:31 by Jan_CAN]
 
 
NL.
 
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NL.
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28 January 2018 09:01
 
Brick Bungalow - 27 January 2018 11:45 PM

I’m an odd duck then. I’m drawn to mystery and ambiguity. When given a choice, especially a non consequential choice like a snack or a song I will almost invariably choose the thing I’m less familiar with. With gambling type scenarios I’m drawn to bets where I don’t or can’t know the odds to any significant degree. Even with important real world choices I often go out on a limb. I have something of a history with this, mind you. I’ve been repeatedly rewarded for making the unintuitive choice. I’ve chosen the lower paying job on several occasions. I’ve definitely chosen the less stable romantic interest a few times. I’ve gone on a number of crazy adventures that could have and perhaps should have turned out very badly indeed. I don’t endorse this style but it’s worked out ok so far.

I wonder… how calculated do you think goals can be or ought to be? Is the security we feel in careful planning generally justified? I really can’t say.


This is why I’m curious as to how much can be extrapolated from psychology studies involving numbers and economics, which is an almost uniquely sterile, low variable environment. If, in an experiment, someone said to me “If you do not click this series of buttons in five minutes, you will lose thirty dollars,” then that’s easy, no question, click click click. If I am at the grocery store at around 8, after finishing up a ten hour day, and know I need to fish through my phone to find a recipe (to make sure I’m buying all the ingredients,) then honestly, I’m just as likely to go “I’m so frigging tired. I’m sure I remember everything in it, I’m not digging through my phone.” Half the time I do in fact ‘lose’ thirty minutes of time when I realize I’ll have to go back to the store the next day - and yet when I’m exhausted, the immediate reward of being that little bit more lazy in the moment wins out a lot of the time, ha ha!


Another example, in a different way, would seem to be lottery tickets. This is a relatively ‘low variable’ activity, I would think - you can buy tickets at any time and it’s a simply binary, yes/no (buy, don’t buy) metric. In terms of real world outcomes, it’s pretty much like just throwing five bucks in the trash every week. This may be an example of the overconfidence and associative thinking Kahneman talks about - our minds aren’t really designed to calculate statistics as they occur in the real world, I think we’re more likely to subconsciously calculate probability based on what we have personally seen and heard - and of course lottery winners are on the news quite frequently.

 
SkepticX
 
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28 January 2018 10:39
 
LadyJane - 27 January 2018 01:51 PM
SkepticX - 27 January 2018 12:31 PM

I also realize I’m just as susceptible as any other human brain owner, to the initial reactionary perception and the natural inclination to validate it at least. The manifestations of this that come out of under-mitigated cognitive chaos certainly stand out to me at any rate. I probably miss a lot of this though, simply because I’m fairly selective about what I put my time into on the online forum outfits. A lot of what I do see is from quotes or prompted by responses by those I don’t generally ignore. I’m happy to have those referrals, but that gets me more than enough of a sense of what I think you’re on about here—not interested in more in-depth coverage, so to speak.

As a hypothetical (but extremely common real life every day kinda) example: it’s like when people perceive their prayers being answered by God when they lead to favourable outcomes and insist God has other plans when they don’t.  Or, when objections are made when people feel that others are speaking for them (even when they’re not) while allowing others to do it freely.  Like when all atheists are accused of speaking on behalf of all theists (even when they’re not) it places a sort of blame on the atheists for making blanket statements.  Even though the accusation itself is a blanket statement.  That presents a double standard and a catch-22.  And not always so easy to ignore, ahem, as you know.


The disingenuous rhetorical style of apologists. Add strategic evasiveness and ambiguity to that for the rhetorical style of manipulators.

Yeah ...

In my estimation most manipulators aren’t conscious of what they’re doing, they just learn to do what works to get them what they want from others—usually that mostly means attention and a sense of control.

And I’d argue they are easy to ignore, or at least they can be—that just doesn’t mean one must always want to ignore them despite the manipulator’s tactic to pretend otherwise. You just need to ignore that nonsense as well. If you see through the buelshite clearly enough it tends to render it impotent though—i.e. does the fact something/someone isn’t currently being ignored mean it/he/she can’t be or it’s hard to? Also, is responding to responses to a post you’ve ignored not ignoring the initial post? Not easy to call perhaps, but the important thing is to keep the source in perspective—both the initial source and the secondaries.

Unfortunately when it comes to social policy and voting and other things that effect the community rather than just you as an individual, that can create problems, but that’s not so much a thing in here.

 
 
LadyJane
 
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28 January 2018 13:18
 
SkepticX - 28 January 2018 10:39 AM

The disingenuous rhetorical style of apologists. Add strategic evasiveness and ambiguity to that for the rhetorical style of manipulators.

Yeah ...

In my estimation most manipulators aren’t conscious of what they’re doing, they just learn to do what works to get them what they want from others—usually that mostly means attention and a sense of control.

And I’d argue they are easy to ignore, or at least they can be—that just doesn’t mean one must always want to ignore them despite the manipulator’s tactic to pretend otherwise. You just need to ignore that nonsense as well. If you see through the buelshite clearly enough it tends to render it impotent though—i.e. does the fact something/someone isn’t currently being ignored mean it/he/she can’t be or it’s hard to? Also, is responding to responses to a post you’ve ignored not ignoring the initial post? Not easy to call perhaps, but the important thing is to keep the source in perspective—both the initial source and the secondaries.

Unfortunately when it comes to social policy and voting and other things that effect the community rather than just you as an individual, that can create problems, but that’s not so much a thing in here.

The only way for manipulators to manipulate is when others facilitate their ability to do so.  Which means, whether they know they’re doing it or not, the majority of responsibility ultimately falls on the facilitators.  (Sort of like President McCurlyFries and his not so merry henchmen.)  Identifying and ignoring them is the easy part.  Waiting for the enablers to stop providing the platform and bullhorn is a tad more difficult to endure.  It does, however, avail the time to consider the social and political implications of concepts like “astroturfing” wondering when and where it applies.  And contemplate how to go about dealing with it realistically.

There’s a fine line between offering the benefit of the doubt and getting duped by manipulators capitalizing on the fact they are surrounded by a community that readily offers the benefit of the doubt.  Controlling the narrative to fill in the blanks runs the risk of anchoring heuristic for the span of a lifetime.  Or, at least, until the patience of that community runs out.

We have a perception of ourselves that distorts itself the moment we imagine it.  When we share perspectives the chances of those perceptions aligning is slim to none.  In our haste we often make unfortunate assumptions that carry forward, which only magnifies the distortion, when we could simply enhance the conversation by entertaining the range.  If you take any ten posts written by ten different patrons (and they actually read them all carefully) it amounts to one hundred potentially conflicting perceptions.  I wonder, on average, how much time the average patron spends working out what is actually being said before exerting their response.  That doesn’t leave much time to maintain the capacity to spot the manipulators.

 
 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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28 January 2018 13:29
 

On a related tangent, I just heard a very interesting segment on the Ted Radio Hour re statistics, especially those derived from polling.  Numbers seem to sound scientific and factual, but of course they can be suspect.

One example given was a stat reported a couple years back that 41% of Muslims in the US supported jihad.  This sounds disconcerting, and even scary.  However, it turns out that reporting of the stat left out the fact that the majority of respondents defined jihad as a personal struggle to be more religious, not as violent revolution.  Furthermore, this poll was taken via the internet, so the religion of the respondents was not checked, and only 600 people took the survey, out of a possible 3 million Muslims in the country.  Finally, and most interesting to me, was that the organization which initiated the poll was run by Kelly Anne Conway.  Obviously there was an agenda for use of the information.

 
Cheshire Cat
 
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28 January 2018 17:13
 
hannahtoo - 28 January 2018 01:29 PM

On a related tangent, I just heard a very interesting segment on the Ted Radio Hour re statistics, especially those derived from polling.  Numbers seem to sound scientific and factual, but of course they can be suspect.

One example given was a stat reported a couple years back that 41% of Muslims in the US supported jihad.  This sounds disconcerting, and even scary.  However, it turns out that reporting of the stat left out the fact that the majority of respondents defined jihad as a personal struggle to be more religious, not as violent revolution.  Furthermore, this poll was taken via the internet, so the religion of the respondents was not checked, and only 600 people took the survey, out of a possible 3 million Muslims in the country.  Finally, and most interesting to me, was that the organization which initiated the poll was run by Kelly Anne Conway.  Obviously there was an agenda for use of the information.

“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.”
- Mark Twain

 
 
ubique13
 
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ubique13
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30 January 2018 12:02
 
Cheshire Cat - 28 January 2018 05:13 PM
hannahtoo - 28 January 2018 01:29 PM

On a related tangent, I just heard a very interesting segment on the Ted Radio Hour re statistics, especially those derived from polling.  Numbers seem to sound scientific and factual, but of course they can be suspect.

One example given was a stat reported a couple years back that 41% of Muslims in the US supported jihad.  This sounds disconcerting, and even scary.  However, it turns out that reporting of the stat left out the fact that the majority of respondents defined jihad as a personal struggle to be more religious, not as violent revolution.  Furthermore, this poll was taken via the internet, so the religion of the respondents was not checked, and only 600 people took the survey, out of a possible 3 million Muslims in the country.  Finally, and most interesting to me, was that the organization which initiated the poll was run by Kelly Anne Conway.  Obviously there was an agenda for use of the information.

“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.”
- Mark Twain

Oh, Kelly Anne and her alternative facts…

‘Islam’ roughly translates to “submission to the will of Allah” (or something similar), and ‘jihad’ is not an inherently violent concept. This is not to suggest that there are no acts of nihilistic violence carried out in the name of Islamic jihad, only to stress the nature of context as it pertains to fundamentalist religious violence. It also helps not to lose the meaning in translation.

 
 
Chaz
 
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24 February 2018 07:30
 

I wasn’t aware of the name, but I recognize the details. I remember a demonstration from a game show choice between 3 doors. After choosing one, they present you with one of the wrong choices, and offer a chance to change your decision. The point was that choosing at 1/3 odds puts you most likely to choose wrong, but eliminating one as known wrong after that, the odds change to favor the unchosen as right. Very interesting topic in my opinion

 
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