Richard has this cool sidebar on his blog that tracks comments he makes elsewhere. I don’t know how he made that — perhaps he just manually enters it in? But anyway, there are a few interesting discussions elsewhere that I’ve tried to contribute to, so…
If Leonard Susskind publishes something about cosmology, I’m going to put a lot of probability in it whether or not I understand the argument, because it’s fucking Leonard Susskind, man.
Paul Horwitz asks, on Prawfs, whether professors are obligated for epistemic or ethical reasons to avoid publishing multiple articles on opposite sides of a question. In the comments, I point out that doing so nukes large parts of the epistemic utility of a publication to readers. I’ll ask here in addition whether this is a pathology of legal training, the same legal training that encourages one to think that “arguing in the alternative” is sensible or sane? Paul H. is by far my favorite prawfs blogger, and the post is worth reading.
So how come we don’t see counter-showoff bias?
There’s an interesting discussion on Overcoming Bias about intellectuals taking counterintuitive positions to display their intelligence. I can’t agree, however, because counterintuitiveness is contextual: some academics ought to take positions that are counterintuitive even to their fellow academics in order to display intelligence relative to them. So there’s no reason to think that the incentives for showing off are much different from the incentives for finding truth.
So what’s the answer in non-ideal theory, bucko?
Mike and I are in a discussion about the relationship between welfare states and corruption.
Consider: “she could have avoided being raped by never leaving the house” for a salient example of how 2) does not license 1).
Julian Sanchez has some thoughts about the assignment of blame, proposition 8, and the way in which we ought to deal with the wrongness of our victorious opponents. After my comments, he clarifies some. On reflection, I think he’s ultimately right: blame, too, is contextual: in a community where everyone agrees about the side that should win, blame can be assigned for failure to follow a winning strategy, even though in the larger community blame should only be assigned to those who take the morally wrong position.
In the Comments I Oughta Be Making department…
The brilliant Andy Sabl has generously offered more incredibly useful comments on my PPPS paper, and I’ve been incredibly negligent about replying to his, as well as to the also brilliant Ben Saunders’s comments. Perhaps I’ll find the time to do so tomorrow.
(And now I must drive down to LA. Don’t expect much, blog-wise, from me until New Years.)