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Archive of posts filed under the Decision Theory category.

John Updike vs. Bertrand Russell; Nietzsche advances

In yesterday‘s bout, another founder of religion falls, thanks to this comment by Zbicyclist: Do we want an audience full of would-be Ubermensches, or an audience of the proletariat? Considering Columbia is an Ivy League school, I guess we have to go with the Ubermensches. And today’s contest features the eminently sane conservative vs. the […]

Karl Marx vs. Friedrich Nietzsche (4); Austen advances

For yesterday, I was strongly rooting for Popper. I read several of his books about thirty years ago and they had a huge effect on me (and on a lot of social scientists, I think). But the best comment was about Austen. Here’s Dalton with the comment: “A woman, especially if she has the misfortune […]

March Madness!

Ummm . . . this one’s gonna really irritate all the subscription-cancelers . . . Paul Davidson updated the brackets (as of a couple days ago): And here’s a version showing the survivors among each of the eight categories. The artists are all gone, and only one religious leader is left, but the other categories […]

Jane Austen vs. Karl Popper; Lee advances

For yesterday’s contest I’ll have to go with this comment by Nuthin: This series of posts is so tedious that I’m considering removing this blog from my RSS feed altogether. Stewart Lee is a master of hecklers. In a lot of his work he pretty much invites people to heckle, he antagonizes his audience, etc. […]

New time unit needed!

We need a time unit that’s bigger than a minute but smaller than an hour. I thought of it when writing this comment in which I referred to “2100 valuable minutes of classroom time” during the semester (that’s 75 minutes per class, twice a week, for 14 weeks). A minute of class time is pretty […]

Sigmund Freud vs. Stewart Lee; Dick advances

Yesterday‘s thread was won by Slugger, who wrote: I accidentally swallowed a stelazine capsule and have seen that Grandma Moses is in fact a reptilian lifeform without the ability to vocalize. My vote goes to PKD. Where did that light switch come from, anyway? I could’ve sworn it was a pull cord. . . . […]

Grandma Moses vs. Philip K. Dick (2); Gandhi advances

Yesterday’s most relevant comment came from Ben: Gandhi would have a far more interesting things to say about the current state of world politics, etc. The issues that Gandhi was known for (de-colonization, passive resistance) remain immensely relevant but with very different parameters than the 1920’s-1940’s. By contrast, Mother Teresa’s main mission (serving the poor) […]

On deck this week

Mon: The State of the Art in Causal Inference: Some Changes Since 1972 Grandma Moses vs. Philip K. Dick (2) Tues: The 1980 Math Olympiad Program: Where are they now? Sigmund Freud vs. Stewart Lee Wed: New time unit needed! Jane Austen vs. Karl Popper Thurs: > Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal, New York […]

Mohandas Gandhi (1) vs. Mother Teresa (4); Hobbes advances

For yesterday, we didn’t get much in the way of comments, so I’ll have to go with this comment by Jonathan: Hobbes is the Arnold Schwarzenegger of philosophers. Any time someone feels he’s been killed off, he’ll be back. Tolstoy is the Buster Keaton of novelists. Widely admired, widely studied, and just about obsolete in […]

Thomas Hobbes vs. Leo Tolstoy; Rock advances

First off, I just want to say I made a mistake yesterday dropping Alan Turing in favor of Ed Wood. As Zbicyclist put it, “Ed Wood’s best thoughts are probably on the screen.” And that’s not good at all! So, sorry for eliminating one of the exciting speakers from the list. I’m also thinking of […]