Thursday, January 26, 2012

News and the delusion of relevance

I told a friend I am not following the news.

the moron says I am "detached from reality"
Now almost all news are of zero relevance to my life. Reading the news is living in a fantasy world, where irelevant things take center stage.

besides news makes me unhappy, and stupid. I am not doing stupid things no matter what "reality" and other nonsense are invoked to justify it.

I suspect that reading the news is a weakness for most. The rest is justifications 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Why fine tuninng works. And why nonody gets it right

Fine tuning is what is usually played in ICU (intensive care). You manipulate every bodily parameter in every possible way. And it works wonders in critical cases.

Common sense suggests, that without any new theoretical advance, similar forms of fine tuning should work. But they need caful parametrization, adherence and lots of experimentation and rigorously studying the data all along.

In a less sophisticated way, but i guess successful case, i think this lady managed to treat various maladies with endless play of supplements. She seems to check all the time the effects, and she did it for twelve years. So lots of data, lots of fine tuning.

Every success case here cannot be generalized.
This is probably why most grand scale supplement studies failed to show effects, while for people with specific conditions we have a lot of successful randomly controlled studies. these games are not generalizable. (beside the need for combinations etc.)

But the public is blind. polarized poinions prevail.
either one believes in complementary medicine and (to whatever level) scorns rigor. placebo effects never occur. etc. 

Or, he is a technical believer in institutional experiments. Anything that is not completely done under the umbrela of the full protocol is irelevant. 
An example to this blindness is the selenium experiment for cancer prevention (SELECT). it found no effect. 
Supporters of selenium claimed that selenium helps to those with baseline deficiet in selenium. 

makes sense. no? the author of the selenium trial has not even bothered to check the data for this. He has all the data. and the idea that selenium works for those with baseline deficiet is the most expected possibility (its a priori reasonableness is even higher than that of flat supplementation works!).
But he only said like "the trial showed negative results" and refused to carry even the simple test for which he had ALL the data on hand! dismissing it as secondary analysis

We need rigorous thinking even when outside the formal experimental design!

And fine tuning seems a very very lucrative route that is highly ignored, but which can ameliorate many ails when done correctly

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Nested vs. Unnested thinking

Nested thoughts assumes stage one enforces the possibilities on stage two. It brings illogical behavior. I generally assume that with sleeping more i will have more energy. But when i slept little, assuming that game is over is depressive, and may not be smart. It is locking oneself into the assumptions of stage one. The delressive..... The use now. First, the assumptions of stage one use the average expected value of the stage one plan. I must sleep enough, because on average my theory is that I am functioning better with enough sleep. Once i have not slept, we are now, where i need to see if now i am exhausted, not if i should have been tired. Nested thinking locks you in the theoretical generalized thinking of stage one. Closed mindedness. Nested thinking does not accept new possibilities. Now, even if i Am tired, i may find comoletely new plans. Nested and unnested thinking are two different models to assess the world. Both have realistic aspects. Somehow, nested thinking is delressive. And i suspect is how more depressed people think. I like more unnested thinking. But i hope i am not overdoing it with stupid openmindedness. But the reason i am thinking that way, is because i am very irrational, and was always much better with getting out of trouble than in not entering it. I also found outting a line osuk costs a major aspect of rationality. Hence nested thinking is not good for me. More to the point i hate it. I would leave the meitculous utilitarian calculation of which way is more "rational" to those that can bear self forcing via rationality.