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Comment: Re:Seems fishy (Score 1) 136

by Attila Dimedici (#46732943) Attached to: Crowd Wisdom Better At Predictions Than Top CIA Analysts
Actually, the key is to eliminate anything which allows me to connect the majority of the comments by one individual as all being by that individual. All of those other things are only relevant if they combine with multiple comments to build a picture of one person who has more wisdom on the subject than everyone else. When I read comments by an Anonymous Coward on slashdot which claims the things which you reference, I always read the rest of their comment more critically. If I find their argument to use suspect logic, I am more likely to consider them to be acting in bad faith (even when I agree with their point of view on the topic) than if they do not make such appeals to having greater authority. I suspect that most people do something similar.

Comment: Re:Seems fishy (Score 1) 136

by Attila Dimedici (#46732913) Attached to: Crowd Wisdom Better At Predictions Than Top CIA Analysts
Except that the "expert" forecasters are influenced by the charisma* of certain individuals to produce the type of results those individuals desire. There have been studies that show that one of the most important aspects of "crowd wisdom" is eliminating the ability of individuals to use their force of personality to influence the decision reached by the crowd.


*I am using "charisma" here to sum up all of the aspects of force of personality and authority over those evaluating the data.

Comment: Re:Bell Curve (Score 2) 136

by Attila Dimedici (#46732853) Attached to: Crowd Wisdom Better At Predictions Than Top CIA Analysts
That is because elections happen in a way that eliminates the most important aspect of crowd wisdom. In order for crowd wisdom to be reliable it must be insulated from being influenced by the charisma of individuals. There is no way to set up elections to do this. Actually, I wonder if the secret ballot may in a way actually exacerbate this problem.

This thought just came to me now, so I do not think I can explain the reasoning as to why that might be so. I will try any way. It seems possible that the necessity of having to explain to one's peers the reason one made a choice which was unpopular with them might offset the amount which the individual charisma of the candidate (or the candidate's representatives) influenced the decision. The other way in which eliminating the secret ballot would influence the outcome is that it would make it harder to manufacture votes for a particular candidate, since everyone would have some idea how everyone else voted.

Comment: Re:Seems fishy (Score 1) 136

by Attila Dimedici (#46732809) Attached to: Crowd Wisdom Better At Predictions Than Top CIA Analysts
Actually, if you read the entire article, it appears that what that pharmacist is doing, inside her own head, is averaging what all of the various sources she reads have to say on any given subject. The mistake would be to say, "Oh, over the last three years, her predictions have been 30% better than the experts. Let's make her one of the experts!" If at some point she were to start to believe that she was an expert at this forecasting, her accuracy would fall off because she would stop adjusting her understanding of events based on sources which disagreed with what she already "knows".

Comment: Re:Seems fishy (Score 2) 136

by Attila Dimedici (#46732753) Attached to: Crowd Wisdom Better At Predictions Than Top CIA Analysts

The wisdom of crowds works doesn't have anything to do with having experts.

You are right that the wisdom of crowds does not come from having experts. The wisdom of crowds comes from having a lot of people who all have a little bit of knowledge relevant to the subject. Some of that knowledge might be something that you would not necessarily think was relevant, but when applied as a filter on the other knowledge present produces a result much more accurate than an expert on the subject would ever produce.

The results of this study are not new. Back in the lat 70s, early 80s, there was a study which showed that a group of people with no particular expertise on the subject will reach a better decision than an individual expert on the subject as long as certain criteria are met in the group discussion. The most important criteria that needs to be met is that the groups deliberations must be such that the individual charisma of each person must not be allowed to influence the group discussion. My understanding is that they accomplished this by having all of the discussion occur in anonymous text (such as if all of the comments on slashdot were from Anonymous Coward).

Comment: Re:Luck resets every time you guess. (Score 1) 136

by Attila Dimedici (#46732729) Attached to: Crowd Wisdom Better At Predictions Than Top CIA Analysts
I'm sorry, but if you are not doing something so that your posts appear in a different font than everyone else, why is your font different than everyone else? Oh, and your signature is in the same font as everyone else's post, not the font which your post is in. So, it seems probable that you have decided to post in a font other than the slashdot default.

Comment: Re:Fuck Obamacare (Score 1) 719

by Attila Dimedici (#46718969) Attached to: Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?
Well then the first case to get to the Supreme Court would probably have been the one wending its way through the court system now based on the "origination clause". (I have lost track of where it is currently) The Constitution states that all tax bills must originate in the House. The ACA originated in the Senate. The defenders of the ACA claim that it originated in the House, but the only thing in the ACA that is the same as the bill which the House passed is the number of the bill (the bill passed by the House with that number was on a completely unrelated subject and all of the words, including the title, were replaced in the Senate version).

Comment: Re:Not so fast, cowboy ... (Score 1) 719

by Attila Dimedici (#46718903) Attached to: Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

Constitution clearly states that the arbiters of what is and what is not constitutional is the supreme court

Actually, the Constitution at NO place states, clearly, or otherwise, that the Supreme Court is the arbiter of what is and is not constitutional. That is a role which the Supreme Court assigned to itself.

Comment: Re:Sex discrimination. (Score 1) 672

by Attila Dimedici (#46715843) Attached to: Google: Teach Girls Coding, Get $2,500; Teach Boys, Get $0
It's not a court case, but how about the employer mandate in the ACA? The law specifically states that it takes effect January 1, 2014. Yet it does not take effect until later (we do not know when yet, since that date has yet to arrive). There are other examples of the same thing. What does it matter what the letter of the law says if those whose job it is to enforce it refuse to enforce it in certain cases?

Comment: Not 80% mortality rate (Score 1) 351

by Attila Dimedici (#46703537) Attached to: Isolated Tribes Die Shortly After We Meet Them
I reviewed both linked articles and discovered that despite the fact that the study called it an "80% mortality rate" that is not what they actually measured. They measured the reduction in the population of the group. That means that by the methodology used they count those who moved away as having died. I am sure that mortality rates among isolated populations which are contacted are high, but without some measure of how many move out of the area we do not have any way to judge how many die vs how many just move away.

Comment: Re:Lol... (Score 1) 1109

by Attila Dimedici (#46700799) Attached to: Mozilla CEO Firestorm Likely Violated California Law
Would you still old that position if he was fired for supporting "gay marriage"? Should it be Mozilla's choice to fire a man for having sex with other men?
I tend to think that it should be, both in this case and in those other cases. All too many people forget that blacks were not forced to sit in the back of the bus because the bus companies wanted it that way. They were forced to sit in the back of the bus because the government passed laws mandating it. There is evidence that if those "Jim Crow" laws had not existed, segregation would have gone away on its own.

Comment: Re:No Law (Score 1) 312

by Attila Dimedici (#46679755) Attached to: Why No Executive Order To Stop NSA Metadata Collection?
Please give an example from before Obama where a President delayed implementation of a law which specified a specific date for its implementation to begin. I do not find any place in the U.S. Constitution where the President is given the authority to alter a law passed by Congress and signed by a sitting President, not even so much as delaying the date of implementation as written into the law.

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