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Gene Callahan
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Gene Callahan

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I've Got a Sinking Feeling About This
Mike Munger brings to our attention a paper that purports to "measure" whether sunk costs matter. In the abstract, the authors claim: "Behavioral economics implies that teams favor players chosen in the lottery and first round of the draft because of the gr...
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Gene Callahan

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Just another ape
Everywhere I gape People know the part I'm playing It is curious that someone who keeps telling us that humans are "just another ape" seems to be very concerned that human males and females don't behave in exactly the same way , and tells us that "things ar...
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Gene Callahan

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Thanks for all the fish!
Thanks everyone for your great suggestions on my algorithm bleg. Here is what I wound up doing (self.empties is set up in the classes _init_()):     def position_agent(self, agent, x=RANDOM, y=RANDOM):         """         Position an agent on the grid.   ...
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Liberalism, Our Culture's Faith
Liberalism (in the broad, politicla theory sense) purports to be religiously neutral. But that is false. It itself is a religion, and to forward its ends acts continually to marginalize, and especially, to push from the public sphere, all other religions. B...
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A stunning misinterpreatation of a point I have posted again and again...
In response to post like this one , I have been asked again and again questions like "Why do you deny the possibility that machines might be able to think?" This is rather stunning to me, as I have posted numerous times, on this very same blog, my affidavit...
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Philosophy and Ideology: Guest Post from Joe Jordan
My friend Joe Jordan, after reading my post on "Religion and Ideology," sent me the following, which I post with his permission: I bring this up in my political theory courses to differentiate between philosophy and ideology. I hate it when people talk abou...
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Gene Callahan

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Neeley Talks Sense on Sand
Here .
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You code a line at a time
One thing I see my students doing all the time is trying to write an 80-line program in one shot. Then, when it blows up, they are overwhelmed and have no idea where to find the bugs. After many, many years of programming, I find myself sometimes testing ev...
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Gene Callahan

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Algorithm Bleg
I want to position agents on a grid consisting of X*Y cells. I want to plop them around randomly. But I don't want to put them in a cell containing another agent. Right now, I have the following function:     def position_agent(self, agent, x=RANDOM, y=RAND...
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Gene Callahan

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Presentism
Bob Murphy, for one, seemed somewhat shocked by my "presentism." But I find I am in very good company : "But how does this future, which does not yet exist, diminish or become consumed? Or how does the past, which now has no being, grow, unless there are t...
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The Turing Test and Google Translate
You have to hire a Croatian translator. Two candidates for the job show up to interview, me, who knows not a word of Croatian, and my friend Neil, who is Croatian. You begin to interview us, but I have brought a trump card: I have along my attorney, Elen To...
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Animals, Friendship, and Animal Friendships
I am watching "Nature: Animal Odd Couples," which documents the cross-species friendships among animals. It is available on Netflix, and is much better than many such documentaries. For one thing, it has the great Temple Grandin in it. Grandin is pretty rou...
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