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I like thinking and talking about rationality and epistemology. I have a high-risk scout mindset, so I tend to produce interesting-but-probably-mistaken thoughts. At least I hope so.


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Deference for Bayesians

Great post! The main reason academics suffer from "myopic empiricism" is that they're optimising for legibility (an information source is "legible" if it can be easily trusted by others), both in their information intake and output. Or, more realistically, they're optimising for publishing esteemable papers, and since they can't reference non-legible sources of evidence, they'll be less interested in attending to them. One way to think about it is that "myopic academics" are trapped in an information bubble that repels non-legible information.

And I think this is really important. We need a source of highly legible data, and academic journals provide exactly that (uh, in theory). It only starts being a big problem once those papers start offering conclusions about the real world while refusing to leave their legibility bubble. And that sums up all the failures you've listed in the article.

The moral of the story is this: scientists really should optimise for legibility in their data production, and this is a good thing, but if they're going to offer real-world advice, they better be able to step out of their legibility bubble.