Category archives: pseudo-scholarly

Expected value estimates you can take (somewhat) literally

Summary A geometric interpretation of tail divergence offers a pseudo-robust mechanism of quantifying the expected ‘regression to the mean’ of a cost effectiveness estimate (i.e. expected value given estimated value). With caveats, this seems to be superior to current attempts… continue reading »

How good were the old greats?

Summary: In many fields, the ‘greatest’ (be they philosophers, playwrights, composers, etc.) are selected disproportionately more from those who lived in the distant past. I speculate as to what might be driving this bias towards ‘ancient greatness’, but one important… continue reading »

Why you shouldn’t believe the Resurrection happened

The 12th (and final) part in “20 Atheist answers to questions they supposedly can’t.” What accounts for the empty tomb, resurrection appearances and growth of the church? Short answer: We shouldn’t be that confident of these facts, but in any… continue reading »

How many lives does a doctor save?

[This is cross posted on 80,000 hours: 1 2 3. Particular credit to Ben Todd for basically writing the third section.] Doctors have a pretty solid reputation as do-gooders. There are regular news stories about how advances in medical science… continue reading »

Atheist Prayer Experiment, week 3: Why should atheists bother praying, anyway?

Personal update: I have been finding praying pretty difficult in the last week or so. It has been hard keep my mind on prayer rather than wandering elsewhere after the initial mental recitation. Similarly, I have generally failed to keep… continue reading »

20 Atheist answers to questions they supposedly can’t

[Back up for air now exams have gone. Results permitting, will post quasi regularly.] Peter Saunders (the guy who runs the UK Christian medical fellowship), has a list of questions that Atheists struggle to answer. In his words: “I am… continue reading »

For ASC/DoP Peeps: The Problem of Evil

I’m giving a talk at the Amoral Sciences Club in about 30 mins, and using it for Doctors of Philosophy a little later. So here’s the stuff (Enjoy life!) Problem of Evil on Prezi Evil is can be problematic in… continue reading »

Evil and Appearance: A dialogue

[Reposted from here, cos it is some of my best work (although I’d want to rewrite most of it). That may say more about what I generally write than the quality of this example.] Preliminaries Beatrice:            What do you think… continue reading »

What makes a good argument?

[Redate given discussion here and here] Claire: We argue a lot, yet what do we need to do to be convinced by it? What makes some arguments good, and others bad? How should we assess an argument, and whether or… continue reading »

If you’re from private school, you probably don’t deserve to be here

[I now blog for Varsity (“behold my cyberonanism, ye mighty, and despair!”) So I’ll be shamelessly cross-posting back and forth as I see fit.] If you’re either privately educated or middle class, you probably didn’t get into Oxbridge on merit.… continue reading »

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