Hindsight Bias Devalues Science

My friend Eliezer has been on a tear over at the Overcoming Bias blog. Here’s his post on how the Hindsight Bias (aka the "I knew it all along" phenomenon) devalues science. He links to this helpful primer on the hindsight bias.

Here’s my post about Eliezer’s paper about cognitive biases — the best introduction I’ve read on this fascinating topic. Here’s a podcast with Eliezer on the singularity and other topics.

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If you want to see Eliezer in-person, go to the Singularity Summit on September 8-9 in San Francisco. It’s probably the most important conference of the year if you’re interested in the issues surrounding the singularity. Tyler Cowen says it’s no longer intellectually acceptable not to be familiar with this topic.

7 Responses to Hindsight Bias Devalues Science

  1. Ryan Holiday says:

    This is one of my favorite bias/mental phenomenons:

    link to en.wikipedia.org

    See you read Old School–did you like This Boy’s Life? I think it’s better

  2. Ben Casnocha says:

    Old School and This Boy’s Life are very different, but both very good.

  3. TT says:

    How do you plan to balance your intellectual and business interests/pursuits (for instance, attending the Summit) -provided they require you to travel- within the constraints of the academic calendar?

    I’m headed back to grad school next week, and consequently face this issue myself. I’m starting to feel claustrophobic.

  4. Ben Casnocha says:

    It will be hard. In many respects you’re physically constrained — i’m going to do my best.

  5. Shefaly says:

    “How do you plan to balance your intellectual and business interests/pursuits (for instance, attending the Summit) -provided they require you to travel- within the constraints of the academic calendar?”

    @ TT and @ Ben: It is always manageable. Just like in school, smart kids get away with a lot of naughtiness than dumb kids, many Universities and departments and faculty members will give more leeway to those, whose abilities are more clear to see than those who have to work to create such cred. I am finishing my 2nd stint at Grad School and my experience has not been like any of my classmates’. Have fun, but keep your eye on the ball and avoid peer pressure.

  6. Shefaly makes a great point – I’ve experienced the same thing. Professors (in my experience) are very understanding of travel and having to miss classes if you’re performing well in their class.

    There are always exceptions and I have no doubt Ben will be able to manage his other demands; just be ready to deal with being pulled in every direction! Cheers.

  7. Joe says:

    I like your blog, it’s always fun to come back and check what you have to tell us today.

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