The interpersonal comparison is a general problem across psychology- not merely a specific problem about comparing welfare

EDIT: Today I happened to reread Angner's "Is it possible to measure happiness" and it's probably important to mention that all the basic elements of my argument can be found in Angner's article, though it isn't spelt out in quite the same way by Angner. If you're bored and want something to read check out … Continue reading The interpersonal comparison is a general problem across psychology- not merely a specific problem about comparing welfare

Recent advances in Natural Language Processing- Some Woolly speculations

If you enjoy this article, please check out my free book by clicking Here: "Something to Read in Quarantine: Essays 2018-2020." Natural Language Processing (NLP) per Wikipedia: “Is a subfield of linguistics, computer science, information engineering, and artificial intelligence concerned with the interactions between computers and human (natural) languages, in particular how to program computers … Continue reading Recent advances in Natural Language Processing- Some Woolly speculations

Chesterton’s fence and thinking using sayings

“Common sense is a chaotic aggregate of disparate conceptions, and one can find there anything that one like.” -Antonio Gramsci I. Chesterton's fence is the principle that: "Reforms should not be made until the reasoning behind the existing state of affairs is understood. " (Courtesy of Wikipedia) It sounds so very reasonable- simply a more … Continue reading Chesterton’s fence and thinking using sayings

Philosophical minigame: How much do different activities lose through the experience machine?

Here's a fun little philosophy mini-game. Nozick imagines an experience machine, capable of generating experiences, just as vivid, rich and pleasurable as the real thing- for the whole range of desirable human experiences. Nozick argues that experiences had in such a machine would be inherently less meaningful than their real world equivalents. It seems to me … Continue reading Philosophical minigame: How much do different activities lose through the experience machine?

Why we can’t (usefully) dismiss concern about the income of others as envious

I. The Easterlin paradox is the observation that country level happiness does not seem to increase overtime with income- even though there are many reasons to think it should- for example, income gives us choices, security, additional consumption and so on. The paradox grows even weirder when we reflect that individual increases in income do … Continue reading Why we can’t (usefully) dismiss concern about the income of others as envious

[WIP] [Technical] Extending the veil of ignorance argument for utilitarianism into an argument for ‘egalitarian’ interpersonal utility comparison

I. Plausibly there are actually two problems of interpersonal utility comparison- the epistemic problem and the ontological problem. The epistemic problem is the problem of how we could know that a given comparison is correct. The ontological problem is the problem of why we should think such comparisons are meaningful- anymore than measuring temperature against … Continue reading [WIP] [Technical] Extending the veil of ignorance argument for utilitarianism into an argument for ‘egalitarian’ interpersonal utility comparison