[ExI] mersenne primes again

Mike Dougherty msd001 at gmail.com
Thu Apr 1 10:39:58 UTC 2010

On Thu, Apr 1, 2010 at 1:44 AM, Damien Broderick <thespike at satx.rr.com> wrote:
> The first paragraph above is so preposterous I can't believe that I'm really
>  seeing it on my monitor. Almost *no* phenomena studied by scientists during
> the last 400 years had a theoretical explanation until fairly recently, and
> even now it tends to boil down to something like "symmetry demands it," and
> if that doesn't work "broken symmetry demands it." Wow, *symmetry*, eh? That
> certainly saves us from all those bad experiments and a slap in the face.

I mentioned symmetry wrt Penrose tiling.  This morning I was thinking
about symmetry as a quality of physical beauty/attractiveness
(symmetry of features on a face, for example).  What makes us perceive
symmetry as an ideal?  Maybe it's the decreased energy expenditure
thinking about only half a problem then "by symmetry" the complete
answer is mirrored or folded onto the other half.  Seems to me that
supposing something is correct based on the 'demands' of symmetry is a
form of religious belief in the inherent value of symmetry as a ruler.

I think what spike was suggesting is that using statistics alone, we
may experience real psi effects but still not "see" it because the 95%
confidence criteria is not met.  We only need to win 51% of the time
to be profitable in Vegas, so what's with the arbitrary 0.95
confidence?  If I had to be 95% certain of anything before I could do
it, I would be forced to never got out of bed in the morning.
(However, I am only about 75% sure of even that assumption)

There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.

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