[FoRK] A word about bias...

Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> on Thu Dec 20 14:21:00 PST 2007

I have a great deal of admiration for Robin Hanson;  somewhat less  
so, though an enduring interest in the activity of, Eli Yudkowsky.  I  
read overcomingbias.com on a daily basis --- yet every time I do, I  
have to chuckle some at the name.

Bias, of course, can be a perfectly fine thing.  Some biases provide  
a fitness advantage in various fitness landscapes;  they are  
evolutionary shortcuts, means of achieving statistically correct  
behavior in the absence of complete information or enough time to  
process whatever information is available.

Many kinds of bias, of course, are so specialized as to confer no  
general benefit --- and many can be anti-fit when the host is  
suddenly in a novel fitness landscape.

Bias by itself isn't the problem.  It is bias which reduces fitness  
in some important fitness landscape that's the problem.

$0.02,

jb



More information about the FoRK mailing list