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Is it OK to spend 12 months to get a visa to attend a 3-day conference?

My piece in Science (@sciencemagazine) sheds light on this issue many scholars from institutionally discriminated countries experience on a regular basis

Spoiler: 12 months, 900$, get rejected


[This is a repost as original post mystically was deleted...]

#Science #Academia #Psychology #Mastodon #Fediverse #Research #Twitter #ScienceMastodon #Research #University #PhDLife #Sociology #PhD #Politics

and proposing, once again, to merge. I can't really see how this will be a good idea; one of those cases where there will be diseconomies of scale because of the increased diversity of the student body and their interests in higher education. Potentially good for , because there is surely unmet student demand in the UniSA student body. But so much is hostage to fortune.


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If someone asks you whether you should just let anyone into your house, by way of making a "clever" reply about "open borders", ask them if they should need the whole town's permission before having their friends round to dinner

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Hello! I'm History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis, an academic journal dedicated to the history of philosophy. The motto of the journal is 'The history of philosophy should not only be honored as historical documents, but first and foremost be taken seriously from a philosophical point of view.' The journal has been published since 1998; since moving, in 2020, to Brill Publishers, the journal appears twice per year.

I had an account as @hpla@fediscience.org but with @AustralasianJournalPhilosophy and @ajlonline being here, maybe we can make this the home of philosophy journals.

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A hotel in Germany uses 3D carpets to prevent guests from running in the passage...

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@anteagle The conference programme is available from this webpage: 2022nzapconference.blogspot.co. However, be prepared to open it via MS OneDrive. I'd attach a pdf but it's not allowed on Mastodon.

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Now that our bot is up and running, time for an . This is the largely automated account of the Australasian Journal of Philosophy, one of the world's leading journals. Posting mostly new announcements, automatically, with infrequent manual contributions, perhaps when conversations in the general philosophical community intersect with issues in journal publication.

This account is maintained by the AJP , @anteagle.

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"I've been shadow-banned on Google Scholar."

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The End of Decision Theory (988 words) 

I'm off to Vancouver this weekend for my first trip to do talks on campus since the pandemic started. I'll be doing a talk in the department at UBC on Friday, then presenting at a workshop on epistemic anxiety on Saturday.

The talk in the department is called "The End of Decision Theory". The slides are posted at brian.weatherson.org/talks/end. Here's a quick summary of what I'm going to cover.

Decision theory, as philosophers practice it, is often based around cases, and fitting a theory to intuitions about those cases. I think this is a mistake for several reasons.

One is that decision theorists who use this method when convenient don't do so consistently; they typically accept theories that say very unintuitive things about the Allais paradox. I think that's fine, intuition often gets Allais wrong. But once we've seen that, we should think it might apply more broadly. (This was meant to be the main point of my old paper "What Good are Counterexamples?", but I got it tangled up with other, less plausible, points.)

A second is that there are three distinct normative concepts around here, and decision theory (at least as practiced) is concerned with just one of these. The main point of this paper is to argue for the claims made in the previous sentence, and to say just what it is decision theory is trying to do. That is, the paper is an investigation into what question decision theorists could be asking, by looking at what answers they take seriously. There is a real danger, one that I spend much of the paper trying to address, that the question they answer is one not worth spending time answering. But first we need to get clear on what the question is.

It's not the question of what choice would do best in any decision problem. We know that because decision theorists do not say that one should take risky bets that will, as a matter of unknowable fact, turn out to succeed.

Nor is it the question of what choice would be most advisable to take. We know that because decision theorists do say that one should take the choice that is best given one's available evidence. But sometimes, as in Traveling Salesman problems, the best thing to do is to instead try to find an efficient algorithm for approximating the best choice.

So if it is some secret third thing, what is that third thing? I think it's the question of what a chooser who was idealised in one dimension, they have zero computational costs, but not another dimension, they have no more knowledge than actual choosers, would do. That particular idealised chooser would decline risky (but ultimately successful) bets, but would make the optimal choice in Salesman problems.

Why should we care about what such an idealised chooser does? Not because they are a good guide, or role model. In general, we should not try to approximate what idealised people do. That's something we know from work on the second best, tracing back to Lipsey and Lancaster. If you have flaws, and we all have flaws, usually the right thing to do involves taking actions that mitigate the damage those flaws do. Trying to be more like the idea might make you better off, but might just remove those damage mitigations. In general, the mere fact that an idealised version of you does X is on its own no reason to do X.

A better thought is that the idealised decider is not ideal in the sense of being perfect, after all they still have informational constraints, but rather is ideal in the sense of being a simplification. It's an annoying fact of (academic) English that we use 'idealisation' both for 'perfection' and 'simplification'. The idealisations in decision theory are simplifications, not perfections.

And they are very useful simplifications. You can't build simple models like Akerlof's model of the used car market without these kind of idealisations. And Akerlof's model is a very useful model to have. That is, I think, the right role for decision theory. It's an input into a certain kind of model, and since those models are useful, getting the inputs right is useful.

But if that's what decision theorists are trying to do, two things follow.

One is that decision theory need not be a universal theory of decision. We don't expect rational choice models to be the right kind of model for all human interactions. And if decision theory goes silent in cases where rational choice models don't work, that's no loss, because the whole point was to help out rational choice modeling.

A second is the point I started with. The three questions, what would be best to do, what would be advisable to do, and what would the 'ideal decider' do, are three separate questions. If one just describes a vignette, and asks what to do in that situation, it isn't always clear which of those three questions one is asking. Decision theory is, at most, answerable to judgments about the third question. But I suspect the way most decision theorists set up their thought experiments, they elicit judgments about the second question.

This paper is both a groundclearing for, and an advertisement for, a book-in-progress on decision theory, which makes heavy use of these points about the intended purpose of the theory. The positive theory I defend in the book isn't that novel; it's a relatively minor modification of familiar versions of causal decision theory. But the defence is, I think, fairly novel. And it starts with thinking about these big picture questions about what we're trying to do when we do decision theory, and what could be the point of a theory of decision that assumes zero computational costs.

I'm very happy UBC invited me out to do both these talks, and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone there.

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🔖 Statistical code in a high-impact medical journal

A journal started asking authors to submit code with their manuscripts. They then analysed the next 314 papers accepted

87% denied using code, even when publishing substantial statistical analysis

10% used code but refused to share it with the journal

For the few that provided code, none scored even moderately on basic quality criteria

Assel & Vickers


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This book may obsolete one of my little projects but, either way, I'm sure I'll have fun and learn a ton!

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Difficult to disagree with this🧵👇 on ARC's survey about impact. I like 'intended to conjure an "evidence base"'.

Q: Was there impact?

A: Yes
Conclusion: We'll shift more funds & resources to making impact!


A: No
C: We'll shift more funds & resources to making impact!

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NZ philosophers, is anyone going to the NZAP conference? There seems be a decided lack of organising from the organisers. @NJMunn @oohlah

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Thomas Drucker in the CMS Notes: "Why Everyone Loves History of Mathematics . . . But Philosophy of Mathematics is an Acquired Taste" notes.math.ca/en/article/why-e with a shoutout to @sioroberts

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Beautiful illustration of where people are concentrated.

If you squint, you can see Australia and New Zealand.

Map by Alasdair Rae visualcapitalist.com/cp/3d-map

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