by on September 11, 2006 at 1:09 pm in Web/Tech | Permalink

1. Great jazz 1973-1990.

2. Deirdre McCloskey podcast.

3. Avian flu: follow the trend, not the media cycle.

4. Innocence, by Robin Hanson: "So many questions.  Inquiring minds want to know.  Innocent minds might not want to know."

1 Jason Briggeman September 11, 2006 at 1:39 pm

As I blogged yesterday, prediction markets say the avian flu trend is for the better. In March, markets said there was a 60% the flu would arrive within six months; today it’s 30%. I’ll trust the markets before I’ll trust a “progressive” blogger citing a couple of statistics.

2 Tyler Cowen September 11, 2006 at 1:45 pm

Do note those markets are for avian flu arriving in the US, which would in any case be a likely non-event. I don’t know of a market in the chance of a significant mutation.

3 ortega September 11, 2006 at 1:54 pm

you can only apply innocent to the one that can be guilty, not like today happens so often: innocent babies, innocent animals, etc.

4 Robin Hanson September 11, 2006 at 3:09 pm

Jason – even if the chances of flu soon are down, the chances of flu over the longer run may be high. I wish we have longer term markets on such things.

Bonnie – if insight is used to signal ability, then the able will choose more insight, as well as being more optimisitic.

Ortega, check out a dictionary – the word “innocent” applies more widely than you realize.

5 Jason Briggeman September 11, 2006 at 5:37 pm

Good points, Tyler and Robin…though, in the long run, I expect we’ll all have the flu. :O

6 A Tykhyy September 12, 2006 at 1:57 am

ortega: no, it’s the contrary

1 a : free from guilt or sin especially through lack of knowledge of evil
b : harmless in effect or intention ;
c : free from legal guilt or fault;
2 a : lacking or reflecting a lack of sophistication, guile, or self-consciousness
b : IGNORANT ; also : UNAWARE 3 : lacking or deprived of something

BTW, some people think that innocent people have a right not to know things that would violate their innocence. It’s hard to agree with this view in some instances, because while the individual concerned might be happy to keep their innocence, the society as a whole may suffer. A prominent case is knowledge about real (not TV-show) politics.

7 Robin Hanson September 12, 2006 at 8:31 am

Chairman Mao, is it part of the nature of innocence not to have or want opinions on such things.

8 dj superflat September 12, 2006 at 12:23 pm

no return to forever? that makes the list entirely suspect.

9 Chairman Mao September 12, 2006 at 8:11 pm


To experiment with new things, and challenge convention is bold, daring and often wise.

However, sometimes there is a fine line between rejecting the innocence that is more akin to ignorance and overruling a human instinct to avoid ventures that we’ve been programmed by evolution to avoid.

Bestiality may not enlighten you as much as it may traumatize you.

To make progress we have to build on what we know and that includes not only what we have learned in our lifetime but also what we have inherited though our genes.

10 plut0nium August 25, 2007 at 4:57 pm

What is the value of insight or innocence then in terms of increasing
personal bliss?

I believe the value of innocence is to maintain harmony. To keep things as
they are. “I already know enough” is the slogan. I already know enough
about who I am and how I relate to the universe.

One benefit of this stance is that the individual remains integrated within his
culture (from his group of friends all the way up to society as a
whole.) The motivation for this is an overwhelming innate desire to belong.

I believe we all have a tendancy toward innocence within us.

I believe the value of insight is to evolve. Insight connects, unites and
integrates existing concepts and patterns of existence. In this way,
insight guarantees rich rewards: a simplification of reality. It can also
however, cause havoc as it may render existing ideas and patterns obsolete.
This may objectively be seen as good but subjectively not good since it is
‘safer’ to maintain harmony (ignorance)

I believe we all have a tendancy toward seeking insight within us.

Innocence(ignorance), at one end of the spectrum, is bliss
as they say. But enlightenment, at the opposite end of the spectrum, is also bliss. The trouble is, you are stuck in the middle and can never fully reach either end. You will never have enough insight that you will have a complete concept of reality(enlightenment) but you will always have an innate desire for insight rendering you eternally dissatisfied with ignorance.

In conclusion then, it seems that bliss is unreachable. Like chasing the horizon.

Clearly, if you have read this far you are showing a desire for insight no?
Perhaps you could sense into yourself and notice what is driving that desire. Perhaps you could also sense the parts of you that just want to collapse into ignorance and just go look at some porn.

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