The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Zohar » Wed Nov 14, 2018 6:33 pm UTC

The point is you're stretching the definitions so much they're not useful anymore.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby ucim » Wed Nov 14, 2018 7:00 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:The point is you're stretching the definitions so much they're not useful anymore.
Perhaps not in this particular case, but this particular case inspires the stretching of the definitions that will be useful in other cases. Like just when is it that we have a machine "be" intelligent, or more to the point, how do we even answer the question? We'll need that when we live in the future.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby jewish_scientist » Wed Nov 14, 2018 7:39 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote: It's the age-old case of bureaucrats and techies deciding what's best for the people, while avoiding the messy step of asking them.

They actually gathered a lot of data on what people wanted and used that when setting the weights of different factors. The problem is that after the AI produced a schedule the bureaucrats did not give satisfactory justification to the people.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Zohar » Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:39 pm UTC

ucim wrote:
Zohar wrote:The point is you're stretching the definitions so much they're not useful anymore.
Perhaps not in this particular case, but this particular case inspires the stretching of the definitions that will be useful in other cases.

Perhaps it would be useful to limit the discussions to actual machines if that's what you're interested in talking about.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Zamfir » Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:50 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:
Zamfir wrote: It's the age-old case of bureaucrats and techies deciding what's best for the people, while avoiding the messy step of asking them.

They actually gathered a lot of data on what people wanted and used that when setting the weights of different factors. The problem is that after the AI produced a schedule the bureaucrats did not give satisfactory justification to the people.


As i read it, they asked people about their preferred times, then unsurprisingly found that most people preferred the same times (start between 8.00 and 8.30,e tc). And the district is not willing to spend enough money to make that happen, by a long shot. People used to start before 7.30, and after the change other people had to start before 7.30

That's the crucial point: this was a cost-cutting exercise, on a system that was already underfunded. Better optimization might help reduce the pain somewhat, but optimization is not magic. A lot of the changes are about shifting the pain to these people or to those people. That's a political process, and surveys are not going to answer that. The surveys just tell you that people won't like it if they lose out.

I think this is telling:
Juli 2017, from aboston newspaper:
A Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor and doctoral students have come up with new routes to bus the city's more than 30,000 students by finding better connections between schools. Boston Public Schools Chief of Operations John Hanlon said the new system is projected to remove 77 of the fleet's current 650 buses and decrease daily trips from 3,000 to 2,700 -- saving the district between $3 million and $5 million a year in transportation costs.

December 2017, a memo linked to from the wired article:
As you know, the district’s primary goal in changing bell times is to optimize conditions for
learning and academic achievement by:
1) Maximizing the number of secondary students starting after 8 a.m.;
2) Minimizing the number of elementary students dismissing after 4 p.m.;
3) Wherever possible, assigning schools with higher concentrations of medically fragile
students and/or students with autism or emotional impairments to bell times reflective of
the needs of their student bodies; and
4) Where possible, do all of the above while maximizing reinvestment in schools.

Note item 4, coyly put in last place, with a cautious "where possible", and an euphemistic "reinvestment in schools".
What seems to have happened that they developed a cost-cutting program, and then the MIT PR machine (which is very good) plastered the result all over the news to drum up business from other school districts wanting to save money. But that's bad PR for the school district. They now have to sell the message "your schedule will be fucked up next year so we can fire more bus drivers"

So, they organized a second optimization run, with some ad-hoc niceties throw in. The message is now "your schedule will be changed to make high-schoolers learn better, prevent little children from going home n the dark, help autistic kids, and make the system more fair for poor black people. Oh, and also save a little money." That's part of the game!

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Coyne » Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:16 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:A lot of the changes are about shifting the pain to these people or to those people. That's a political process, and surveys are not going to answer that. The surveys just tell you that people won't like it if they lose out.

But a political process is not one ended, it needs to involve everyone.

I can optimize the daylights out of that system, give them the cheapest bus system ever (no AI required). Sell all the buses, fire all the bus drivers, tell the parents, "It's your problem to get the kids to the school and back...and don't drive them because we don't want a line of cars outside the front door." That's called fiat and it works really efficiently. But it annoys a lot of people.

If I'm going to have to endure pain, I expect representation.
In all fairness...

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:05 pm UTC


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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Zamfir » Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:44 pm UTC


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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Zohar » Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:57 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Fiat_buses

:P

What am I looking at?
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Thesh » Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:13 pm UTC

A list of buses that were built by the government to use as a form of currency.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby ijuin » Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:58 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:
Soupspoon wrote:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Fiat_buses

:P

What am I looking at?

Buses created by Fiat.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Zamfir » Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:02 pm UTC

Context
Coyne wrote:That's called fiat and it works really efficiently. But it annoys a lot of people.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Coyne » Sat Nov 17, 2018 3:24 am UTC

Zamfir wrote:Context
Coyne wrote:That's called fiat and it works really efficiently. But it annoys a lot of people.

https://tinyurl.com/y8bq2525
In all fairness...

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Zamfir » Sat Nov 17, 2018 5:27 am UTC

I've never seen one a Fiat Money myself, perhaps it's a rebadge of these?

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby speising » Wed Jan 02, 2019 7:39 pm UTC

Ultima Thule (at a distance of 6 lh) is the first known contact binary (aka. snowman) https://youtu.be/PpxTUCE1drQ

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Mutex » Fri Jan 25, 2019 9:57 pm UTC

AI beats top professional StarCraft 2 players:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUTMhmVh1qs
(I'm still watching it with an hour left, but it's 100% victorious so far...)

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Flumble » Sat Jan 26, 2019 2:38 am UTC

That's a neat video. It even made me enjoy watching a starcraft match. :lol:
I'd like to see more of that LSTM visualization because that was really cool, although it's probably as useless (or worse) to us as watching fMRI scans.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby sardia » Sat Jan 26, 2019 2:10 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:AI beats top professional StarCraft 2 players:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUTMhmVh1qs
(I'm still watching it with an hour left, but it's 100% victorious so far...)

AI loses when the player exploits a novel situation. (Dropship lands attackers on mineral line, AI army chases it, but doesn't buy flying units. Wastes time. Human repeats until that causes a loss.)
The ai also has unlimited vision across the map. Players are limited to one camera, the ai can see everything not blocked by fog of war. Still, very promising.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Flumble » Sat Jan 26, 2019 8:49 pm UTC

See also the blog post: https://deepmind.com/blog/alphastar-mastering-real-time-strategy-game-starcraft-ii/

sardia wrote:AI loses when the player exploits a novel situation. (Dropship lands attackers on mineral line, AI army chases it, but doesn't buy flying units. Wastes time. Human repeats until that causes a loss.)

Note that its one loss was drawn from a new league that trained for "only" 7 days*. Still, quite unusual that it didn't have a counter to a pretty trivial attack.
And it's peculiar that testing for an observer in your base (or using one on the opponent's base) hasn't been used by the AI, while that scenario is definitely among the thousands of matches it learned from.
It'd be nice to see mana do another match against an agent from 14 days of training with the new restrictions. Hell, throw in another restriction of a peak APM of 240 (or 3 every second). Because, while the APM of a good player may be much higher, quite a few actions are redundant or adjustments of an imperfect action (for example a move order) or rechecks of timers (the AI may know/learn exactly how its production queue is doing but a player definitely needs to look; also click-spamming a build/research button before it comes available). It'd be beautiful to see an AI win with only a few actions but planned to perfection.

sardia wrote:The ai also has unlimited vision across the map. Players are limited to one camera, the ai can see everything not blocked by fog of war. Still, very promising.

What? No, the first league (with the double 5-0 victories) had a constant zoomed-out view. It definitely had fog-of-war. [edit]Sorry, I misread the second sentence as "the ai can see everything and is not blocked by fog of war". :oops: [/edit] And like they explained, the AI still developed areas of interest so you could argue it effectively used a camera, but that felt like super-human camera control. So for the live match they trained a league that has to do camera control too, instead of having immediate access to the whole map.


*Like the article explains, mana first fought against 5 agents from a 14-day league and did the live match against an agent from a 7-day league with a camera. Then again, considering the learning curve of the AIs it seems like an extra 7 days of training don't matter that much.
Also, that diagram puts the AI more than 800 points above mana and tlo, which implies a >99% win chance for the AI. While winning a match with odds of 1:100 feels great, it's more likely that the ratings of the bot league are inflated. Or that mana would have a much higher rating if he participated in the bot league.
Last edited by Flumble on Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:57 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby sardia » Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:04 pm UTC

I'd be curious if the ai learned to counter the drop ship trick without human intervention. Dotas open ai had similar problems but they had to reconfigure the program when it couldn't generate a solution with random attempts.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Soupspoon » Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:55 pm UTC

Flumble wrote:
sardia wrote:,the ai can see everything not blocked by fog of war.

What? No, the first league (with the double 5-0 victories) had a constant zoomed-out view. It definitely had fog-of-war.

IRT(sardia)A "Everything that is not blocked by fog of war can be seen". The way you responded makes me think you may have read it as "Everything can be seen; nothing is blocked by fog or war"

That said, I may have misunderstood either/both of you. But while I'm passing I thought I'd say I find it interesting, as we may be nudging elements around on https://xkcd.com/1002/

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Flumble » Sun Jan 27, 2019 2:32 am UTC

Soupspoon wrote:
Flumble wrote:
sardia wrote:,the ai can see everything not blocked by fog of war.

What? No, the first league (with the double 5-0 victories) had a constant zoomed-out view. It definitely had fog-of-war.

IRT(sardia)A "Everything that is not blocked by fog of war can be seen". The way you responded makes me think you may have read it as "Everything can be seen; nothing is blocked by fog or war"

Oops, I totally misread that. Edited accordingly.


Thanks for bringing up the comic. So in order of breaking it's
  • Jeopardy 2011
  • Arimaa 2015
  • Go 2016
  • Poker 2017 (IIRC texas hold 'em, so some varieties may still be too hard)
  • StarCraft II 2019 (single race on single map, though the general case will probably just take a couple more weeks of training)
Now all we have left is the "computers may never win" category. Since calvinball is in there, I assume the "may never" is to be read as "must never".
Then again, I believe AI can win at Mao (finding patterns where we humans fail to (encode them) is precisely what ML is about these days) and 7 minutes in heaven (alone with a computer in a closet? that's going to be very satisfactory; just optimize for cat videos) and it can "win" snakes/chutes and ladders by virtue of not growing tired of it. And maybe, just maybe, you can win calvinball with a general AI that learns how to "convince" the author of calvin to draw a cartoon of him losing calvinball to a computer. Or remove calvinball from humanity's collective memory so there's no need to win it.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby New User » Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:56 am UTC

The only winning move is not to play.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby sardia » Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:41 pm UTC

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/31/busi ... rk-tv.html
Has anyone heard of this? It's a nonprofit version of the app that records local broadcasts, and streams it over the internet. The previous app Aereo got shutdown via lawsuits, but this is a nonprofit, so it's a legal grayzone.
Locast, a Free App Streaming Network TV, Would Love to Get Sued. Want to watch the Super Bowl and other network TV for free? A start-up called Locast will let you, and (so far) the big broadcasters aren’t trying to stop it.
I for one am tired of the fragmentation of the media market. The world is broken up into cable, netflix/ amazon/ etc etc etc, and everyone has their own streaming services now. It's crazy.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Trebla » Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:41 pm UTC

sardia wrote:I for one am tired of the fragmentation of the media market. The world is broken up into cable, netflix/ amazon/ etc etc etc, and everyone has their own streaming services now. It's crazy.


As a consumer, it's certainly inconvenient, but from a content producer standpoint, it makes more sense to maintain tighter controls both preventing over-saturation of the content and giving you more control over revenue from the content. Especially true of the more established producers who are known for delivering higher quality content, why provide that in the same bucket as newer content developers? And, though this may just be a coincidence of history, the quantity of high-quality TV programs seems to have had a serious boost in the past few years which is arguably attributable to competing content providers (similar to HBO, etc back in the 80s/90s). And even with the (current levels of) fragmentation of media providers, you still have access to more, higher-quality content at an overall lower (???) price than you did even 10 years ago.

Maybe I'm talking out of my butt here, but the alternative that I see streaming content replacing is the "pay per view" model, either of streaming programs or by buying DVDs rather than the cable/broadcast model.

Sorry, I know this isn't the thread to debate the merits of combined vs discrete content providers.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Zohar » Fri Feb 01, 2019 4:09 pm UTC

Unfortunately this means I miss out on content that I'm interested in, like Star Trek Discovery, Insecure, or Broad City. Those are all on CBS Go, HBO and Comedy Central, respectively. All three of these are their own subscriptions (though in some cases you can log in using a TV provider, if you have one). Instead of them cutting a deal with Hulu for example (who's used to doing "day later" broadcasts), I'll wait until the season is over and either it comes on one of the providers I do have, buy the run separately, or subscribe for a single month to binge and then unsubscribe. All these cases mean delayed revenue and not a constant stream of money. Or worse - I'll forget about it entirely and just not watch their content.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Chen » Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:01 pm UTC

Zohar wrote: All these cases mean delayed revenue and not a constant stream of money. Or worse - I'll forget about it entirely and just not watch their content.


Well it depends on the amount of money they make per user on their own platform vs putting it out on someone elses and the number of people like you versus the number who WILL subscribe to multiple services.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby speising » Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:18 pm UTC

when companies make it hard for us to get at their content, there's always torrent.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Zohar » Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:58 pm UTC

Chen wrote:
Zohar wrote: All these cases mean delayed revenue and not a constant stream of money. Or worse - I'll forget about it entirely and just not watch their content.


Well it depends on the amount of money they make per user on their own platform vs putting it out on someone elses and the number of people like you versus the number who WILL subscribe to multiple services.

Of course, but I can't imagine too many people are eager to sign up, and when including development costs and maintenance costs... It's hard for me to see how it's profitable.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Trebla » Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:26 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:Of course, but I can't imagine too many people are eager to sign up, and when including development costs and maintenance costs... It's hard for me to see how it's profitable.


Content providers are playing the long game... I won't pretend to know the profit break-down, but I have to assume the "experts" designing these distribution models for CBS, HBO and Comedy Central know how many people they can expect to subscribe to their service (within some margin) and how much they can syndicate their shows to Netflix or Amazon Prime for over the next X-Y years.

Maybe you don't watch Game of Thrones now... but maybe you buy the season instead, or maybe when it comes to Netflix in a few years you watch it then? How much is Netflix paying to keep Friends in their line-up? How much did they pay for Rome (another acclaimed HBO show just for example)?

Again, I absolutely agree with you that it sucks I can't watch the shows I want cause they're produced by different conglomerates that aren't releasing it, but those companies don't care if I can watch it for free... I'm not trying to defend them, but actually, I guess I kind of am.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Zamfir » Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:52 am UTC

I actually expect that experts are very uncertain, right now. Streaming video is a fairly new business model- they don't have much experience to build on, and the future might be different from the past.

In particular, Netflix is currently running a negative cashflow of several billion dollar/year, and rising fast. That's not miles away from HBO's entire revenue, to put it in perspective. They are clearly gambling that this will become a winner-take-all market, where current losses can be recouped by a future entrenched monopoly. HBO on the other hand is running an extremely fat profit margin - they are setting their spending and prices to maximise income today, not to grow viewership.

They can hardly be both right.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Trebla » Tue Feb 05, 2019 12:29 pm UTC

Excellent points, Zamfir. If, as you suggest, Netflix, or anyone, is betting on a "winner take all" outcome, that sounds extremely silly to me. I can't see the streaming media market stabilizing as a monopoly. And even if it does, it'll probably be supplanted by another way to consume media content in the next decade or so.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Mutex » Tue Feb 05, 2019 1:17 pm UTC

I think it's more that Netflix knows that in order to survive, you must have a large amount of your own content to stream. They currently don't have a *large* amount, they have some but they've quite far to go before they're up there with say, HBO. And catching up requires heavy investment. They don't necessarily disagree with HBO, they're just in a different position.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Zamfir » Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:17 pm UTC

Yes, that's very true. Though scale is a thing here... Just looking up some numbers, Netflix has spend around 30 billion dollar on content in just the last few years (that seems to include licenses). Plan for 2019 alone is another 15 billion, and more yet for 2020.

HBO spends between 1.5 and 2 billion per year. Warner as a whole (from CNN to HBO to the movie studios) spends 14 billion, with less ambitious growth plans than netflix.

Netflix is not really catching up to HBO anymore, it's a bet on something else altogether. I don't know what, exactly, but that was kind of my point. I suspect that the people at HBO don't really know either , and quite possibly the people at Netflix are somewhat winging it as well.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby sardia » Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:39 pm UTC

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-sho ... e-recovery
Electrolytes are pointless, drink when you're thirsty but no more. Inflammation is good for recovery and muscle growth.

My favorite tidbit is that most recovery techniques are pointless, feel good, or are placebo effects. Therefore, you should do the one that is cheapest, and makes you feel the best. Like a $25 (or even 'free' from spousal)massage from a cheapo storefront is as effective as a massage from a 100$ spa.
I occasionally foam roll, so I'll probably take the advice to only foam roll one side of the body. Save some time if the benefits from it are mostly mental.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby idonno » Sun Feb 17, 2019 12:28 am UTC

More expensive placebos can be more effective though and I somehow doubt that your mind won't be fooled into thinking one side of the body is better than the other.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby sardia » Sun Feb 17, 2019 7:58 am UTC

idonno wrote:More expensive placebos can be more effective though and I somehow doubt that your mind won't be fooled into thinking one side of the body is better than the other.

The placebo effect works even when told the substance is a placebo.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby elasto » Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:17 am UTC

sardia wrote:The placebo effect works even when told the substance is a placebo.

That's true, but it's also true that expensive placebos are more effective than cheap ones. Idonno could be right that the mind will think you are 'skimping' by only doing one side of the body.

The mind is weird, and there definitely should be more research into front-line doctors deliberately treating with placebos.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby sardia » Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:48 pm UTC

elasto wrote:That's true, but it's also true that expensive placebos are more effective than cheap ones. Idonno could be right that the mind will think you are 'skimping' by only doing one side of the body.
The mind is weird, and there definitely should be more research into front-line doctors deliberately treating with placebos.

Technically there's tons of work already from researchers testing stuff that doesn't work in the first place. =P

idonno
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby idonno » Mon Feb 18, 2019 6:46 pm UTC

The placebo effect works even when you are consciously aware that it is a placebo but there is clearly some subconscious processing of expectations that is behind its function. If that weren't the case, things like charging more or mimicking something that might be expected to work would not yield better results than a random action. I doubt that process will kick in for the ignored side of your body.


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