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?- love(math) is unrequited. true.


Apr
7
comment Biological plausibility of bayesian models of cognition
No worries. Also, I did not bring up credential or the Aaronson class to try to say my views are right -- only that they are at least discussed earnestly within groups of scientists who are taken seriously. I also work part time with Martin Nowak at Harvard in the program for evolutionary dynamics doing simulations, and though he doesn't put a lot of stock in the usefulness of Bayesian fixed point ideas, he certainly does take it seriously philosophically, and I advocate that that's the interesting part. I think this gives examples of the fact that it is discussed, not that it is correct.
Apr
7
comment Biological plausibility of bayesian models of cognition
Right, but then a comment that just said, "what do you mean by dominate" would have been appropriate. My metric is optimization power: ability to specify a point in design space that solves a survival problem. One strategy of a species might be to have lots of small individuals spread geographically, kind of like minimizing portfolio risk through diversification. But those species are worse at handling correlated catastrophes. I think people can make models about a species existential risk, and that Bayesian reasoning can play a role. Can you dispute the models? Sure! But they still have use.
Apr
7
comment Biological plausibility of bayesian models of cognition
Why would I even mention the non-computability of the Solomonoff prior (a pre-requisite for a true Bayesian reasoner) if I wasn't aware of the difference between mathematical abstraction and empirical fact. All biological models depart from reality. Hence the term model. Just because the notion of a Darwinian fixed point cannot be embodied in a living organism doesn't mean it is a fruitless concept. I also meant to point out that your biomass argument seems to fail to me because bacterial biomass exceeds plants and animals, yet we surely don't attribute Bayesian computation to bacteria.
Apr
7
comment Biological plausibility of bayesian models of cognition
Interesting that you're in quantum computing. It was specifically with Scott Aaronson in this course that we discussed this concept of Bayesian reasoning as a fixed point of evolution.
Apr
7
comment Biological plausibility of bayesian models of cognition
Well, my undergrad minor in applied biology would seem to contradict you.
Apr
7
comment Biological plausibility of bayesian models of cognition
Well here is my personal page if you'd like to email me to discuss it further. I think you are ignorant of a lot of computational learning theory, however. < people.seas.harvard.edu/~ely >
Apr
6
comment Biological plausibility of bayesian models of cognition
Also, my experience with this is in terms of focus of attention mechanisms, such as Bayesian surprise and the Barlow Infomax principle (which is linked to experiments done on primate cortices). I have a limited amount of additional experience in Bayesian models for primate face recognition. See here, here, here, and here for some references. None address crabs, though.
Apr
6
comment Biological plausibility of bayesian models of cognition
You're seriously misunderstanding me and I dislike the downvote based on misunderstandings. I'm speaking of a fixed point of the computational process that is Darwinian evolution, and like I pointed out, complexity theory gives us good reason to say such a fixed point doesn't exist biologically. I wouldn't expect a biologist to be concerned with it. It's a matter for Bayesian epistemology and just a tangent to my other point. If you want to score species according to biomass, that's fine, but in terms of optimization power humans clearly win. I think that's a more relevant score.