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rhesusman

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Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
« Reply #40 on: October 11, 2008, 12:28:09 PM »
Economics will make certain subjects easier to understand off the bat, particularly in torts and contracts, but it won't give you such an advantage that it would be worth your while to major in it if you really don't like it.  Philosophy is very good training for your mind; it teaches you the cognitive discipline that you'll need in law school, but again, it's not crucial.  Your undergraduate major won't have much of an impact on your law school success.

Modus Barbara

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Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
« Reply #41 on: October 11, 2008, 02:00:28 PM »

this may sound outlandish but what about reading several books or articles to boost your rc? obviously i'm not talking about this to substitute intense lsat studying, but if you really want to improve your rc before law school would investing in some good reads--literature or non-fiction--do no good in improving your overall rc?  i.e., scholarly journals; moral/philosophical papers; literature? which subject would be best for this, if at all? muchos gracias.


you're so funny, tenacious! ROFLMAO! 
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currency

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Probability, Class Probability, Case Probability, Betting, and Gambling
« Reply #42 on: October 15, 2008, 01:34:29 PM »
Here it is an interesting application of the game theory:

Some time back I thought of an example which shed light for me on some of the fail-to-disagree results. Imagine that two players, A and B, are going to play a coin-guessing game. A coin is flipped out of sight of the two of them and they have to guess what it is. Each is privately given a hint about what the coin is, either heads or tails; and they are also told the hint "quality", a number from 0 to 1. A hint of quality 1 is perfect, and always matches the real coin value. A hint of quality 0 is useless, and is completely random and uncorrelated with the coin value. Further, each knows that the hint qualities are drawn from a uniform distribution from 0 to 1 - on the average, the hint quality is 0.5. The goal of the two players is to communicate and come up with the best guess as to the coin value. Now, if they can communicate freely, clearly their best strategy is to exchange their hint qualities and just follow the hint with the higher quality. However we will constrain them so they can't do that. Instead all they can do is to describe their best guess at what the coin is, either heads or tails. And further, we will divide their communication into rounds, where in each round the players simultaneously announce their guesses to each other. Upon hearing the other player's guess, each updates his own guess for the next round.

Read on below the break for some sample games to see how the players can resolve their disagreement even with such stringent constraints.

Here's a straightforward example where we will suppose A gets a hint with quality 0.8 of Heads, and B gets a hint with quality 0.6 of Tails. Initially the two sides tell each other their best guess, which is the same as their hint:

  • A:H B:T

Now they know they disagree. Their reasoning can be as follows:

A: B's hint quality is uniform in [0,1], averaging 0.5. My hint quality is higher than that at 0.8, so I will stay with Heads.
B: A's hint quality is uniform in [0,1], averaging 0.5. My hint quality is higher than that at 0.6, so I will stay with Tails.

  • A:H B:T

So they remain unchanged. Now they reason:

A: B did not change, so his hint quality must be higher than 0.5. That is all I know, so it must be uniform in [0.5,1], averaging 0.75. My hint quality is higher than that at 0.8, so I will stay with Heads.
B: A did not change, so his hint quality must be higher than 0.5, so it must be uniform in [0.5,1], averaging 0.75. My hint quality is lower than that at 0.6, so I will switch to Heads.

  • A:H B:H

And they have come to agreement. If both A and B had had higher hint qualities, they might have persisted in their disagreement for more rounds, but each refusal to switch tells the other party that their hint quality must be even higher, and eventually one side will give way. It's improbable that both sides will have high but opposite hint qualities. What happens in the more likely case where they have low but opposite hint qualities? Let's suppose that A gets a hint of Heads with quality 0.1, and B gets a hint of Tails with quality 0.15.

  • A:H B:T

A: B's hint quality is uniform in [0,1], averaging 0.5, which is higher than my 0.1, so I will switch to Tails.
B: A's hint quality is uniform in [0,1], averaging 0.5, which is higher than my 0.15, so I will switch to Heads.

  • A:T B:H

A: B switched, so his hint quality was lower than 0.5, making it uniform in [0,0.5] and averaging 0.25, which is higher than my 0.1, so I will stay with Tails (B's original guess).
B: A switched, so his hint quality was lower than 0.5, making it uniform in [0,0.5] and averaging 0.25, which is higher than my 0.1, so I will stay with Heads (A's original guess).

  • A:T B:H

A: B stayed the same, so his hint quality was lower than 0.25, making it uniform in [0,0.25] and averaging 0.125, which is higher than my 0.1, so I will stay with Tails.
B: A stayed the same, so his hint quality was lower than 0.25, making it uniform in [0,0.25] and averaging 0.125, which is lower than my 0.15, so my original hint quality was higher, and I will switch back to my original Tails.

  • A:T B:T

Once again agreement is reached. Note that when both sides have a low hint quality, they initially switch to the other side's original view, then they each stick with that new side. After enough rounds one of them decides that the other's hint must have been so poor that his hint was better, and he switches back to reach agreement. An interesting case arises if the hint qualities are near 1/3 or 2/3. In that case we can get sequences like this (I will skip the reasoning, you can work it out if you like):

  • A:H B:T
  • A:T B:H
  • A:H B:T
  • A:T B:H
  • A:H B:H


Very interesting! I would like to add a few paragraphs in relation to this:

Probability

The problem of probable inference — that is, of reaching a decision in the face of incomplete knowledge — is a broad one that cuts across many disciplines. However, the formal treatment of probability by the mathematicians has seduced many people into believing they know more than they really do. There are two totally distinct fields of probability, namely class and case probability. The former is applicable to the natural sciences and is governed by causality (i.e. mechanical laws of cause and effect), while the latter is applicable to the social sciences and is governed by teleology (i.e. subjective means/ends frameworks).

Class Probability

In class probability we know everything about the entire class of events or phenomena, but we know nothing particular about the individuals making up the class. For example, if we roll a fair die we know the entire class of possible outcomes, but we don’t know anything about the particular outcome of the next roll — save that it will be an element of the entire class. The formal symbols and operations of the calculus of probability allow the manipulation of this knowledge, but they do not enhance it. The difference between a gambler and an insurer is not that one uses mathematical techniques. Rather, an insurer must pool the risks by incorporating the entire class (or a reasonable approximation to it). If a life insurance company only sells policies to a handful of people, it is gambling, no matter how sophisticated its actuarial methods.

Case Probability

Case probability is applicable when we know some of the factors that will affect a particular event, but we are ignorant of other factors that will also influence the outcome. In case probability, the event in question is not an element of a larger class, of which we have very concrete knowledge. For example, when it comes to the outcome of a particular sporting event or political campaign, past outcomes are informative but do not as such make the situation one of class probability — these types of events form their own "classes." Other people's actions are examples of case probability. Therefore, even if natural events could be predicted with certainty, it would still be necessary for every actor to be a speculator.

Numerical Evaluation of Case Probability

It is purely metaphorical when people use the language of the calculus of probability in reference to events that fall under case probability. For example, someone can say "I believe there is a 70% probability that Hillary Clinton will be the next president." Yet upon reflection, this statement is simply meaningless. The election in question is a unique event, not a member of a larger class where such frequencies could be established.

Betting, Gambling, and Playing Games

When a man risks money on an outcome where he knows some of the factors involved, he is betting. When he risks money on an outcome where he knows only the frequencies of the various elements of the class, he is gambling. (The two activities roughly match up with the case/class probability distinction.) To play a game is a special type of action, though the reverse is not true; not all actions can be usefully described as part of a game. In particular, the attempt to model the market economy with "game theory" is very misleading, because in (most) games the participants try to beat their opponents, while in a market all participants benefit.

SCOOTERNINJA

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Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
« Reply #43 on: October 15, 2008, 03:12:38 PM »
I will probably offend many people, but I think political science and philosophy are absolutely worthless degrees.  The amount of people with those degrees dwarfs the demand for jobs requiring them.  When applying to law schools, there are so many people with those degrees that it makes it a little more difficult to get in, because everyone has them.  Most law schools want diversity (race, location, UG Major).

Finally, I have no idea on trends, but it seemed to me that poly-sci majors often did worse because they missed the point of law school. In lecture, many of them always had to debate the policy of the rule and why the rule should be what they say it should be.  So instead of using that time to discuss how to apply the rule and different arguments to make based upon the rule, the entire class had to suffer through some pointless political discussion.  What a waste of time.  If you want to discuss policy arguments, then take some appellate oral argument class.  For the typical class, the amount of points on exams awarded for policy arguments is miniscule.  That is just my rant.  My sister wanted to go political science, luckily enough I was able to convince her to go criminal justice instead.  And I could care less who wins the presidency.

I Do (But I Dont)

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Chance Encounter
« Reply #44 on: November 16, 2008, 06:36:38 PM »

Very interesting! I would like to add a few paragraphs in relation to this:

Probability

The problem of probable inference — that is, of reaching a decision in the face of incomplete knowledge — is a broad one that cuts across many disciplines. However, the formal treatment of probability by the mathematicians has seduced many people into believing they know more than they really do. There are two totally distinct fields of probability, namely class and case probability. The former is applicable to the natural sciences and is governed by causality (i.e. mechanical laws of cause and effect), while the latter is applicable to the social sciences and is governed by teleology (i.e. subjective means/ends frameworks).

Class Probability

In class probability we know everything about the entire class of events or phenomena, but we know nothing particular about the individuals making up the class. For example, if we roll a fair die we know the entire class of possible outcomes, but we don’t know anything about the particular outcome of the next roll — save that it will be an element of the entire class. The formal symbols and operations of the calculus of probability allow the manipulation of this knowledge, but they do not enhance it. The difference between a gambler and an insurer is not that one uses mathematical techniques. Rather, an insurer must pool the risks by incorporating the entire class (or a reasonable approximation to it). If a life insurance company only sells policies to a handful of people, it is gambling, no matter how sophisticated its actuarial methods.

Case Probability

Case probability is applicable when we know some of the factors that will affect a particular event, but we are ignorant of other factors that will also influence the outcome. In case probability, the event in question is not an element of a larger class, of which we have very concrete knowledge. For example, when it comes to the outcome of a particular sporting event or political campaign, past outcomes are informative but do not as such make the situation one of class probability — these types of events form their own "classes." Other people's actions are examples of case probability. Therefore, even if natural events could be predicted with certainty, it would still be necessary for every actor to be a speculator.

Numerical Evaluation of Case Probability

It is purely metaphorical when people use the language of the calculus of probability in reference to events that fall under case probability. For example, someone can say "I believe there is a 70% probability that Hillary Clinton will be the next president." Yet upon reflection, this statement is simply meaningless. The election in question is a unique event, not a member of a larger class where such frequencies could be established.

Betting, Gambling, and Playing Games

When a man risks money on an outcome where he knows some of the factors involved, he is betting. When he risks money on an outcome where he knows only the frequencies of the various elements of the class, he is gambling. (The two activities roughly match up with the case/class probability distinction.) To play a game is a special type of action, though the reverse is not true; not all actions can be usefully described as part of a game. In particular, the attempt to model the market economy with "game theory" is very misleading, because in (most) games the participants try to beat their opponents, while in a market all participants benefit.


J. A. Rial, Geology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

While describing interesting aspects of the mathematics of probability, the author takes frequent detours into the history of humanity's understanding (and misunderstanding) of the laws of chance, touching on subjects as diverse as chance in decision-making and the fairness of those decisions, gambling and our intuitive understanding of chance, the likelihood of the extremely rare, the existence of true randomness and how computers have helped shape modern thinking about probabilities. Imagine you are in a dark room and need to get a pair of matching socks out of a drawer. There are two blue socks and one red sock. If you take two socks, one after the other, what are the odds of getting two matching (blue) socks compared with getting a mismatch? The answer is that the chance of getting mismatching socks is double that of getting the matching socks. Isn't this obvious? What are the odds of a meteorite strike being the cause of the crash of TWA Flight 800 in July 1996? Does 1 in 10 sound right? Or is it more like 1 in 1 million? Is it really a 1 in 17 trillion coincidence that the same person wins the New Jersey lottery twice within 4 months?

The coin-toss problem or the roulette red-black dilemma are the mathematician's favorite examples of how deeply ingrained in our psyche is the idea that previous outcomes somehow influence future ones in a game of chance, or in life. Everyone knows that the chances of heads or tails are equally likely in a coin flip. However, not everyone takes this idea seriously enough. Say for instance that, flipping a coin many times, you have overcome great odds and have flipped 100 consecutive heads. What are the chances of the next flip being tails? More than 50-50, or just 50-50? Most people would expect the next flip to be tails more likely than heads and would even bet the farm that black will follow 100 consecutive reds. Yet they are wrong; the odds are still the same as they always are in these yes-or-no situations: 50-50 — provided, of course, the coin and the roulette are fair.

Chance or Necessity? The question is very, very old (determinism versus chaos), and the answer is not clear even today. Is a random outcome completely determined, and random only by virtue of our ignorance of the most minute contributing factors? Einstein grappled with this conundrum until his death and never ceased to combat the idea that God could conceivably throw dice. How do you generate randomness in a computer? What does it mean to have a program to generate random numbers? Aren't computer programs deterministic things, created by people following rules and thus following patterns? And isn't randomness the negation of pattern? They say, the generation of random numbers is too important to be left to chance... Finally, let's remind ourselves of the impossibility of a gambling system by means of which a gambler can change his long-run frequency of success. The house always wins, or casinos would cease to exist! And yet, although we can understand these things in principle, we keep going to the gambling house in the hope that somehow these rules do not apply to us!

Whether well-educated in mathematics or not, people have always been fascinated by randomness and intrigued by the fundamental question of the real nature of randomness, of how can you tell randomness from something that is not. The theory of deterministic chaos tells us that a simple, deterministic rule can produce a behavior that is, for all practical purposes, indistinguishable from random. For instance, the logistic map Xn+1=4Xn (1-Xn) produces a sequence of random numbers as the equation is iterated and n increases (start for instance with X0=0.3, then calculate X1, X2, X3 and so on). If such a simple rule generates a list of numbers that apparently follow no rule, could it be that what we call random is in fact produced by (hidden) deterministic rules that happen to exhibit stochastic (chaotic) behavior? If so, does this mean that we will eventually find the pattern behind all randomness, as Einstein wanted to believe we would?

fromadistance

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Re: Chance Encounter
« Reply #45 on: November 20, 2008, 09:19:52 PM »

[...] If such a simple rule generates a list of numbers that apparently follow no rule, could it be that what we call random is in fact produced by (hidden) deterministic rules that happen to exhibit stochastic (chaotic) behavior? If so, does this mean that we will eventually find the pattern behind all randomness, as Einstein wanted to believe we would?


That may be the case, I Do, but do you think you'd like a world where everything is pre-determined, with spontaneity becoming a remote concept? Or is it that no matter how much stuff we will be able to figure out there'll be a lot more left that we'll never be able to explain?
Tell me lies
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(tell me lies, tell me, tell me lies)

charming, so

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Re: philosophy, politics, or economics major and law school success
« Reply #46 on: April 09, 2012, 05:49:41 PM »
Quote

Quote

Quote
Quote
Quote


Don't take the babies thing lightly! Take a look here,

http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,33732.0.html



As I understand it, you don't have to actually go with a guy to have a baby. I think I am goin' for it! ;)



Mother here ... I was like, do I post post this, or is it better not to post it at all ... but then, I thought, I'm gonna post it anyway ... I am aware that talking about two men having a baby sounds crazy and that several posters on this board may ridicule the idea ... now, I don't know if I'm being naive, but science has made possible for us things that 50 years ago we'd think were impossible ... my question is - is this something that scientists are working on and that they are bound to bring to fruition? I have a son who's gay, who very much loves his partner  - I know deep down myself he loves children, it's just that he does not go with women. I sometimes 'rave' he might have a biological child with his partner, his boyfriend ... now I wonder, is this just a poor woman's imagination, or something that will come true sooner or later?



Meria, in all due respect, I'm trying to think what is it that you're really thinking?! You say, "it's 'just' that he does not go with women" - I mean, what's that supposed to mean - for this kind of thing, going with women really matters!

Just take a look at the date the electronic article was posted on BBC - more than 10 years ago - doesn't that make you think they're not making their "best efforts" on that?!



spillover - as the other poster advised you, I think you should be more careful and try to maintain the boundaries a lil' bit better - you can't go ahead and try to put people down just like that!



2 young 2 be in debt - are you kidding me - are you telling me that you're relying on BBC's electronic materials to stay abreast of the (any) issue - and trying to advice "spillover" on this the way you do?! 
The severity of the itch is proportional to the reach.

Stephanie K.

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Quote

Quote


Here it is a related post on this TMT thing:

Quote
Quote
Quote

May it be that "aggression" and "Thanatos" are not necessarily essential elements of human nature, but instead it is the human being that, afraid of the inevitability of one's death and destruction, adopts an aggressive attitude trying to find some "relief" in killing other people -- that is to say, try to reduce one's existential angst by taking an active role instead of waiting passively to die?


something, I guess you're thinking along the lines of the above poster; I'd like to point out though that, as far as Freud is concerned, the "aggressiveness" and "Thanatos" are innate in humans -- that is to say, instinctive -- and humans can not help but "display" them, just like the rest of the universe, after all. You, on the other hand, tend to attribute a great deal of importance to the human consciousness, rendering aggression and the waging of war a "choice" that the humans make consciously.

But after all, that's the whole point, isn't it?



To be sure, Marcuse worked with Freud's Eros only, disregarding Thanatos - as far as engaging in war and being aggressive "consciously," there's nothing strange or unusual about it (think soldiers in war) - what was being discussed here, I believe, was whether Thanatos is to be called an "instinct" or not ..



So if I get this right, this means killing others (murder) in order not to kill ourselves (suicide) in order to keep up with lack of life meaning and the conscious awareness of our deaths? And that the deaths of the "other" serves to establish a symbolic immortality buffer for one of the parties?

Kind of like the child that is forced to concede its physicality and "trade it in" for a symbolic sense of self (i.e., self-esteem)?



we fly - I'm confused - how does the parallel you draw between the "symbolic immortality" buffer and the "trading-in" of physicality for a symbolic sense of self on the part of the child?

http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/index.php?topic=3004745.msg5398987#msg5398987



eli - in regard to the "symbolic sense of self" on the part of child - after s'he trades-in "physicality," as Becker puts it in his words -  you mention, you've quoted yourself within another of your own posts something interesting. Here it is:

Quote


In the depressive position, the infant is able to experience others as whole, which radically alters object relationships from the earlier phase. Before the depressive position, a good object is not in any way the same thing as a bad object. It is only in the depressive position that polar qualities can be seen as different aspects of the same object. Increasing nearness of good and bad brings a corresponding integration of ego. [...] In a development termed the "primal split," the infant becomes aware of separateness from the mother. This awareness allows guilt to arise in response to the infant's previous aggressive phantasies when bad was split from good. The mother's temporary absences allow for continuous restoration of her "as an image of representation" in the infant mind. Symbolic thought may now arise, and can only emerge once access to the depressive position has been obtained. With the awareness of the primal split, a space is created in which the symbol, the symbolized, and the experiencing subject co-exist. History, subjectivity, interiority, and empathy all become possible. [...]

[...]

In working through depressive anxiety, projections are withdrawn, allowing the other more autonomy, reality, and a separate existence. The infant, whose destructive phantasies were directed towards the bad mother who frustrated, now begins to realize that bad and good, frustrating and satiating, it is always the same mother [...]

[...]

From this developmental milestone come a capacity for sympathy, responsibility to and concern for others, and an ability to identify with the subjective experience of people one cares about. With the withdrawal of the destructive projections, repression of the aggressive impulses takes place. The child allows caretakers a more separate existence, which facilitates increasing differentiation of inner and outer reality [...]  When all goes well, the developing child is able to comprehend that external others are autonomous people with their own needs and subjectivity.

[...]

http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/index.php?topic=3003243.msg5398983#msg5398983



Now, as to the "symbolic immortality" buffer - as I understand it - and I would prefer to borrow the example one of our fellow posters (copain, I believe) gave in relation to the subject some days ago - with it basically meaning, killing other people who may only be marginally "connected," "associated," "responsible" for what tragedy happened to the others (to put it bluntly, "When You Can't Beat the Donkey, You Beat the Saddle.")

Quote


GYalo - while it's true that wanting to be "God on Earth" is crazy, as Caesonia tells him, that's we do on a societal level, when dealing with the mortality issue - with the "artist on the top" orchestrating the whole thing (I think Bion says the leader is usually a man with marked paranoid trends, and if per chance, the presence of an enemy is not immediately obvious to the group, the next best thing is for the group is to choose a leader to whom it is!)

So, all the wars started and carried on for years on end, wars fought over and beyond what that financial rationale would guarantee/justify, with blood being shed 'in vain'. I can actually see here that there's a theory (called TMT) that maintains that all human behavior is mostly motivated by the fear of mortality [...]

[...]

[...] George W. Bush's approval rating jumped almost 50% following the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US. The tragedy made US citizens aware of their mortality, and Bush provided an antidote to these existential concerns by promising to bring justice to the terrorist group responsible for the attacks (albeit he waged war against Iraq too, not having much to do with the attacks, or actually having any of those WMDs)

With Caligula, Hitler (between-you-and-me, this TMT I told you about, would have never been spelled out were it not for Hitler), and Stalin, of course, things got too far ... with their absolute and unbridled power that corrupted these people to the point of killing literally millions of other people (remember Stalin with that quote?)

[...]

http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/index.php?topic=4016379.msg5399944#msg5399944