November 20th, 2014


Interesting Links for 20-11-2014


I need to know what you think about errors and welfare

No system is without error. No system perfectly captures the real world. This means that any bureaucracy you encounter, whether computerised or manual, is going to sometimes unfairly reward the undeserving or penalise the purely unfortunate.

With that in mind, you can design a system so that it's lenient - allowing more people to pass through it, including those that shouldn't - or so that it's strict - preventing anyone who has even the slightest whiff of dodginess from achieving success.

How would you design yours?

I would rather have a welfare system that

Gave 0% extra money, 5% get less than they should
Gave 1% extra money, 4% get less than they should
Gave 2% extra money, 3% get less than they should
Gave 3% extra money, 2% get less than they should
Gave 4% extra money, 1% get less than they should
Gave 5% extra money, 0% get less than they should

(In real life, of course, getting down to an "extra payouts of 0%" probably means that more than 5% wouldn't get their money. And vice versa. The closer to "perfection" you get, the harder it becomes to move that extra step.)

Context: Thinking about this comment.
Kitten Stalking

QOTD: On Evolutionary Psychology

Overheard on FB.

My observations suggest that men are just hardwired to believe in evolutionary psychology. I guess, millions of years ago on the African Savannah, there was an evolutionary advantage to the hunting sex being able to jump to swift, simple conclusions based on minimal data, & leave the detailed understanding to the Gathering sex who were evolving the skills for nuanced, dynamic theorisation.

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