¿Es racional jugar a la lotería?

Existe cierto debate sobre este tema Por un lado, tenemos el argumento clásico a favor de la tesis de irracionalidad: Si se atiende a criterios puramente monetarios, y se asume que el jugador quiere maximizar la esperanza estadística de sus ganancias, ciertamente es irracional. Asumamos una lotería simple donde existe una probabilidad p de ganar una cantidad Q. El coste de la lotería es C. La utilidad esperada de esta lotería es pues U(Q,C,p)=p*Q-C Normalmente p es muy pequeña, Q es muy grande y C es relati…

Sobre el papel irrelevante de la mujer qua mujer en el debate del aborto

Algo que suele decirse de algunos debates sobre el aborto es que no hay presencia femenina en ellos. Esta posición podría acotarse entre el extremo de que debe haber al menos una mujer en cada debate, hasta el otro extremo de que, de entrada, sólo las mujeres pueden debatir sobre este tema. Aunque no se hace eso explícito, la presencia exclusiva de seis mujeres en uno de los pocos debates sobre el aborto de cierta relevancia en español (Nosotras parimos, ¿Nosotras decidimos?, La Tuerka (2013) ), puede inter…

You didn't invent that! Aircraft Turbine Chevrons Edition

I recently saw a tweet https://twitter.com/NASAAero/status/681540119615135745 NASA-developed chevrons to reduce noise! Cool! But where did those really come from? This post involves an intro about what aircraft engines are and how they work, and then an exploration of the patents that lead up to this invention, and the story of the organisations that were involved in developing them. Aircraft Engines The thing you see in the picture is something similar to what generates power in many large scale electrical…

Less Wrong shibboleths

There's a site that commanded certain popularity among a sizable fraction of the Smart Internet™, Less Wrong. Founded by Overcoming Bias co-blogger Eliezer Yudkowsky in 2009, and now mostly dead (The site, not Yudkowsky, lol) , it has spawned a number of separate communities that remain active. Shibbolethsare words or customs that serve to identify members of an ingroup from members of an outgroup. In this context, Less Wrong shibboleths are things that, if you read them, you know the writer probably has so…

2015 in Nintil: Top posts

So here we are one more year. Right now I'm preparing an article for next year about aircraft engine chevrons(!), but I had to do first the traditional retrospective post. This year has been really good for the blog: More views than the rest of the years combined! This is mostly because (I think) I switched to writing in English, and I got more readers that way. Also, because of some RTs by very popular twitter accounts (Thanks to Pseudoerasmus and Marc Andreessen!). This year I wrote 61 posts, compared to …

Slaying Alexander's Moloch

Scott Alexander wrote some time ago a piece titled Meditations on Moloch. As far as I know, there are two or three replies to it, here and here. He replied to some critiques here. The theme of the essay, as we will see, is a reflection on the general human condition, and on our future. Still, Scott is too pessimistic, and I’ll proceed to give him reasons to believe that niceness, after all, can triumph. It basically takes one or two little things, like to relax his apparent assumption of 100% selfish behavi…