Cognitive Overfitting

It can be kind of fun, in a self-flagellating way, to read about cognitive biases like the availability heuristic or the Dunning-Kruger effect, or just to browse through big lists like this one. If only our brains could take into account all the information they have, process it instantly, and store it forever! But machine learning engineers know that … More Cognitive Overfitting

The wisdom of individuals

What’s the optimal strategy to win a count-the-jellybeans-in-the-jar contest? One method is to count the number of jellybeans that would fit along each of the jar’s dimensions, and then multiply to estimate the volume of the jar in jellybeans. But a surprisingly accurate guess is… the average of everyone else’s! Even though everyone will be wrong—some too high, some too low—on average … More The wisdom of individuals