Discussion Group Issues
Bill Schrader Pavilion
4 January, 2017
12 noon to 13:30
E C D F A B
I have decided not to present a Philosophy Session this year.
Should anyone wish to present something, I will help them
get the time and space.
A – A relatively brief article explains why good policy may seem less attractive than political scams. In brief, all policy moves an equilibrium point, but the best policy may have delayed benefits. So both political opportunism and electors’ biases favour inferior, but quick and cheap, options. Good argument? Any cure?
B – The argument in Question A is based on a prisoners dilemma game played by university students. While extremely long, the synopsis and introduction to the paper give a sense of this work. How much faith do you have in extrapolating formal game results to overall behaviour?
C – Most of us are retired now. Do you still take vacations? Why?
D – Is music important to you? What kind? When and where?
E – Some long-run heart-health studies have been teased to quantify the substantial benefits of a healthy lifestyle. I have copied the two paragraphs summarizing the findings below because Daniel Kahneman has argued that people have poor intuitive understanding of statistics and tend to misinterpret the results. Which paragraph seemed most relevant to you? Why?
F – Is Putin winning? Discuss his aims, successes, and failures?
More impressive was the reduction in coronary events — heart attacks, bypass procedures and death from cardiovascular causes — at every level of risk. Those with a favorable lifestyle, compared with those with an unfavorable lifestyle, had a 45 percent reduction in coronary events among those at low genetic risk, a 47 percent reduction among those with intermediate genetic risk, and a 46 percent reduction among those at high genetic risk.
What does this mean in real-world numbers? Among those at high genetic risk in the oldest cohort study, 10.7 percent could expect to have a coronary event over a 10-year period if they had an unfavorable lifestyle. That number was reduced to 5.1 percent if they had a favorable lifestyle. Among those at low genetic risk, the 10-year event rate was 5.8 percent with an unfavorable lifestyle and 3.1 percent with a favorable lifestyle. In the other cohort studies, similar relative reductions were seen.