Trilemmas

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black_son_of_gray
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Trilemmas

Post by black_son_of_gray » Sun Jun 26, 2016 11:05 am

I thought it would be nice to start a thread where people post examples of trilemmas (i.e. where you can have only two of three things, but not all three).

Recently relevant example (related to Brexit and Trump): Dani Rodrick of Harvard says there is a trilemma of globalization and the world economy: countries must choose between 1) democracy, 2) national sovereignty, and 3) global economic integration. Pick two.

In general, I think an high-level trilemma motif is
1) Cost, 2) Convenience, 3) Quality


Examples:
food: 1) price, 2) time until eating, 3) nutrient density *
construction: 1) price, 2) build time, 3) build quality
professional editing (writing): 1) price, 2) effort/deadline, 3) quality

*Fruit being a notable exception here

Any others you know of? Specific trilemmas or overarching high-level superstructures welcome! Also welcome, false trilemmas...

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GandK
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Re: Trilemmas

Post by GandK » Sun Jun 26, 2016 11:26 am

1. Society's love.
2. Self love.
3. Personal freedom.

Pick two.

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Re: Trilemmas

Post by jacob » Sun Jun 26, 2016 11:30 am

Ooohh excellent topic:

boat building: fast, cheap, safe
signal detection: type 1 errors, type 2 errors, simplicity

The high-level structure is

Cost of X + Cost of anti-X = Max Cost (of resolving the conflict)

ducknalddon
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Re: Trilemmas

Post by ducknalddon » Sun Jun 26, 2016 11:52 am

In the software world it's quality, timeliness and cost although most projects seem to fail on all three.

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Re: Trilemmas

Post by jacob » Sun Jun 26, 2016 12:11 pm

Okay, I challenge everybody to come up with a trilemma that doesn't have cost (in one form or the other) be one corner of the triangle.

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FBeyer
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Re: Trilemmas

Post by FBeyer » Sun Jun 26, 2016 1:07 pm

jacob wrote:...
signal detection: type 1 errors, type 2 errors, simplicity
I'm definitely not reading that the way it's supposed to be read.
I'll rephrase to the only way that makes sense to me
signal detection: no type 1 errors, no type 2 errors, simplicity

Am I reading it right now, or am I missing something?

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Re: Trilemmas

Post by jacob » Sun Jun 26, 2016 1:11 pm

In general when making [cybernetic] filters they're either overly sensitive (type 1 error) or not sensitive enough (type 2 error) unless you make the filters very complicated/costly. In trading it's the difference between detecting momentum/trend or getting whipsawed---and that's why people get paid.

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FBeyer
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Re: Trilemmas

Post by FBeyer » Sun Jun 26, 2016 1:46 pm

But your trilemma asks someone to choose two, but no one would ever choose type 1 and type 2 errors, omitting simplicity. That doesn't make sense. No one ever wants type I and type II errors. Someone would want NO type I and NO type II errors, but would then have to omit simplicity.
It's not a trilemma.

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Re: Trilemmas

Post by jacob » Sun Jun 26, 2016 1:48 pm

@Fbeyer - Totally disagree ... sometimes people do want a shitty but cheap/simple filter. Just think of data-cleaning and eliminating points via simple min/max cuts. Much of the trading world is trying to make an optimal choice here. Do we want to pay some nerd enough to decrease both Type 1 and 2 and thus increase market efficiency? Are we willing to accept a bunch of Type 2 mistakes (mutual fund management) if we pay the accountant nerd enough to be safe? Are we willing to accept Type 1 mistakes (speculative trading) if we pay a trigger happy alpha gamer risk taker?

Same issue with autonomous robots... what kind of self-driven car would you get? Cheap? Type 1 error? (hare) Type 2 error? (tortoise)

EMJ
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Re: Trilemmas

Post by EMJ » Sun Jun 26, 2016 2:14 pm

In maps
scale/detail/legibility

In photography
focal depth/shutter speed (light exposure)/film speed (ISO/graininess)

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Re: Trilemmas

Post by jacob » Sun Jun 26, 2016 2:57 pm

Research: volume, depth, novelty

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Re: Trilemmas

Post by jennypenny » Sun Jun 26, 2016 3:14 pm

Women: career woman, primary caregiver, attentive partner

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Ego
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Re: Trilemmas

Post by Ego » Sun Jun 26, 2016 3:32 pm

Attractive, intelligent, sane.

That said, unicorns exist! One must be prepared to damn the torpedoes at a moment's notice when a unicorn materializes.

henrik
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Re: Trilemmas

Post by henrik » Sun Jun 26, 2016 4:57 pm

@jacob - I believe FBeyer meant that while other trilemmas here list three positives, yours technically listed two negatives and a positive.
Great topic!

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Re: Trilemmas

Post by Spin_Echo » Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:11 am

In bodybuilding
Big / lean / natural

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Re: Trilemmas

Post by jacob » Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:25 am

Clapping Motie: left hand, right hand, gripping hand. (Sorry, couldn't resist)

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BRUTE
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Re: Trilemmas

Post by BRUTE » Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:41 am

Low Carb, Low Protein, Low Fat

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Re: Trilemmas

Post by jacob » Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:42 am

@BRUTE - Soy beans

Edit: Actually, if you said low, I should have responded with water ... or celery!

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fiby41
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Re: Trilemmas

Post by fiby41 » Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:46 am

1 Money
2 Power
3 Respect

Bob Marley would have said:

1 Amazing
2 Easy
3 Worthy

Things:

1 Useful
2 Beautiful
3 Affordable

Music:

1 Replay value
2 Comprehension/Understanding (all figures of speech and wordplay)
3 Likeability

black_son_of_gray
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Re: Trilemmas

Post by black_son_of_gray » Mon Jun 27, 2016 6:43 pm

fiby41 wrote:1 Money
2 Power
3 Respect
Buffett?

Or really most politicians... they usually have money and power and at least enough respect to be voted in. No?
The 'respect' part is hard to peg down.

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