MINUETTE: So, uh, what are you studying these days?
MOON DANCER: Science, magic, history, economics, pottery. Things like that.
MINUETTE: Yowza! You planning on being a professor or something?
MOON DANCER: No.
MINUETTE: So you're just ... studying!
MOON DANCER: Can I go now?
—My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, "Amending Fences"
However, this corresponds to a general pattern of causal relationships: observations on a common consequence of two independent causes tend to render those causes dependent, because information about one of the causes tends to make the other more or less likely, given that the consequence has occurred. This pattern is known as selection bias or Berkson's paradox in the statistical literature (Berkson 1946) and as the explaining away effect in artificial intelligence (Kim and Pearl 1983). For example, if the admission criteria to a certain graduate school call for either high grades as an undergraduate or special musical talents, then these two attributes will be found to be correlated (negatively) in the student population of that school, even if these attributes are uncorrelated in the population at large. Indeed, students with low grades are likely to be exceptionally gifted in music, which explains their admission to the graduate school.
—Judea Pearl, Causality
"It would be nice if implementation languages provided extensible string-indexable arrays as a built in type constructor, but with the exception of awk, Perl, and a few others, they don't. There are several ways to implement such a mechanism.
—Modern Compiler Design by Dick Grune, Henri E. Bal, Ceriel J. H. Jacobs, and Koen G. Langendoen (2000)
MISTY: You know, I usually burn incense when I meditate, but the smell of a burning city can be just as relaxing.
JENNY: People are in danger! Why don't you do something?!
MISTY: They stiffed me.
MISTY: Your town. Tremorton. They wouldn't cough up the cash for services rendered.
JENNY: I have no idea what you're talking about.
MISTY: I'm a hero for hire. I save people for money. You knew that.
JENNY: And if they don't pay up, you just let them get pummeled?
MISTY: Pretty much. I have to eat, don't I?
(JENNY flies away, disgusted)
MISTY: I'm not living with my mom, like some people!
—My Life as a Teenage Robot, "Mist Opportunities"
A second way of interpreting the effort level eMIN is to consider that the principal and the agent do not have completely conflicting objectives. It is possible that the agent gets some utility from his work, but only up to a certain effort level. We assume that the level that the agent is willing to spontaneously offer is eMIN. The agency problem turns up in this case since the principal would like the agent to offer an effort greater than his spontaneous level.
—Inés Macho-Stadler and J. Davis Pérez-Castrillo, An Introduction to the Economics of Information
Just keep telling yourself: if they haven't started questioning what society tells them yet, then maybe they are not the one for you.
—"Pick-up Lines for Feminists" by Lesley Kartali
So, so what
I'm still a rock star
I got my rock moves
And I don't need you
And guess what
I'm having more fun
And now that we’re done
I'm gonna show you tonight
I'm just fine
—"So What" by Pink
The cheaper people are to model, the larger the groups that can be modeled well enough to cooperate with them.
"As far as anyone knows, there's never been an animal population that was stable in the absence of predation, famine, or disease."
"Don't get discouraged," Carla said, reaching over and putting a hand on his shoulder. "That's just the history of life for the past few eons. It's not as if it's a law of physics."
—The Eternal Flame by Greg Egan