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Cyan comments on Bayesian Flame - Less Wrong

37 Post author: cousin_it 26 July 2009 04:49PM

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Comment author: Cyan 26 July 2009 09:24:53PM *  1 point [-]

Yup. Shalizi's point is that once you've taken meta-uncertainty into account (by marginalizing over it), you have a precise and specific probability distribution over outcomes.

Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 26 July 2009 09:36:14PM 14 points [-]

Well, yes. You have to bet at some odds. You're in some particular state of uncertainty and not a different one. I suppose the game is to make people think that being in some particular state of uncertainty, corresponds to claiming to know too much about the problem? The ignorance is shown in the instability of the estimate - the way it reacts strongly to new evidence.

Comment author: Cyan 26 July 2009 10:35:19PM *  6 points [-]

I'm with you on this one. What Shalizi is criticizing is essentially a consequence of the desideratum that a single real number shall represent the plausibility of an event. I don't think the methods he's advocating dispense with the desideratum, so I view this as a delicious bullet-shaped candy that he's convinced is a real bullet and is attempting to dodge.