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Eliezer_Yudkowsky comments on The Amanda Knox Test: How an Hour on the Internet Beats a Year in the Courtroom - Less Wrong

42 Post author: komponisto 13 December 2009 04:16AM

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Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 15 December 2009 04:34:37AM 6 points [-]

Unless the evidence suggesting someone else was involved is of comparable power to the DNA evidence against Guede

Doesn't follow. You can have a lot of evidence for one true statement and then less evidence for another true statement.

Comment author: komponisto 15 December 2009 04:43:23AM *  0 points [-]

Not sure I understand the objection. The point is that the evidence is extremely weak by comparison; not strong enough to justify any attention.

Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 15 December 2009 05:53:29PM 4 points [-]

Whether evidence is strong enough to justify attention is an absolute threshold. There is no "extremely weak by comparison". There is just "extremely weak".

Comment author: AnnaGilmour 16 December 2009 12:04:03AM 1 point [-]

It is extremely weak on its own, and its weakness is compounded and confirmed by the strength of evidence of someone else. The reason for this is that the strong evidence sets up a perameter, a reference point of what is possible for evidence left behind. It puts lines on the thermeter by which to read the murcury. This is because there is also no evidence of collusion, so the physical evidence has to carry most of the weight, if not all. Otherwise, the prosecution's case operates via a tautology.

Comment author: komponisto 15 December 2009 08:58:31PM 0 points [-]

Huh? Attention isn't binary, off-or-on; like evidence itself, it's a quantifiable commodity. The stronger the evidence, the more attention. Right?

Comment author: Cyan 15 December 2009 09:23:31PM *  1 point [-]

There will be some threshold of evidence below which a hypothesis ought to receive strictly zero attention. You could probably even formalize this in terms of bounded rationality.

Comment author: komponisto 15 December 2009 09:36:54PM 1 point [-]

Right, but I don't need to claim that the anti-Knox evidence is below that threshold. Unless, that is, we're talking about extremely imperfect less-than-Bayesian human minds, who can't intuitively perceive the difference in weight that a perfect Bayesian would assign to 30-bit evidence vs. 10-bit evidence.