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roland comments on What is Bayesianism? - Less Wrong

81 Post author: Kaj_Sotala 26 February 2010 07:43AM

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Comment author: roland 27 February 2010 03:07:04AM *  1 point [-]

Others considered their prior for "the government is ready to conduct massively risky operations that kill thousands of its own citizens as a publicity stunt", judged that to be overwhelmingly unlikely,

Here I have to take objection: you framed it as a publicity stunt but actually 9-11 has shaped everything in the USA: domestic policies, foreign policies, military spending the identity of the nation as a whole(It's US vs. THEM) etc... So there is a lot at stake.

Btw, as far as the willingness of the government to kill its own citzens goes, more than 4,000 US soldiers have died in Iraq until now(over 30,000 wounded) more than 1,000 in Afghanistan, compared to less than 3,000 in the WTC attack. This was on known false information, remember the original claim of WMDs in Iraq? So if you seriously maintain that the government is not willing to sacrifice its own citizens I want to know where you get your priors from.

Comment author: Jonathan_Graehl 27 February 2010 09:14:03AM 4 points [-]

Well argued, but if you credit the U.S. government such brazen cruelty toward the citizens it nominally serves, then why would the government need a pretense at all? Why not invade with only forged documents and lies? No self-inflicted wound should be necessary; the U.S. military may not fear intervention by other nations' forces if they appear to only pick on a few small oil-rich nations.

Comment author: roland 27 February 2010 08:09:52PM 2 points [-]

Forged documents and lies are not enough to convince the public opinion or better to arouse strong emotions, something more salient is needed. You have to remember, at 9-11 basically the whole world stood still watching the events unfold. Wikipedia:

The NATO council declared that the attacks on the United States were considered an attack on all NATO nations and, as such, satisfied Article 5 of the NATO charter

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_11_attacks#cite_note-155

Btw article 5 allows the use of armed(military) force. This was the official NATO position even before there was any investigation as to who was supposedly behind the "attacks".

Anyone arguing against military action can be and still is decried as unpatriotic, callous towards the families of those who died. You cannot achieve this with just a batch of documents.

Comment author: Jack 28 February 2010 10:02:42PM 6 points [-]

The controlling feature for this prior isn't "willingness to kill own citizens" or "publicity stunt" but "massively risky". "Massively risky" is actually an incredible understatement. We're talking about people already at the top of the social hierarchy risky death and eternal shame for them and their families in hopes the hundreds of people part of the conspiracy keep quiet and that no damning evidence of a remarkable complicated plot is left behind.

The government's willingness to kill it's own citizens, such as it is, less often carries over to civilians and even less often carries over to rich white people on Wall Street. And for something that has help shaped the country... well remarkably little has changed in the direction that administration wanted to things to go. Indeed, why in all those years of waning popularity, wouldn't they try something like it again (maybe foil the attempt this time). If they're so powerful why not get someone else elected President?

Comment author: Alicorn 28 February 2010 10:08:20PM 5 points [-]

You know, I have little interest in 9/11 Truth, but I have no patience for the "but it would be so obvious" reply to Truthers. Here is how that conversation translates in my head:

Truther: I think the towers came down due to a deliberate demolition by our government. I think this because thus and so.

Non-Truther: But the government would never have done anything so easy to find out about, because it would carry massive risk. Everybody would know about it.

Truther: Well, if people were paying attention to thus and so, they'd know -

Non-Truther: BUT SINCE I DIDN'T ALREADY KNOW ABOUT THUS AND SO IT'S CLEARLY NOT SOMETHING EVERYBODY KNOWS ABOUT AND I CAN'T HEAR YOU NANANANANANANANA.

Comment author: Jack 28 February 2010 10:17:53PM 2 points [-]

Just to clarify: Do you think that is what I'm doing here?

Comment author: Alicorn 28 February 2010 10:28:42PM 3 points [-]

It was at least strongly reminiscent, enough that under your comment seemed like a good place to put mine, but I did not intend to attack you specifically.

Comment author: PeerInfinity 01 March 2010 02:48:59PM 1 point [-]

obligatory XKCD comic: http://xkcd.com/690/

(actually, that's not as relevant as I first though, but I'll go ahead and post it here anyway)

Comment author: ata 01 March 2010 03:07:57PM 0 points [-]

A little bit more relevant: http://imgur.com/bx1th.png

Comment author: roland 28 February 2010 10:32:26PM -2 points [-]

We're talking about people already at the top of the social hierarchy risky death and eternal shame for them and their families in hopes the hundreds of people part of the conspiracy keep quiet and that no damning evidence of a remarkable complicated plot is left behind.

Well, there is a lot of evidence left behind and that has been cited over and over.

The government's willingness to kill it's own citizens, such as it is, less often carries over to civilians and even less often carries over to rich white people on Wall Street.

AFAIK none of the people killed was exceptionally rich and/or powerful.

And for something that has help shaped the country... well remarkably little has changed in the direction that administration wanted to things to go.

Wait, what???

If they're so powerful why not get someone else elected President?

Someone else? What are you talking about, every President in the last decades has been a member of one of the same two parties. Obama has not significantly changed the foreign policy and is moving in the same direction.

Comment author: Jack 28 February 2010 11:02:52PM 1 point [-]

Well, there is a lot of evidence left behind and that has been cited over and over.

Well we're talking about the prior. Obviously we can then update on the evidence whatever that is. People will also disagree about what the evidence means but the point is this is a really unlikely even you guys are claiming took place. We can interpret the evidence but strange coincidences or some video footage not being released is not close to sufficient for me to suddenly start believing 9/11 was an inside job.

AFAIK none of the people killed was exceptionally rich and/or powerful.

I don't know what exceptionally means here but, ya know, the WTC wasn't a homeless shelter.

And for something that has help shaped the country... well remarkably little has changed in the direction that administration wanted to things to go. Wait, what???

...

Someone else? What are you talking about, every President in the last decades has been a member of one of the same two parties. Obama has not significantly changed the foreign policy and is moving in the same direction.

Look, I have no idea what your particular conspiracy is. So it is a little hard to examine the supposed motivations. My comments made sense given certain assumptions about what the motivations of such a conspiracy would be. Obviously they aren't your assumptions so share yours.