Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

JoshuaZ comments on Bayes' Theorem Illustrated (My Way) - Less Wrong

126 Post author: komponisto 03 June 2010 04:40AM

You are viewing a comment permalink. View the original post to see all comments and the full post content.

Comments (191)

You are viewing a single comment's thread. Show more comments above.

Comment author: JoshuaZ 04 June 2010 05:08:36PM 2 points [-]

That works better for you? That's deeply surprising. Using entities like Omega and transmutation seems to make things more abstract and much harder to understand what the heck is going on. I must need to massively update my notions about what sort of descriptors can make things clear to people.

Comment author: Sideways 04 June 2010 05:19:15PM 1 point [-]

I use entities outside human experience in thought experiments for the sake of preventing Clever Humans from trying to game the analogy with their inferences.

"If Monty 'replaced' a grain of sand with a diamond then the diamond might be near the top, so I choose the first bucket."

"Monty wants to keep the diamond for himself, so if he's offering to trade with me, he probably thinks I have it and wants to get it back."

It might seem paradoxical, but using 'transmute at random' instead of 'replace', or 'Omega' instead of 'Monty Hall', actually simplifies the problem for me by establishing that all relevant facts to the problem have already been included. That never seems to happen in the real world, so the world of the analogy is usefully unreal.

Comment author: Blueberry 04 June 2010 09:14:33PM 1 point [-]

I really like this technique.