# handoflixue comments on Inherited Improbabilities: Transferring the Burden of Proof - Less Wrong

28 24 November 2010 03:40AM

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Comment author: 24 November 2010 07:47:30PM 0 points [-]

"these arguments about glass patterns etc. prove that the burglary was staged. Now, having established that piece of evidence against them (i,e. the staging of the burglary), let us now consider the other evidence, which, in combination with the burglary, will give us an accurate probability on whether they are guilty"

I've bolded a single change to your quote. With that change made, do you feel this is a reasonable assertion?

Comment author: 24 November 2010 08:42:21PM *  0 points [-]

No. The error is in the first sentence

these arguments about glass patterns etc. prove that the burglary was staged.

They only (conceivably) prove the burglary was staged if you're already taking into account the rest of the evidence of murder.

Comment author: 24 November 2010 08:56:21PM 0 points [-]

That's only true if you assume p(A=>B) is 1

Comment author: 24 November 2010 09:06:27PM *  0 points [-]

...or approximately 1.

(And by P(A=>B), I think you meant P(B|A), didn't you?)

Comment author: 24 November 2010 09:14:07PM *  0 points [-]

P(Someone faked the burglary) != P(Amanda Knox faked the burglary). The report asserts the first, not the second, from my reading.

Given that "someone faked" is true, I think assigning an approximately 100% chance that Amanda Knox is guilty is rather seriously unfounded. What am I missing?

Comment author: 24 November 2010 09:19:58PM 0 points [-]

What am I missing?

That "burglary was faked" is shorthand for "burglary was faked by Knox and Sollecito" throughout this post and discussion. The latter is what Massei and Cristiani argue, and is what would most strongly imply that Knox and Sollecito are guilty of murder.

Comment author: 24 November 2010 09:42:32PM 1 point [-]

The evidence you quoted merely suggests the burglary was faked. I'd assume there are more people with a motive to do that than just Knox and Sollecito? Why would we assume, with high enough certainty to convict, that it was certainly them and not a roommate, or someone who knew them?

Comment author: 24 November 2010 09:55:28PM *  0 points [-]

Look, I'm not saying Massei and Cristiani's argument that Knox and Sollecito staged the burglary is convincing, by any means!

That said, their argument that if the burglary was staged, the staging was done by Knox and Sollecito is probably the most convincing part of it. At the very least, they would have a highish prior, since they had access to the house and were "available" that night to do the staging if they wanted to.

Comment author: 24 November 2010 10:37:38PM 0 points [-]

I figured this out but it threw me when I got to this part of the post. I'm not sure the convenience of the shorthand justifies throwing your readers off.