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XiXiDu comments on Eliezer Yudkowsky Facts - Less Wrong

117 Post author: steven0461 22 March 2009 08:17PM

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Comment author: XiXiDu 03 December 2010 03:03:45PM *  1 point [-]

I see, I went too far in asserting something about MWI, as I am not able to discuss this in more detail. I'll edit my orginal comments.

Edit - First comment: "[...] by what I have glimpsed this is just wrong." now reads "[...] by what I have glimpsed this is not the crucial point that distinguishes MWI from other interpretations."

Edit - Second comment: "[...] is not correct, or at least not crucial." now reads "[...] is not crucial in favoring MWI over other interpretations."

Comment author: ArisKatsaris 03 December 2010 04:34:07PM 7 points [-]

The problem isn't that you asserted something about MWI -- I'm not discussing the MWI itself here.

It's rather that you defended something before you knew what it was that you were defending, and attacked people on their knowledge of the facts before you knew what the facts actually were.

Then once you got more informed about it, you immediately changed the form of the defense while maintaining the same judgment. (Previously it was "Bad critics who falsely claim Eliezer has judged MWI to be correct" now it's "Bad critics who correctly claim Eliezer has judged MWI to be correct, but they badly don't share that conclusion")

This all is evidence (not proof, mind you) of strong bias.

Ofcourse you may have legitimately changed your mind about MWI, and legimitately moved from a wrongful criticism of the critics on their knowledge of facts to a rightful criticism of their judgment.

Comment author: XiXiDu 03 December 2010 04:50:50PM *  3 points [-]

I'm also commenting on the blog of Neal Asher, a science fiction author I read. I have no problem making fun of his climate change skepticism although I doubt that any amateur, even on Less Wrong, would have the time to conclude that it is obviously correct. Yet I do not doubt it for the same reasons I do not doubt MWI:

  • There is no benefit in proclaiming the correctness of MWI (at least for Yudkowsky).
  • The argument used against MWI fails the argument used in favor of MWI on Less Wrong.
  • The person who proclaims the correctness of MWI is an expert when it comes to beliefs.

It's the same with climate change. People saying - "look how cold it is in Europe again, that's supposed to be global warming?!" - are, given my current state of knowledge, not even wrong. Not only will there be low-temperature records even given global warming (outliers), but global warming will also cause Europe to get colder on average. Do I know that this is correct? Nope, but I do trust the experts as I do not see that a global conspiracy is feasible and would make sense. It doesn't benefit anyone either.

You are correct that I should stay away from calling people wrong on details when I'm not ready to get into the details. Maybe those people who wrote that entry are doing research on foundational physics, I doubt it though (writing style etc.).

Comment author: XiXiDu 03 December 2010 04:59:49PM *  1 point [-]

I'm not sure about the details of your comment. I just changed my comment regarding the claim that there are testable predictions regarding MWI (although there are people on LW and elsewhere who claim this to be the case). As people started challenging me on that point I just retreated to not get into a discussion I can't possible participate in. I did not change my mind about MWI in general. I just shortened my argument from MWI making testable predictions and being correct irrespective of testable predictions to the latter. That is, MWI is an implication of a theory that is more precise in its predictions, yet simpler, as the one necessary to conclude other interpretations.

My mistake was that I went to far. I read the Wiki entry and thought I'd write down my thoughts on every point. That point was behind my expertise indeed.