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swestrup comments on Generalizing From One Example - Less Wrong

261 Post author: Yvain 28 April 2009 10:00PM

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Comment author: swestrup 29 April 2009 02:50:22AM 11 points [-]

This post completely takes the wind out of the sails of a post I was planning to make on 'Self-Induced Biases' where one mistakes the environment one has chosen for themselves as being, in some sense, 'typical' and then derives lots of bad mental statistics from this. Thus, chess fanatics will tend to think that chess is much more popular than it is, since all their friends like chess, disregarding the fact that they chose those friends (at least partly) based on a commonality of interests.

A worse case is when the police start to think that everyone is a criminal because that's all they ever seem to meet.

Comment author: Yvain 29 April 2009 08:56:10AM 4 points [-]

No, not really. I kind of thought we needed more on that, but that this post was long enough already. And I didn't even think of the police-criminal thing. If you have more than what you said in this comment, please do post it, maybe with this post in the "related to" section.

Comment author: swestrup 02 May 2009 08:53:05AM 1 point [-]

Okay, then I shall attempt to come up with a post that doesn't re-cover too much of what yours says. I shall have to rethink my approach somewhat to do that though.

Comment author: MrHen 29 April 2009 01:35:28PM *  1 point [-]

I would read that.