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komponisto comments on Being Half-Rational About Pascal's Wager is Even Worse - Less Wrong

18 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 18 April 2013 05:20AM

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Comment author: komponisto 18 April 2013 06:33:52AM *  4 points [-]

If you view the 90% number as an upper bound, with a few bits' worth of error bars, it doesn't look like such a strong claim. If Szilard and Fermi both agreed that the probability of the bad scenario was 10% or more, then it may well have been dumb luck that Szilard's estimate was higher. Most of the epistemic work would have been in promoting the hypothesis to the 10% "attention level" in the first place.

(Of course, maybe Fermi didn't actually do that work himself, in which case it might be argued that this doesn't really apply; but even if he was anchoring on the fact that others brought it to his attention, that was still the right move.)

Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 18 April 2013 05:14:09PM -2 points [-]

I suppose if we postulate that Szilard and Rabi did better by correlated dumb luck, then we can avoid learning anything from this example, yes.