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Eliezer_Yudkowsky comments on Knowing About Biases Can Hurt People - Less Wrong

71 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 04 April 2007 06:01PM

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Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 06 April 2007 11:40:16PM 1 point [-]

Rooney, where there isn't any evidence, then indeed it may be appropriate to suspend judgment over a large hypothesis space, which indeed is not the same as being able to justifiably adopt a random such judgment - anyone who wants to assign more than default probability mass is being irrational.

I concur that Bell's theorem is a terrible hypothetical, because the whole point is that, in real life, without evidence, there's absolutely no way for Archimedes to just accidentally hit on Bell's theorem - in his lifetime he will not reach that part of the search space; anything he tries without evidence will be wrong. It's exactly like saying, "But what if you did buy the winning lottery ticket? Then it would have high expected utility."

I don't think that 50% is a distinguished threshold for probability. Heck, I don't think 1 in 20 is a distinguished threshold for probability. The point of a binary decision space is that it is small and discrete, not that it is binary.