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Lumifer comments on What Bayesianism taught me - Less Wrong

62 Post author: Tyrrell_McAllister 12 August 2013 06:59AM

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Comment author: Lumifer 12 August 2013 05:10:01PM *  1 point [-]

The alternative is that which hypotheses get anecdotes is determined by mechanisms that have absolutely no correlation, or even negative correlation, with the truth.

Doesn't look implausible to me. Here's an alternative hypothesis: the existence of anecdotes is a function of which beliefs are least supported by strong data because such beliefs need anecdotes for justification.

In general, I think anecdotes are way too filtered and too biased as an information source to be considered serious evidence. In particular, there's a real danger of treating a lot of biased anecdotes as conclusive data and that danger, seems to me, outweighs the miniscule usefulness of anecdotes.

Comment author: Tyrrell_McAllister 13 August 2013 10:06:32PM 1 point [-]

In general, I think anecdotes are way too filtered and too biased as an information source to be considered serious evidence.

We may agree. It depends on what work the word "serious" is doing in the quoted sentence.

Comment author: Lumifer 14 August 2013 01:11:29AM 0 points [-]

In this context "serious" = "I'm willing to pay attention to it".