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Dpar comments on Your Strength as a Rationalist - Less Wrong

69 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 11 August 2007 12:21AM

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Comment author: Dpar 11 May 2010 06:20:12AM *  0 points [-]

Which, as I said later on in the same paragraph, is irrational and unlikely behavior. Therefore, when lacking any factual evidence, the reasonable presumption is that that's not the case.

DP

Comment author: RobinZ 11 May 2010 03:14:00PM 5 points [-]

I think many of us have actually encountered liars on the Internet. I'm not sure what you mean when you say "lacking any factual evidence".

Comment author: Dpar 07 June 2010 11:07:01AM *  2 points [-]

I presume that you have encountered liars in the real world as well. Do you, on that basis, habitually assume that a random stranger engaging in casual conversation with you is a liar?

My point is that pathological liars are a small minority. So if you're dealing with a person that you know absolutely nothing about, and who does not have any conceivable reason to lie to you, there is nothing unreasonable in assuming that he's telling you the truth, unless you have factual evidence (i.e. you have accurate, verifiable knowledge of ambulance policies) that contradicts what he's saying.

DP

Comment author: RobinZ 07 June 2010 12:06:04PM 4 points [-]

I think at this point the questions have become (a) "how many bits of evidence does it take to raise 'someone is lying' to prominence as a hypothesis?" and (b) "how many bits of evidence can I assign to 'someone is lying' after evaluating the probability of this story based on what I know?"

I believe your argument is that a > b (specifically, that a is large and b is small), where the post asserts that a < b. I'm not going to say that's unreasonable, given that all we know is what Eliezer Yudkowsky wrote, but often actual experience has much more detail than any feasible summary - I'm willing to grant him the benefit of the doubt, given that his tiny note of discord got the right answer in this instance.

Comment author: Dpar 09 August 2010 05:41:54PM *  1 point [-]

My argument is what I stated, nothing more. Namely that there is nothing unreasonable about assuming that a perfect stranger that you're having a casual conversation with is not trying to deceive you. I already laid out my reasoning for it. I'm not sure what more I can add.

DP

Comment author: persephonehazard 07 June 2011 10:33:45PM 3 points [-]

"Do you, on that basis, habitually assume that a random stranger engaging in casual conversation with you is a liar?"

Yes. Absolutely. Almost /everyone/ lies to complete strangers sometimes. Who among us has never given an enhanced and glamourfied story about who they are to a stranger they struck up a conversation with on a train?

Never? Really? Not even /once/?

Comment author: Alicorn 07 June 2011 10:43:55PM 0 points [-]

Yes. Absolutely. Almost /everyone/ lies to complete strangers sometimes. Who among us has never given an enhanced and glamourfied story about who they are to a stranger they struck up a conversation with on a train?

Never? Really? Not even /once/?

If everyone regularly talked to strangers on trains, and exactly once lied to such a stranger, it would still be pretty safe to assume that any given train-stranger is being honest with you.

Comment author: persephonehazard 08 June 2011 02:55:40AM 1 point [-]

Actually, yes, you're entirely right.

In conversations I've had about this with friends - good grief, there's a giant flashing anecdata alert if ever I did see one, but it's the best we've got to go off here - I would suspect that people do it often enough that it's a reasonable thing to consider in a situation like the one being discussed here, though.

Not that I think it's a bad thing that the person in question didn't, mind you. It would be a very easy option not to consider.