Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

Vladimir_Nesov comments on Your Strength as a Rationalist - Less Wrong

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

You are viewing a comment permalink. View the original post to see all comments and the full post content.

Comments (113)

Sort By: Old

You are viewing a single comment's thread. Show more comments above.

Comment author: Vladimir_Nesov 09 August 2010 07:29:03PM 2 points [-]

The fact that something is really written is true; whether it implies that the written statements themselves are true is a separate theoretical question. Yes, ideally you'd want to take into account everything you observe in order to form an accurate idea of future expected events (observable or not). Of course, it's not quite possible, but not for the want of motivation.

Comment author: Dpar 09 August 2010 07:36:30PM 0 points [-]

Well I didn't think I needed to clarify that I'm not questioning whether or not something that's written is really written. Of course, I'm questioning the truthfulness of the actual statement.

Or not so much it's truthfulness, but rather whether or not it can be considered evidence. Though I realize that you take issue with arguing over word definitions, to me the word evidence has certain meaning that goes beyond every random written sentence, whisper or rumor that you encounter.

Comment author: Vladimir_Nesov 09 August 2010 07:39:17PM *  3 points [-]

The fact that something is written, or not written, is evidence about the way world is, and hence to some extent evidence about any hypothesis about the world. Whether it's strong evidence about a given hypothesis is a different question, and whether the statement written/not written is correct is yet another question.

(See also the links from this page.)

Comment author: Cyan 09 August 2010 07:43:10PM *  6 points [-]

Though I realize that you take issue with arguing over word definitions, to me the word evidence has certain meaning that goes beyond every random written sentence, whisper or rumor that you encounter.

Around these parts, a claim that B is evidence for A is a taken to be equivalent to claiming that B is more probable if A is true than if not-A is true. Something can be negligible evidence without being strictly zero evidence, as in your example of a fairy story.