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Vladimir_Nesov 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: Vladimir_Nesov 09 August 2010 08:11:46PM 2 points [-]

Immediate observation is only that something is written. That it's also true is a theoretical hypothesis about that immediate observation. That what you are reading is a fairy tale is evidence against the things written there being true, so the theory that what's written in a fairy tale is true is weak. On the other hand, the fact that you observe the words of a given fairy tale is strong evidence that the person (author) whose name is printed on the cover really existed.

Comment author: Dpar 09 August 2010 08:47:35PM -2 points [-]

All that is indisputably true. But you didn't really answer my question on whether or not you give enough consideration to what's written in a fairy tale (not whether or not it's written, not who it's written by, but the actual claims made therein) to truly consider it evidence to be incorporated into or excluded from your model of the world.

Comment author: Vladimir_Nesov 09 August 2010 09:09:28PM *  2 points [-]

Evidence isn't usually something you "include" in your model of the world, it's something you use to categorize models of the world into correct and incorrect ones. Evidence is usually something not interesting in itself, but interesting instrumentally because of the things it's connected to (caused by).

Comment author: wedrifid 10 August 2010 08:21:59AM 1 point [-]

But you didn't really answer my question on whether or not you give enough consideration to what's written in a fairy tale (not whether or not it's written, not who it's written by, but the actual claims made therein) to truly consider it evidence to be incorporated into or excluded from your model of the world.

That is because it is a bad question and one of a form for which you have already received responses.