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Serious_Shenanigans 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: Serious_Shenanigans 11 July 2013 10:29:22AM *  1 point [-]

Eliezer's model:

The Medical Establishment is always right.

Information given:

  • Person is feeling chest pain.
  • Paramedics say hospitalization is unnecessary.

Possible scenarios mentioned in the story:

  1. Person is feeling chest pain and is having a heart attack.
  2. Person is feeling chest pain but does not need to be hospitalized.
  3. Person is lying.

Between the model and the information given, only Scenario 1 can be ruled false; Scenarios 2 and 3 are both possible. If Eliezer is going to beat himself up for not knowing better, it should be because Scenario 3 did not occur to him -- not that Scenario 3 is the logical reality.

Comment author: falenas108 10 February 2014 02:24:41PM 1 point [-]

The way you phrase it hides the crucial part of the story. Rephrasing:

  1. Person is telling the truth a.) They are having a heart attack, but the paramedics judged wrongly, dismissed it, and didn't take him to the hospital. b.) They are not having a heart attack, the paramedics judged rightly, and the paramedics dismissed it and didn't take him to the hospital.
  2. Person is lying.

Eliezer is saying that he should have known scenario 1 is wrong because regardless of whether or not the paramedics think it's legit, they would have taken the person to the hospital anyway. So, 1a and 1b must be wrong, leaving 2.

Or, if I were going to add to your model, I would add "The Medical Establishment always takes in the ambulance if they call for a medical reason." Then, when the information given is "Paramedics say hospitalization is unnecessary," that would have been a direct conflict between model and information, where Eliezer had to choose between rejecting the model and rejecting the information.