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Barkley_Rosser comments on Conservation of Expected Evidence - Less Wrong

68 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 13 August 2007 03:55PM

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Comment author: Barkley_Rosser 17 August 2007 12:38:38AM -1 points [-]

Eliezer,

Fair enough. You get credit, then, for coining the term. However, the problem remains, why should that equals sign be there? Sure, if you put it there, the logic holds up, my niggles about Bayes' Theorem and time to convergence and all that aside. But, it is not clear at all that the equals sign should be there, or is there in any meaningfully regular way. Your defense has been to cite an essentially empirical argument by Robin. But that empirical argument is much contested in many arenas. Sure, Burton Malkiel posed that financial markets are a random walk, but that argument has undergone a lot of modifications since he first posed it in a best-selling paperback. In that regard, your proof essentially amounts to one of these "proofs" of the existence of God, wherein the proof arises from another assumption that gets snuck in the backdoor that gets one the result, but that is itself as questionable or unprovable, much like the old complaint by Joan Robinson about the magician making a big deal about pulling the rabbit out of the hat after having put it into the hat in full view of the audience.