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jafrumstra comments on Fake Explanations - Less Wrong

58 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 20 August 2007 09:13PM

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Comment author: jafrumstra 01 March 2013 02:14:13PM *  2 points [-]

"Because of heat conduction" is the correct answer-heat from the radiator conducts to the plate-heat from the plate conducts to the air regardless of which side is being examined. The teacher asked "Why does this happen?" not "Why is the closest side to the radiator cold and the distant side hot?"-the question which is assumed to be implied by the actual one. The answer to THAT question would be "because of magic" since the professor was performing an illusion that was prepared ahead of time. The data points necessary to divine the nature of the illusion (Mr. Wizard) would be: temp of the radiator, average air temp, temp of the cold side, temp of the warm side...that would be sufficient to demonstrate that "because of heat conduction" one side was closer to the radiator while the other was exposed to the air-despite the appearance of the opposite circumstances. Fake explanation FTW