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Todd_Non-Coward comments on Fake Explanations - Less Wrong

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

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Comment author: Todd_Non-Coward 17 May 2009 12:50:05AM 1 point [-]

Eliezer, I have to disagree with some of what you wrote. The question was phrased as to give what you thought would be an answer. In such a setting "I don't know" would not be something to say -- silence would be the result. Additionally, if someone said "heat conductance?" they're not saying they DO know, but it's clearly a guess... and possibly without the question mark in their tone, they really are throwing it out as a guess with little or no confidence, while not believing with any confidence that it's the reason. Additionally, the setting is a 'trick', as the environment is set where the authority figure to teach is doing something in which there is an answer as to why that would happen without switching the plate before they entered the room. But, I would agree, that any kid with confidence saying something like "heat conductance", is a poor thing to do.

I don't think answering with "heat conductance" would be the same as magic if you didn't know the equations. I would say it would be like answering as "magic" if you didn't know what heat conductance was (the principal behind it). "Magic" is basically saying "no natural cause"... in a sense saying it's an unknown reason that you, Miss Physics teacher can't understand either. :)