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Polymeron comments on How to Convince Me That 2 + 2 = 3 - Less Wrong

53 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 27 September 2007 11:00PM

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Comment author: Polymeron 03 March 2011 07:53:05AM 11 points [-]

I don't think this is at all the core issue.

Eliezer's original post stated that beliefs need to come from mind-reality entangling processes.

If math is a part of "reality", then Eliezer's point stands and empirical reasoning makes perfect sense.

If math is not a part of "reality", then we would expect it to influence nothing at all, including our beliefs. Or even suppose that knowledge came from somewhere and could influence belief but still did not otherwise correlate with reality: Then it would be irrelevant. This, of course, is not the case - as anyone who's ever used any mass-manufactured device as well as bridges and roads, should realize. Math DOES have utility in real life. And I daresay that if it suddenly stopped helping us reliably predict the load-bearing limit of bridges, we'd treat is as suspect and false.

The ACTUAL core issue remains that a belief that cannot be reversed is useless.