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Nic comments on The Logical Fallacy of Generalization from Fictional Evidence - Less Wrong

39 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 16 October 2007 03:57AM

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Comment author: Nic 17 October 2007 04:29:37AM 0 points [-]

I think you are right that science fiction is not "a rational attempt at analysis" but that you are wrong that it is usually "because stories don't use probability distributions." Some time ago, I tried writing a story using the RPG Exalted's rules. Keeping track of such a large number of character sheets turned out to be too tedious, and I gave up. Yet, the point was to make the story more surprising, not more realistic. If I write "With 45% probability, Vash dodged the bullet fired at him at point-blank range, and with 10% probability, he dodged a sniper shot taken from seven miles away" this is not unrealistic because it doesn't use probability; rather, it isn't even an attempt to be realistic, or to rationally examine what the future might be like.