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Chris3 comments on The Affect Heuristic - Less Wrong

37 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 27 November 2007 07:58AM

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Comment author: Chris3 30 March 2008 04:53:06PM 2 points [-]

"A 7% probability versus 10% probability may be bad news, but it's more than made up for by the increased number of red beans. It's a worse probability, yes, but you're still more likely to win, you see. You should meditate upon this thought until you attain enlightenment as to how the rest of the planet thinks about probability."

I think this says less about probability and more about people's need to keep an optimistic outlook on life. You emphasize the positive fact that there's an "increased number of red beans", while ignoring the equally true fact that there's also a far greater increase in the number of non-red beans. This tends to support the cliched wisdom that people tend to filter out bad news, and hear only what they want to hear. It's a pretty good reflection of human nature.