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Odinn comments on Evaporative Cooling of Group Beliefs - Less Wrong

41 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 07 December 2007 11:08PM

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Comment author: Odinn 06 March 2013 09:04:49PM 0 points [-]

This reminds me of a thought experiment where perfect averages skew towards one extreme when you eliminate one radical. It makes mathematical sense. Apparently, a village can come extremely close to guessing the weight of an ox by taking all of their guesses and averaging them, even if some indivuals are radically under or over. But change the scope and you may change the median's accuracy (or sanity, as the articles metaphor) Lock the village in a room with no clocks or windows and wait until 6 am, just before any hint of sunlight, then show them the sky and take their guesses. The radicals that guess 'midnight' won't change, but the ones who would have said 'noon' will, so your average would slide to ever more inaccurately early. Just a thought model though, I've never read this precise test being done.