Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

Regex comments on 0 And 1 Are Not Probabilities - Less Wrong

34 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 10 January 2008 06:58AM

You are viewing a comment permalink. View the original post to see all comments and the full post content.

Comments (128)

Sort By: Old

You are viewing a single comment's thread. Show more comments above.

Comment author: Regex 21 August 2015 08:24:39AM 1 point [-]

That seems a solid enough explanation, but how can something of probability zero have a chance to occur? How then do you represent an impossible outcome? It seems like otherwise 'zero' is equivalent to 'absurdly low'. That doesn't quite jive with my understanding.

Comment author: StellaAthena 21 August 2015 09:37:41PM 1 point [-]

Impossible things also have a probability of zero. I totally understand that this seems a bit unintuitive, and the underlying structure (which includes things like infinities of different sizes) is generally pretty unintuitive at first. Which is kinda just saying "sorry, I can't explain the intuition," which is unfortunately true.

Comment author: Regex 22 August 2015 02:47:33PM 0 points [-]

I'm just going to think of it as taking the limit as evidence approaches infinity. Because a probability next to zero and zero are identical, zero then is a probability?

Comment author: Stephen_Cole 22 August 2015 12:07:25AM 1 point [-]

I think one of the clearest expositions on these issues is ET Jaynes. The first three chapters (which is some of the relevant part) can be found at http://bayes.wustl.edu/etj/prob/book.pdf.

Comment author: Regex 22 August 2015 02:39:02PM 0 points [-]

"Not Found

The requested URL /etj/prob/book.pdf. was not found on this server."

Comment author: arundelo 22 August 2015 02:59:40PM 2 points [-]

Fixed Jaynes link (no trailing period).

Comment author: Regex 22 August 2015 03:01:47PM 0 points [-]

Ah. Thanks!

Comment author: Stephen_Cole 22 August 2015 03:17:11PM 0 points [-]

Oops. Thanks for the fix!