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.

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?

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.

## Comments (128)

OldThat 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.

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.

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?

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.

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

Fixed Jaynes link (no trailing period).

Ah. Thanks!

Oops. Thanks for the fix!