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Conrad comments on Probability is in the Mind - Less Wrong

60 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 12 March 2008 04:08AM

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Comment author: Conrad 12 March 2008 05:00:44PM 0 points [-]

Maybe I'm stupid here... what difference does it make?

Sure, if we had a coin-flip-predicting robot with quick eyes it might be able to guess right/predict the outcome 90% of the time. And if we were precognitive we could clean up at Vegas.

In terms of non-hypothetical real decisions that confront people, what is the outcome of this line of reasoning? What do you suggest people do differently and in what context? Mark cards?

B/c currently, as far as I can see, you're saying, "The coin won't end up 'heads or tails' -- it'll end up heads, or it'll end up tails." True but uninformative.

Conrad.

ps - The thought experiment with the trick coin is ungrounded. If I'm being asked to lay even odds on a dollar bet that the coin is heads, then that's rational -- since the coin could be biased for heads, or tails (and the guy proposing the bet doesn't know the bias). If I'm being asked to accept or reject a number meant to correspond to the calculated or measured likelihood of heads coming up, and I trust the information about it being biased, then the only correct move is to reject the 0.5 probability. It has nothing to do with frequentist, Bayesian, or any other suchlike.

C.