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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.


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.