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GBM 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: GBM 12 March 2008 07:13:39PM 0 points [-]

Roland and Ian C. both help me understand where Eliezer is coming from. And PK's comment that "Reality will only take a single path" makes sense. That said, when I say a die has a 1/6 probability of landing on a 3, that means: Over a series of rolls in which no effort is made to systematically control the outcome (e.g. by always starting with 3 facing up before tossing the die), the die will land on a 3 about 1 in 6 times. Obviously, with perfect information, everything can be calculated. That doesn't mean that we can't predict the probability of a specific event.

Also, I didn't get a response to the Gomboc ( http://tinyurl.com/2rffxs ) argument. I would say that it has an inherent 100% probability of righting itself. Even if I knew nothing about the object, the real probability of it righting itself is 100%. Now, I might not bet on those odds, without previous knowledge, but no matter what I know, the object will right itself. How is this incorrect?

Comment author: bigjeff5 01 February 2011 06:44:07PM 1 point [-]

Place a Gomboc on a non-flat surface and that "inherent" property goes away.

If it were inherent, it would not go away.

Therefore, its probability is not inherent, it is an evaluation we can make if we have enough information about the prior conditions. In this case "on a flat surface" is plenty of information, and we can assign it a 100% probability.

But what is its probability of righting itself on a surface angled 15 degrees? Is it still 100%? I doubt it, but I don't know.

Very cool shape, by the way.