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Silas comments on Explaining vs. Explaining Away - Less Wrong

46 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 17 March 2008 01:59AM

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Comment author: Silas 17 March 2008 04:52:03PM 1 point [-]

Eliezer: First of all, I didn't claim it was magic. If you're confused as to why I bring this up, see the last time I said this:

You did not break the "perception of wearing socks" into understandable steps, as you demanded for the perception of free will.

And why did I claim you did that the distinction was necessary? Here is what you said in that post:

Perhaps someone will see an opportunity to be clever, and say: "Okay. I believe in free will because I have free will. There, I'm done." Of course it's not that easy. ... You have to be able to break the causal chain into smaller steps, and explain the steps in terms of elements not themselves confusing.

So, you claim that free will wasn't broken into understandable steps, but belief that you are wearing socks, was.

Because you did not break the "belief that you are wearing socks" into understandable steps, you are holding the claims to different standards, a subtle but correctible kind of confirmation bias.

Yes, there has been impressive work in neuroscience. But image recognition has not been solved and is therefore not yet understood. You reveal your agreement when you use CAPTCHAs to keep out spammers and those CAPTCHAs work.

So, I don't think you can explain why you believe you are wearing socks until you can explain that step, which no one yet can. Ban me if you like, but I don't think you can sustain that explanation until your CAPTCHA barrier is broken.

Comment author: Kenny 19 February 2013 04:03:02AM 3 points [-]

From the Wikipedia article on CAPTCHAs:

Several research projects have broken real world CAPTCHAs ...

Comment author: wedrifid 19 February 2013 06:06:48AM 1 point [-]

From the Wikipedia article on CAPTCHAs:

Several research projects have broken real world CAPTCHAs ...

That strikes me as one of the least beneficial research projects that I have ever heard of. I really hope they didn't publish their methods freely.

Comment author: CCC 19 February 2013 08:01:59AM 5 points [-]

From the Wikipedia article on CAPTCHAs:

 Several research projects have broken real world CAPTCHAs ...

That strikes me as one of the least beneficial research projects that I have ever heard of. I really hope they didn't publish their methods freely.

I would hope that they did. The immediate benefit of such research is that it will show which features of CAPTCHAs are really easy to circumvent, and therefore it will help people to build stronger CAPTCHAs, and thus to keep out more spammers.

Side benefits in fields such as image recognition are also probable.

Comment author: shaih 19 February 2013 08:09:06AM 3 points [-]

also this xkcd comic seems very on topic

Comment author: [deleted] 19 February 2013 05:28:58PM 1 point [-]

The idealistic side of me agrees, but the cynic side knows perfectly well that in this day and age, security through obscurity doesn't work well for long.

Comment author: MugaSofer 19 February 2013 03:10:49PM 5 points [-]

Upvoted. Take that, five years ago!