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Tom_McCabe2 comments on Initiation Ceremony - Less Wrong

49 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 28 March 2008 08:40PM

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Comment author: Tom_McCabe2 28 March 2008 11:24:46PM 16 points [-]

"If I were asked that question, I'd ask for some pencil and paper because I'm mediocre at mental arithmetic."

I probably would have gotten the answer, but it wouldn't have occurred to me to say that the initial information was wrong. It's part of an initiation ritual for a mathematical cult; why would anyone bother checking to see if the actual numbers are correct? Saying "I do not, in fact, believe the information given is correct" feels like saying "The air around me contains oxygen".

Comment author: Brilliand 22 August 2015 05:06:34AM 1 point [-]

I thought of the possibility that Brennan might be counted as one of the people in the room (and thus he has more information than was stated) as a possible reason the one-sixth answer could be correct. From that angle, whether the information given describes the current moment is a very relevant concern.

After doing the math, it works out that if there are exactly 80 people in the room, and Brennar himself belongs to the Heresy of Virtue (highly unlikely), then one-sixth is in fact the correct estimation (based on 45 female virtuists, and 9 male virtuists other than Brennar).