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Eric5 comments on That Tiny Note of Discord - Less Wrong

17 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 23 September 2008 06:02AM

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Comment author: Eric5 23 September 2008 05:15:30PM 1 point [-]

Ben,

Maybe you should embrace the fact that the maker of all these mistakes was in fact you, and not some strange entity distant in time and intellect. The consequence of not doing so would seem to be overconfidence in the positions that now seem so obviously correct.

It seems to me that there's a difference here between looking back on opinions which you now disagree with, and looking back on methodologies which you now see as unreliable. Yes, I was as confident in the past about my religiosity as I am now about my rationality, and yes I look back on that time as though it were a completely different person (which, though there is a continuous progression from that person to the one I am now, is very true in a sense). But that's because I can see how prior methodologies led me to wrong conclusions, not just that I disagree with conclusions I once agreed with. The phrase occurs to me: "The wheel of science turns, but it doesn't turn backward." This seems to be a similar situation. (I wish I had slept better last night so my brain wasn't so foggy and I could elucidate better, but hopefully the concept comes through.)