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Moss_Piglet comments on Shut up and do the impossible! - Less Wrong

28 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 08 October 2008 09:24PM

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Comment author: Moss_Piglet 23 October 2013 06:39:50PM *  1 point [-]

I feel compelled to point out, that if Eliezer cheated in this particular fashion, it still means that he convinced his opponent that gatekeepers are fallible, which was the point of the experiment (a win via meta-rules).

I feel like I should use this out the next time I get some disconfirming data for one of my pet hypotheses.

"Sure I may have manipulated the results so that it looks like I cloned Sasquatch, but since my intent was to prove that Sasquatch could be cloned it's still honest on the meta-level!"

Both scenarios are cheating because there is a specific experiment which is supposed to test the hypothesis, and it is being faked rather than approached honestly. Begging the Question is a fallacy; you cannot support an assertion solely with your belief in the assertion.

(Not that I think Mr Yudkowski cheated; smarter people have been convinced to do weirder things than what he claims to have convinced people to do, so it seems fairly plausible. Just pointing out how odd the reasoning here is.)