Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

Warrigal2 comments on Complex Novelty - Less Wrong

26 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 20 December 2008 12:31AM

You are viewing a comment permalink. View the original post to see all comments and the full post content.

Comments (65)

Sort By: Old

You are viewing a single comment's thread.

Comment author: Warrigal2 20 December 2008 05:03:51AM 1 point [-]

You're underestimating the amount of fun that can be had carving 162,329 table legs. Suppose you have a theory of table legs, that you believe can describe the physics of table legs completely, and suddenly, on the 89,402nd table leg, something unexpected happens. Maybe the piece of wood has icky things crawling in it. Your theory of table legs says nothing about icky things or crawling. You have to rethink everything you know about table legs, trying to make the icky things fit in with the table leg theory; your new theory will make predictions, and those predictions will have to be tested. Maybe there's only a 1 in 162,329 chance, as far as you know, of deriving a result that's at all useful, but at least that's a chance.