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

Comment author: JoshuaZ 10 August 2010 01:25:13PM 5 points [-]

Generally, when some minor formatting issue annoys a long-standing member of an internet community it is a good idea to listen to what they have to say. Many internet fora have standard rules about formatting and style that aren't explicitly expressed. These rules are convenient because they make reading easier for everyone. There's also a status/signaling aspect in that not using standard formatting signals someone is an outsider. Refusing to adopt standard format and styling signals an implicit lack of identification with a community. Even if one doesn't identify with a group, the effort it takes to conform to formatting norms is generally small enough that the overall gain is positive.

Comment author: Dpar 11 August 2010 11:55:52AM 2 points [-]

You're absolutely right. I have no problem using indentation for quotes, as a matter of fact I was wondering how to do that, it's his condescending tone that I took issue with. In retrospect though, I should have just ignored it, but let my temper get the best of me. I'll try to keep counter-productive comments to a minimum in the future.

Comment author: ciphergoth 10 August 2010 12:41:33PM 5 points [-]

As always, I recommend against sarcasm, which can hide errors in reasoning that would be more obvious when you speak straightforwardly.

Comment author: Dpar 10 August 2010 01:16:17PM -2 points [-]

It was a comment on wedrifid's implicit assumption that I should care about what annoys him and bizarre expectation that I would adjust my behavior because I was "prompted" (not asked politely mind you) by him. Not sure what part of that is not obvious to you.

Comment author: wedrifid 10 August 2010 08:18:14AM -1 points [-]

Do you mean to tell that when you read a fairy tale you truly consider whether or not what's written there is true?

This doesn't remotely follow either. Go and research the concept of evidence more.

Like I said above to Vladimir, it's not a big deal, but you're reading quite a bit into a simple habit.

I care little about your signature. I merely describe the social behaviour of humans. What actually does annoy me is if people refuse to use markdown syntax for quotes once they have been prompted. Click the help link below the comment box - consider yourself prompted.

Comment author: Dpar 10 August 2010 12:35:58PM -2 points [-]

Duly noted. God forbid I do something that annoys you. Won't be able to live with myself.

Comment author: jimrandomh 09 August 2010 10:09:28PM 1 point [-]

Falsifiability can be quantified, in bits. If the only test you have for whether something's true or not is something lame like whether it appears in stories or not, then you have a tiny amount of falsifiability. If there is a large supply of experiments you can do, each of which provides good evidence, then it has lots of falsifiability.

(This really deserves to be formalized, in terms of something along the lines of expected bits of net evidence, but I'm not sure how to do so, exactly. Expected bits of evidence does not work, because of scenarios where there is a small chance of lots of evidence being available, but a large chance of no evidence being available.)

Comment author: Dpar 09 August 2010 11:09:43PM 1 point [-]

Isn't it an essential criteria of falsifiability to be able to design an experiment that can DEFINITIVELY prove the theory false?

Comment author: Vladimir_Nesov 09 August 2010 10:03:10PM 4 points [-]

With a bayesian twist: things don't actually get falsified, don't become wrong with absolute certainty, rather observations can adjust your level of belief.

Comment author: Dpar 09 August 2010 11:03:27PM *  4 points [-]

Ok, I understand what you mean now. Now that you've clarified what Eliezer meant by anticipated experience my original objection to it is no longer applicable. Thank you for an interesting and thought provoking discussion.

Comment author: Vladimir_Nesov 09 August 2010 09:49:11PM *  1 point [-]

I mean the only type of belief that it seems to filter out is absolute nonsense like "I have a third leg that I can never see or feel", did I get that about right?

Yes. It happens all the time. It's one way nonsense protects itself, to persist for a long time in minds of individual people and cultures.

(More generally, see anti-epistemology.)

Comment author: Dpar 09 August 2010 09:55:46PM 1 point [-]

So essentially what you and Eliezer are referring to as "anticipated experience" is just basic falsifiability then?

Comment author: thomblake 09 August 2010 09:34:04PM 5 points [-]

credible evidence

As noted by jimrandomh, saying 'credible evidence' does make an effort to differentiate between different sorts of evidence. If your claim was simply that reading something was not evidence, then you should not have to qualify the word when you use it now. I imagine for those of us who seem to be disagreeing with you, we would agree that that does not constitute 'credible evidence' for some values of 'credible'.

Comment author: Dpar 09 August 2010 09:48:21PM *  4 points [-]

That's really clever. I always thought that "credible evidence" was a bit redundant actually. I just used as a figure of speech without thinking about, but according to my definition of evidence that it has to be credible is pretty much implicit. It has been made abundantly clear to me, however, that this community's definition differs substantially, so that's the definition I will use when posting here going forward.

Comment author: Vladimir_Nesov 09 August 2010 09:28:00PM *  1 point [-]

I addressed that question in this comment; if something is unclear, ask away. The difference is between a belief that is incorrect, and a belief that is not even wrong.

Comment author: Dpar 09 August 2010 09:42:10PM 1 point [-]

Alright, I think I see what you're getting it, but I still can't help but think that your definition of sensory experience is too broad to be really useful. I mean the only type of belief that it seems to filter out is absolute nonsense like "I have a third leg that I can never see or feel", did I get that about right?

Comment author: WrongBot 09 August 2010 09:21:50PM 4 points [-]

The wiki should be a good starting point for answering this question. What is Evidence? may also be helpful.

Short version: rumor, hearsay, and speculation are evidence, albeit of a very weak variety.

Comment author: Dpar 09 August 2010 09:35:21PM 0 points [-]

Well that clarifies things quite a bit. I find this definition of evidence surprising, especially in this community, but very interesting. I'll have to sleep on it. Thank you for the references.

Comment author: Vladimir_Nesov 09 August 2010 09:06:32PM 2 points [-]

That there are books about ghosts is evidence for ghosts existing (but also for lots of other things). There are also arguments against this hypothesis, both a priori and observational. A good model/theory also explains why you'd read about ghosts even though there is no such thing.

Comment author: Dpar 09 August 2010 09:25:01PM 0 points [-]

You're not addressing my core point though. If the criteria of anticipated experience as you define it is as likely to be satisfied by fallacious beliefs as it is by valid ones, what purpose does it serve?

View more: Next