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

Comment author: Jack 23 December 2009 08:31:56PM 5 points [-]

Is there reason to think someone would feel the need to cover that up? Shooting down the plane seems like the kind of decision most Americans would be fine with.

Comment author: retired_phlebotomist 23 December 2009 08:54:10PM *  10 points [-]

Do also consider the fact that even if the story of flight 93 occurred exactly according to the official story, the heroic passengers saved zero lives. Jets had been scrambled. Shoot down orders had been given. The flight was not going to hit its target.

Yes, the passengers may have been heroes in the sense that they did not "freeze up" and tried to save themselves or (possibly) others.

Yet the most popular story presented by the press and government, and lodged in the public consciousness, is that the passengers prevented a final strike.

Realistically, they may have prevented a fighter pilot from having to commit an act that could have scarred him emotionally.

So, yes, I am confident the event was "spun." The question is to what degree.

Comment author: retired_phlebotomist 23 December 2009 04:34:25PM 3 points [-]

The point about the buildings not needing to fall was always my favorite objection.

I do like one 9/11 theory, that flight 93 might have been shot down. Here's a piece on it from Stuart Buck (occasional OB contributor) on the idea, dating back to Oct '01.

http://www.enterstageright.com/archive/articles/1001/1001flight93.htm

Add to this Rumsfeld's odd slip that the terrorists "shot down" the plane over Pennsylvania (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6Xoxaf1Al0) and I think p=.5 that that plane was shot down and the authorities took advantage of the calls that were made to put forth a more palatable scenario.

Comment author: D_Alex 13 December 2009 06:54:17AM 8 points [-]

@OP: you have appealed to rationality in examining this case... then you come up with this:

"1. Negligible. No different from the prior, which is dominated by the probability that someone in whatever reference class you would have put Amanda into on January 1, 2007 would commit murder within twelve months. Something on the order of 0.001 at most. "

The FACTS include 1) the police came to "her house" and discovered a murder victim in one bedroom and 2) she was tried and convicted. You seem to have given these zero weighting in your final calculation.

And this:

"3. About as high as the other two numbers are low. 0.999 as a (probably weak) lower bound."

Did your prior of "0.001 at most" apply to Guede as well?

I offer $50 to the AK defense fund if you can produce a defensible Bayesian probabilities calculation showing how you got from your priors to your final probabilities. A condition is that you must account for the fact that most (let us say 80% for the purposes of your calculation) persons convicted of a crime in a democratic society are in fact guilty of it, and that you use generally defensible assumptions.

Should you try to do so, Less Wrong readers can decide if you have succeeded by voting on the post containing your calculation.

D. Alex

Comment author: retired_phlebotomist 13 December 2009 05:05:29PM 1 point [-]

"I offer $50 to the AK defense fund..."

Has the offer been amended from $50,000 to $50 since last night, or did I just misread it at 1:00 AM?

A shame, because I was looking forward to seeing the attempt.

Comment author: gwern 16 November 2009 04:59:06AM 3 points [-]

Given the context of Eliezer's life-mission and the general agreement of Robin & Eliezer: FAI, AI's timing, and its general character.

Comment author: retired_phlebotomist 17 November 2009 07:22:17AM 1 point [-]

Right. Robin doesn't buy the "AI go foom" model or that formulating and instilling a foolproof morality/utility function will be necessary to save humanity.

I do miss the interplay between the two at OB.

Comment author: retired_phlebotomist 13 November 2009 07:11:24AM 3 points [-]

What does the fact that when you were celibate you espoused celibacy say about your rationality?

Comment author: retired_phlebotomist 13 November 2009 07:10:04AM 16 points [-]

If Omega materialized and told you Robin was correct and you are wrong, what do you do for the next week? The next decade?