“It is wise to take admissions of uncertainty seriously,” Daniel Kahneman noted, “but declarations of high confidence mainly tell you that an individual has constructed a coherent story in his mind, not necessarily that the story is true.”

Superforcasting, p. 85

I'm not sure what this is saying. Should we assume people are overconfident? Always, or only when they claim high confidence? Should we just ignore people's confidence claims entirely?

0Brillyant4yI love this quote. But this... ...strikes me as a highly confident declaration for which the quoted is simultaneously urging me to be skeptical. I'd imagine the book lays out his case as to why I ought listen to his counsel. I'd be interested to dig into this.
0Zubon4yThere is some small number of people whom I trust when they say they very confident. They can explain the reasons why they came to a belief and the counterarguments. Most other highly confident statements I look upon with suspicion, and I might even take the confidence as evidence against the claim. Many very confident people seem unaware of counterarguments, are entirely dismissive of them, or wear as a badge of pride that they have explicitly refused to consider them. There are others whose intuition I will trust with high confidence on certain topics, significantly because they are aware that they are exercising intuition. They may not know how they know something, but at least they know they don't know how they know it, which tends to get them to the right confidence level.

Rationality Quotes Thread February 2016

by elharo 1 min read2nd Feb 201697 comments


Another month, another rationality quotes thread. The rules are:

  • Provide sufficient information (URL, title, date, page number, etc.) to enable a reader to find the place where you read the quote, or its original source if available. Do not quote with only a name.
  • Post all quotes separately, so that they can be upvoted or downvoted separately. (If they are strongly related, reply to your own comments. If strongly ordered, then go ahead and post them together.)
  • Do not quote yourself.
  • Do not quote from Less Wrong itself, HPMoR, Eliezer Yudkowsky, or Robin Hanson. If you'd like to revive an old quote from one of those sources, please do so here.
  • No more than 5 quotes per person per monthly thread, please.