This is something I actively remind myself whenever my intuition starts feeling vindication over lucky reprieves or mourning low probability misfortunes. "It's ok, a six wasn't rolled anyway. I made a mistake. It would have been better to trade the wood and build a settlement. I want to become stronger." (The hyperlink is included instead of the phrase. The inner dialog doesn't like wordiness!)

I've played some Settlers of Catan myself, and it took me a while to realize what you were talking about. (If I understand correctly, you chose not to build a settlement next to a tile that produces resources when a 6 is rolled, and by chance, the settlement wouldn't have produced any resources this turn because a 6 wasn't rolled. Therefore, waiting a turn to build the settlement didn't actually hurt you, but it could have.) I see similar situations all the time when playing Magic.

Similarly, even if you do win the lottery, buying a negative expected value ticket was still a mistake.

Rationality Quotes November 2009

by Eliezer Yudkowsky 1 min read29th Nov 2009281 comments


A monthly thread for posting rationality-related quotes you've seen recently (or had stored in your quotesfile for ages).

  • Please post all quotes separately, so that they can be voted up/down 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  • Do not quote yourself.
  • Do not quote comments/posts on LW/OB.
  • No more than 5 quotes per person per monthly thread, please.