A distribution is nice but often you have to commit to a choice. In such cases you generally want to minimize your expected loss (or maximize the gain) and if the loss function is lopsided, the forecast implied by the choice can be very biased indeed.

Even with a very skewed loss function you want to have an accurate estimate of your opposition, which will be an underestimate about half of the time, and then take excessive precautions. Your loss function does not influence your beliefs, only your actions.

Rationality Quotes Thread March 2015

by Vaniver 1 min read2nd Mar 2015235 comments


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

  • Please 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  • Do not quote yourself.
  • Do not quote from Less Wrong itself, HPMoR, Eliezer Yudkowsky, or Robin Hanson.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.
  • 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 Do not quote with only a name.