To summarise: absorbing sharp effects of your utility function into biased estimates can be a decent temporary computational hack, but it is dangerous to call the partial results you work with in the process 'estimates', since they in no way represent your beliefs.

It seems to me that it's best to use "your beliefs" to refer to the entire underlying distribution. Yes, you should not bias your beliefs--but the point of estimates is to compress the entire underlying distribution into "the useful part," and what is the useful part will depend primarily on your application's loss function, not a generalized unbiased loss function.

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  • Do not quote yourself.
  • Do not quote from Less Wrong itself, HPMoR, Eliezer Yudkowsky, or Robin Hanson.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 Do not quote with only a name.