All of cartografie's Comments + Replies

  1. You query whether Debate favours short arguments over long arguments because "the weakest part of an argument is a min function of the number of argument steps."

    This is a feature, not a bug.

    It's true that long arguments are more debatable than short arguments because they contain more inferential steps and each step is debatable.

    But additionally, long arguments are less likely to be sound than short arguments because they contain more inferential steps and each step is 100% certain.

    So "debate" still tracks "unlikely".
  2. "An efficient Debate argument is
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The precision-recall tradeoff definitely varies from one task to another. I split tasks into "precision-maxxing" (where false-positives are costlier than false-negatives) and "recall-maxxing" (where false-negatives are costlier than false-positives).

I disagree with your estimate of the relative costs in history and in medical research. The truth is that academia does surprisingly well at filtering out the good from the bad.

Suppose I select two medical papers at random — one from the set of good medical papers, and one from the set of crap medical papers. I... (read more)

Reviewing the examples in the post again, I think I was confused on first reading. I initially read the nuclear reactor example as being a completed version of the Michaelangelo example, but now I see it clearly includes the harms issue I was thinking about. I also think that the Library of Babel example contains my search thoughts, just not separated out in the same way as in the Poorly Calibrated Heuristics section. I'm going to chalk this one up to an oops!

Moreover, even if the post shouldn't have been published with hindsight, that does not entail the post shouldn't have been published without hindsight.

I wrote the last comments because I was talking with someone recently who took the wrong signal from the fact that their post wasn't upvoted much. They were valuable posts but only to a very specific subset of the LessWrong audience. 

You are correct that precision is (in general) higher than the threshold. So if Alice publishes anything with at least 10% likelihood of being good, then more than 10% of her poems will be good. Whereas, if Alice aims for a precision of 10% then her promising threshold will be less than 10%.

Unless I've made a typo somewhere (and please let me know if I have), I don't claim the optimal promising threshold  = 10%.  You can see in Graph 5 that I propose a promising threshold of 3.5%, which gives a precision of 10%.

I'll edit the article to dis... (read more)

2Thomas Sepulchre5mo
You're right, my mistake