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Open Thread June 2010, Part 2

A question about Bayesian reasoning:

I think one of the things that confused me the most about this is that Bayesian reasoning talks about probabilities. When I start with Pr(My Mom Is On The Phone) = 1/6, its very different from saying Pr(I roll a one on a fair die) = 1/6.

In the first case, my mom is either on the phone or not, but I'm just saying that I'm pretty sure she isn't. In the second, something may or may not happen, but its unlikely to happen.

Am I making any sense... or are they really the same thing and I'm over complicating?

Eight Short Studies On Excuses

Thats fine, as long as you lay out the relative importance of different aspects so people can predict what will and won't be important to you.

The Fundamental Question

As long as I'm doing what I decide to do, why would I worry about varied reasons for doing it?

One reason that comes to mind is that you might be avoiding something you should be doing.

Rationality quotes: April 2010

Ah, I see what you are saying. Thanks for the explanation. And you are indeed correct.

Rationality quotes: April 2010

I'm not sure I see how I"m privileging the hypothesis. Not saying that I'm not, but if you can explain how I'd appreciate it.

Aside from that, I think you are using "god" to mean any of the gods discussed by any popular religion. By this definition, I'd probably agree with you.

I was using the word "god" in a much more general sense... not sure I can define it though, probably something similar to: any "being" that is omnipotent and omniscient, or maybe: any "being" that created reality as we know it. In either definition, there is not really a reason to expect got to make itself obvious to us on any timescale that we consider reasonable. There is no reason to believe that we are special enough that we'd get that kind of treatment.

Even if you have a nail, not all hammers are the same

For anyone interested, here is a decent algorithm for getting the "correct" number of lines in your linear regression.

http://www.cs.princeton.edu/~wayne/kleinberg-tardos/06dynamic-programming-2x2.pdf

Pages 5 and 6.

Rationality quotes: April 2010

You need to make two assumptions for the analogy.

1) You can't re-light the candle.

2) If you do things exactly right, you'll get out with just before starving to death (or dying somehow) otherwise, you are dead.

Rationality quotes: April 2010

I think it makes sense, as a poke at atheists.

Think about it this way. You walk into a bar, and you see no bartender. In your mind, you say "anything that is a bar will have a bartender. No bar tender, not a bar." Of course, the best thing to do before revising your assumptions is to wait for a bar tender. Maybe he/she is in the bathroom.

Similarly, if you claim there is no evidence of god that I've seen in my lifetime, you are using the wrong measure. Why should god (if there is one) make itself obvious during the short period that is a human lifetime.

This is almost an "irrationality quote" instead of a rationality quote, but still enlightening.