Satoshi_Nakamoto

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Ok. Thanks for letting me know. I have removed the first example. I was thinking that it would make it simpler if I started out with an example that didn't look at evidence, but I think it is better without it.

If anyone wants to know the difference between frequency and probability. See the below quote:

“A probability is something that we assign, in order to represent a state of knowledge, or that we calculate from previously assigned probabilities according to the rules of probability theory. A frequency is a factual property of the real world that we measure or estimate. [...] The fundamental, inescapable distinction between probability and frequency lies in this relativity principle: probabilities change when we change our state of knowledge; frequencies do not. It follows that the probability p(E) that we assign to an event E can be equal to its frequency f (E) only for certain particular states of knowledge. Intuitively, one would expect this to be the case when the only information we have about E consists of its observed frequency.” Jaynes, E. (2003), Probability Theory: The Logic of Science, New York, Cambridge University Press, pg. 292

Yes you can. See this site for what I think is a good example of visualizing Bayes' theorem with venn diagrams.

Good point. Would you say that this is the problem: when you are rational, you deem your conclusions more valuable than those of non-rational people. This can end up being a problem as you are less likely to update your beliefs when they are opposed. This adds the risk that if you make a one false belief and then rationally deduce a plethora of others from it you will be less likely to update any erronous conclusions.

I think that the predicament highlights the fact that going against what is reasonable is not something that you should do lightly. Maybe, I should make this more explicit.

If you are going against the crowd, then there is a good chance that you have made a mistake somewhere in your reasoning and that your conclusion is crazy or does not work. Reasonable things are not normally like this because they need to be circulated and disseminated. If they were crazy or didn't work, then this could not happen. But, this doesn't mean that they are optimal or that they are right.

If you are going against what is reasonable, then this is a serious reason to doubt your beliefs. It is not a reason in and of iteself to believe that something untrue or irrational.

What do you think is the best way to overcome this problem? This is from the post:

How can you tell when you have removed one set of blind spots from your reasoning without removing its counterbalances? One heuristic to counter this loss of immunity, is to be very careful when you find yourself deviating from everyone around you. I deviate from those around me all the time, so I admit I haven't found this heuristic to be very helpful. Another heuristic is to listen to your feelings. If your conclusions seem repulsive to you, you may have stripped yourself of cognitive immunity to something dangerous.

I would add that it is a good idea to try and explain your beliefs to other people, preferably someone you believe is rational and the more people the better. Try to seriously doubt your beliefs and to see them anew. If other people reach the same conclusion, then you can become more sure of your beliefs.

I agree that this is probably not the best example. The scrub one is better.

I think that "moral" is similar to "reasonable" in that it is based on intutition rather than argument and rationality. People have seen slavery as being "moral" in the past. Some of the reasons for this is false beliefs like that it's natural that some people are slaves, that slaves are inferior beings and that slavery is good for slaves,

I guess I was thinking about it from two points of view:

  • Is it rational to have the moral belief that there should be slaves. A rational person would look at all the supporting beliefs and see if they are themselves rational. For example, are slaves inferior beings. The answer, as we know, is no. In terms of the mass slavery of large portions of people, this has often been due to some characteristic like high levels of melanin for the slaves in America. These characteristics don't make people inferior and they sure don't make people inhuman.
  • With the system set up the way it was, was the alternative to slaves inferior? I am not an expert on this, but I was thinking that the alternative was not inferior. Perhaps, it would have been slower in terms of growth, but America still could have thrived as a nation if the south abolished slavery without war.

I agree that rationality and reasonableness can be similar, but they can also be different. See this post for what I mean by rationality. The idea of it being choosing the best option is too vague.

Some factors that may lead to what others think is reasonable being different from what is the most rational are: the continued use of old paradigms that are known to be faulty, pushing your views as being what is reasonable as a method of control and status quo bias.

Here is are two more examples of the predicament

  • Imagine that you are in family that is heavily religious and you decide that you are an atheist. If you tell anyone in your family you are likely to get chastised for this making it an example of the just-be-reasonable predicament.
  • Imagine that you are a jury member and you are the cause of a hung jury. They tell you: “the guy obviously did it. He is a bad man anyway. How much evidence do you need? Just be reasonable about this so that we can go home”. Now, you may actually be being irrationally under confident or perhaps you are not. The post was about what you should do in this situation. I consider it a predicament because people find it hard to do what they think is the right thing when they are uncertain and when it will cause them social disapproval.

Also, I have updated the below:

The just-be-reasonable predicament occurs when in order to be seen as being reasonable you must do something irrational or non-optimal.

To this to try and more clearly express what I meant:

The just-be-reasonable predicament occurs when you are chastised for doing something that you believe to be more rational and/or optimal than the norm or what is expected or desired. The chastiser has either: not considered, cannot fathom or does not care that what you are doing or want to do might be more rational and/or optimal than what is the default course of action. The predicament is similar to the one described in lonely dissent in that you must choose between making what you to believe to be the most rational and/or optimal course of action and the one that will be meet with the least amount of social disapproval.

I don't think I was very clear. I meant for this case to be covered under "avoid the issue". As by avoiding the issue you just continue whatever course of action or behaviour you were previously undertaking. I have edited the post to make this a bit clearer.

I thought about this later and think you were right. I have updated the process in the picture.

Yes. They seem pretty close to me. I think it is a bit different though. I think the bruce article was trying to convey the idea that Bruce was a kind of gaming masochist. That is, he wanted to lose.

An example quote is:

If he would hit a lucky streak and pile up some winnings he would continue to play until the odds kicked in as he knew they always would thus he was able to jump into the pit of despair and self-loathing head first. Because he needed to. And Bruce is just like that.

The difference as I see it is that bruce loses through self sabotage because of unresolved issues in his psyche and the scrub loses through self sabotage because they are too pedantic.

Good idea. I replaced it with "Why can't you just conform to my belief of what is the best course of action for you here". Thanks.

A wrote a post based on this, see The Just-Be-Reasonable Predicament. The just-be-reasonable predicament occurs when in order to be seen as being reasonable you must do something irrational or non-optimal.

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