From: Samantha Atkins (email@example.com)
Date: Sun Aug 25 2002 - 23:14:24 MDT
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:
> Everything that works is a form of rationality; works because it is
> rational; and is rational because it works.
What precisely do you mean by "it works"? So every time we see
the word rational we might substitute something like "that which
works"? Interesting but a bit circular.
> To be precise, everything that works noncoincidentally, with a
> probability greater than sheer random chance would predict, is a form of
> rationality; works because it is rational; and is rational because it
> That's what the Bayesian Probability Theorem *is* - a *universal*
> description of the way in which things can be evidence about other things.
> It is not limited to any one domain. It is not limited to deliberative
> or verbalizable thought.
> Intuitions are a form of rationality.
> The visual cortex is a form of rationality.
> Logic - real logic, the kind that works - is a form of rationality.
> Verbally clever rationalization, e.g. Plato, is not a form of
> rationality because it is not bound (does not correlate under the BPT)
> to the external variables about which it purports to provide information.
Now you are claiming all that is "rational", "all that works"
conforms to BPT? That seems a bit strained. BPT was never
intended to swallow the entire universe of all "that which works".
> Evolution, and everything created by evolution, is a form of rationality
> (DNA carrying on a limited kind of induction on past observations).
> A flower is a frozen truth - the expression of DNA's induction on a
> history of past successes. So is a smallpox virus. So is a human baby.
> Evolution's induction is an imperfect form of rationality - but to
> whatever degree it works, it works because it is a form of rationality.
OK. You lost me. Your signal is breaking up.
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