Re: Metarationality (was: JOIN: Alden Streeter)

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Mon Aug 26 2002 - 02:16:05 MDT

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:

> I respect your right to make your own mistakes, of course. This should
> not be confused with respecting the mistakes themselves.
> My working assumption has been that, to pursue rationality, I must
> sacrifice my individual right to have wrong opinions and regard my
> beliefs as being either "correct" or "incorrect" according to how well
> they correspond to reality. The mere fact that a belief is "mine",
> apart from its causal history, is not evidence about its truth or
> falsity; therefore this naked fact is not relevant to rational
> reasoning. Although of course it plays a large role in various
> arational/irrational social cognitive mechanisms.

And you assume that other people are more enamored of their
opinions because they are there opinions than you are? This is
simply not correct for many of the people on this list and many
people in the world. This is not exactly relevant to the
discussion unless you refuse to give others the benefit of the
doubt on this very elementary point.

> And to anticipate your obvious response to this, you are free to assume,
> if you like, that I have not succeeded in counteracting these social
> mechanisms. But it is nonetheless what someone pursuing the truth would
> try to do. No?

It is what we do do. Can we move on?

> > For instance, as I've argued, there needs to be, in any finite system
> > within the universe, some non-prob-inference process for adapting the
> > universal set U used in the system's prob-inference processes.
> Does it work nonaccidentally? Or is it entirely random? If it works
> nonaccidentally, some form of rationality is behind it whether you like
> it or not.

Liking it or not has nothing to do with and your continued
insistence that it does without supporting evidence is quite

- samantha

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