RE: Bad Bayesian - no biscuit! (was A New Year's gift for Bayesians)

From: Marc Geddes (
Date: Thu Jan 20 2005 - 20:13:16 MST

 --- Ben Goertzel <> wrote:

> I really don't think that's true. IMO, if they knew
> more and thought faster
> but had the same emotional structure, they'd still
> play.

You don't understand 'The Way' Ben ;)

What seems like an inexplicable 'value' (for instance
an emotional drive) from one perspective looks like a
‘reason’ from another perspective.

Let me give you a parable to try to explain.

Imagine two observers watching a wood cutter using an
axe to chop wood. The wood cutter has to chop the
same piece of wood repeatedly until he breaks it in
half. One observer is a 3 year old let's say. The
other observer is his brother who is 10 let's say.

Every 10 seconds or so the 3-year old sees the man
raise the axe and bring it down on the wood. Why did
the man keep doing that? he asks himself. From his
perspective he only sees a series of disconnected
events corresponding to the goal 'Raise axe, bring it
down on wood'. But this 'value' to him is
inexplicable. He says to himself: I understand the
axe rising and falling - that's rationally
explainable. But why does the man want to keep doing
that? - His goal 'Raise axe, bring it down on wood' is
a value, and therefore outside rationally.

But look at things from the perspective of the 10-year
old. He does not see a series of disconnected events.
 He perceives the motion 'Raise axe, bring it down on
wood', as a *sub-goal* and he *can* rationally explain
it - as being part of the meta-goal 'Break the wood in

Now perhaps that 10-year old might then ask himself:
'Ah, but why does that man want to break the wood in
half in the first place'? The events corresponding to
the man chopping the wood until it breaks he might say
is part of *rationality*. But why is the man
motivated to be there in the first place? He might
say: 'Oh well, that's a value and therefore outside of
rationality'. But that would be to make the same
mistake as his 3-year old brother.

You see?


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