Re: Bad Bayesian - no biscuit!

From: maru (
Date: Sat Jan 22 2005 - 13:30:57 MST

But Eliezer, couldn't a rationalist explain fiction by the chain of
events that led to the production of the fiction? The fiction of, say,
L. Ron Hubbard would confuse me if I took it to be factual reporting or
good sci-fi, but I can explain it rationally by reflecting on Hubbard's
heavy drug use.
More clearly, I can explain my fictional self possesing a tentacle two
ways. One, I can say that a certain Yudkowsky, seeking to explain
something, asked me to envision a contra-factual situation. This does
not confuse me so long as I do not mix levels.
Or, I could say that the root user of our simulation-verse decided to
start screwing with me, possibly to engage in epistemologic or
rationality experiments.

One more thing: I can explain webcomics as part of history:
specifically the part where publishing online became cheap enough for
amateurs, and a sufficiently large segment of the population acquired
the leisure necessary to acquire the skills neccesary for it to be a hobby.

Eliezer Yudkowsky wrote:

> My inviting you to imagine a blue tentacle might or might not be a
> good reason to *imagine* a blue tentacle, but it surely was not a good
> enough reason to come up with an *explanation* for a blue tentacle.
> Only a real observation would be cause for that, and reality is rather
> unlikely to present you with that observation.
> The measure of your strength as a rationalist is your ability to be
> more confused by fiction than by reality. If you are equally good at
> explaining any outcome, you have zero knowledge. I presented you with
> a fiction, an event that was never part of this our real world. You
> should not have been able to explain it. It is a virtue to be able to
> explain history books, but only if you are *not* able to explain
> online webcomics.


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