Re: Overconfidence and meta-rationality

From: Marc Geddes (
Date: Wed Mar 09 2005 - 22:28:20 MST

>(Incidentally, it seems to me that the notion of the
>Bayesian score cuts
>through a lot of gibberish about freedom of priors;
>the external
>goodness of a prior is its Bayesian score. A lot of
>philosophers seem
>to think that, because there's disagreement where
>priors come from, they
>can pick any damn prior they please and none of
>those darned
>rationalists will be able to criticize them. But
>there's actually a
>very clearly defined criterion for the external
>goodness of priors, the
>question is just how to maximize it using internally
>decisions. That aside...)

Fascinating stuff. Fascinating, fascinating.

You seem to be moving in the direction of Objective
Bayesianism. Of course I always maintained that there
is some 'universal' objective way to calibrate those

>Trying to estimate your own rationality or
meta->rationality involves
>severe theoretical problems because of the
>invocation of reflectivity, a
>puzzle that I'm still trying to solve in my own FAI
>work. My puzzle
>appears, not as a puzzle of estimating
*self*->rationality as such, but
>the puzzle of why a Bayesian attaches confidence to
>a purely abstract
>system that performs Bayesian reasoning, without
>knowing the specifics
>of the domain. "Beliefs" and "likelihoods" >and
"Bayesian justification"
>and even "subjective probability" are not
>ontological parts of our
>universe, which contains only a mist of probability
>amplitudes. The
>probability theory I know can only apply >to
"beliefs" by translating
>them into ordinary causal signals about the domain,
>not treating them
>sympathetically *as beliefs*.

The probability theory *you know*. Hee hee.

I have a vague idea what the solution to the
reflectivity puzzle might be:

I did earlier share my speculation that there is
another epistemology beyond Bayes - Bayes would only
be the 'shadow' of this putative new epistemology.
This new epistemology could deal directly with
beliefs. And it would double the number of levels of
intelliegence ...

The intuition of Geddes strikes again :D

THE BRAIN is wider than the sky,  
  For, put them side by side,  
The one the other will include  
  With ease, and you beside. 
-Emily Dickinson
'The brain is wider than the sky'
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