Bayes totem tribe?

From: Michael Vassar (
Date: Mon Aug 22 2005 - 11:58:13 MDT

I don't believe that there is anything ironic about that. We are all
Bayesian approximators in so far as we are rational at all, and due to
biological constraints, especially the indeterminacy of subjective
probabilities, no human is a Bayesian. For these reasons I would say that
Loosemore shows very strong signs of not being a Bayesian and of being a
Bayesian approximator. As such, he has some likelihood of reaching
conclusions based on Bayesian valid evidence and although such conclusions
will be held with confidences which do not correspond to the subjective
probabilities with which he would be advised to hold them, they will still
generally contain useful information of the same type as the information
contained in the conclusions of self-described "Bayesians" in almost all
practical situations.
The position that explicitly Bayesian reasoning is a practical path to
general intelligence is highly controvercial to say the least. It seems to
me to be a reasonable working hypothesis because it contributes to the
transparency which is probably necessary for the creation of FAI, but such
agreement with SIAI party line on this issue is not a reasonable criterion
for assessing a person's rationality or basic competence. Like yellow
shirts however, it is a more than adequate criterion for defining an
in-group and an out-group. Lets be extremely careful not to make it one.

Michael Wilson said
>The irony being that said poster has shown no signs of being a Bayesian,
>and indeed considers it to be an inadequate basis for general intelligence.

Michael Vassar said
>>I think the condecension Loosemore recieved exceeded that he dished out,
>>and worse, provided Bayesian rational evidence, from his perspective, that
>>we were defensive and argumentative non-truth-seekers.

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