Re: Hempel's paradox redux

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Wed Sep 14 2005 - 23:36:32 MDT

Ben Goertzel wrote:
> Anyway, if anyone feels like checking some interesting elementary
> probability theory calculations, see:
> What I seem to have done there is to construct a simple case where there
> seems to be no Hempel paradox according to elementary probability theory.
> That is, I define a population of N entities containing at least one raven,
> but where drawing a random nonblack entity from the population and observing
> it to be a nonraven does not change one's rational estimate of
> P(black|raven). Unless I made a calculational error, in which case I would
> be curious to discover what it is ;-)

I find your lack of faith disturbing.

I've got to sleep now, so this is a fine opportunity for aspiring
probability theorists on SL4 to test their wings. Props for anyone who
points out flaws in Ben's reasoning before I write a response tomorrow.
  These props are also available to Ben, but if he doesn't get it on his
own, and I have to write up the flaws myself, I want Ben to never again
claim that Bayesian probability is quote wrong unquote.

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky                
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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