# Martin-2

Karma: 134
• Good question. I didn’t have an answer right away. I think it’s useful because it gives structure to the act of updating beliefs. When I encounter evidence for some H I immediately know to estimate P(E|H) and P(E|~H) and I know that this ratio alone determines the direction and degree of the update. Even if the numbers are vague and ad hoc this structure precludes a lot of clever arguing I could be doing, leads to productive lines of inquiry, and is immensely helpful for modeling my disagreement with others. Before reading LW I could have told you, if asked, that P(H), P(E|H), and P(E|~H) were worth considering; but becoming acutely aware that these are THE three quantities I need, no more and no less, has made a huge difference in my thinking for the better (not to sound dogmatic; I’ll use different paradigms when I think they’re more appropriate e.g. when doing math).

• What were some specific ideas you had for “solving debates”? I was hoping Arbital would take the debate around a given topic and organize it into a tree. You start with an assertion that branches into supporting and opposing arguments, then those branch into rebuttals, then those branch into counter-rebuttals, etc.

• One of my favorite lessons from Bayesianism is that the task of calculating the probability of an event can be broken down into simpler calculations, so that even if you have no basis for assigning a number to P(H) you might still have success estimating the likelihood ratio.

• In the spirit of OP, since there’s no guaranteed way to overcome this form of social anxiety and the afflictee will need to try many things to see what works for them, listening to a good evpsych story is as good a thing to try as any.

• Done.

• This post is not evidence for that lesson. When OP’s puzzle is stated as intended it indeed has a wonderful and strange answer. The meta-puzzle: “Are these two puzzles essentially the same?” referring to the puzzle as intended and as presented also has a wonderful and strange answer; in fact, John Baez and maybe all of his commenters have been getting it wrong for several years. Our intuition is imperfect, and whether the puzzles you come across tend to use this fact or just trick you with sneaky framing depends on where you get your puzzles.

• I can’t do anything on purpose.

• Professor Utonium, realizing he has a problem

• Also, since cars are now quite integrated with computers this person might have lots of fun stealing them. And if ze watches Breaking Bad there’s a whole lot of inspiration there for intellectuals looking to turn to a life of blue-collar crime.

Maybe I should be steel-manning Locaha’s argument but my point is I don’t think the limits of this sort of self-mod are well understood, so it’s premature to declare which mods are or aren’t “real world”.

• Done. I hate to get karma without posting something insightful, so here’s a song about how we didn’t land on the moon.

• Further reading suggests Gould is not representative of scientists. My confidence has gone back down.

• ″unconscious or dimly perceived finagling is probably endemic in science, since scientists are human beings rooted in cultural contexts, not automatons directed toward external truth″

Somehow this post has actually increased my confidence in Gould’s claim here.

• Maybe, since arguments have component parts that can be individually right or wrong; or maybe not, since chains of reasoning rely on every single link; or maybe, since my argument improves (along with my beliefs) as I toss out and replace the old one.

Come to think of it, if “trees grow roots most strongly when wind blows through them” because the trees with weak roots can’t survive in those conditions then this would make a very bad metaphor for people.

• If this quote were about people improving through adversity I wouldn’t have posted it (I also read that article). But I think it’s true for arguments. The last sentence does a better job of fitting the character than illuminating the point so I could have left it out.

• Elayne blinked in shock. “You would have actually done it? Just… left us alone? To fight?”

“Some argued for it,” Haman said.

“I myself took that position,” the woman said. “I made the argument, though I did not truly believe it was right.”

“What?” Loial asked [...] “But why did you-“

“An argument must have opposition if it is to prove itself, my son,” she said. “One who argues truly learns the depth of his commitment through adversity. Did you not learn that trees grow roots most strongly when wind blows through them?”

Covril, The Wheel of Time

• It is not July. It is August.

• Keep in mind this is a hypothetical character behaving in an unrealistic and contrived manner. If she doesn’t heed social norms or effective communication strategies then there’s nothing we can infer from those considerations.