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I guessed 55,000 for the fast multiplication after this 65 anchor. I think the percentage of UN countries in Africa is <65%.

I think there's some nuance missing from Scenario 1. Authority doesn't include competence or expert-ness. Authority is like believing someone because they're paid to be a scientist, but you absolutely SHOULD assign more weight to assertions from actual scientists, people who follow the scientific method to update their beliefs, people who don't believe in the wrong default/null beliefs/hypotheses. This gets mixed up all the time.

Authority: M.D., member of AHA, J.D., professional ______

Competence/expert-ness: performs specific surgery with X% success rate, wins X% of cases in specific legal niche

You shouldn't care at all, not even ceteris paribus, about this definition of authority. You should care a lot about competence/expert-ness, because people can't get competent/expert without having accurate beliefs in the area of competence, so even if they're ignoring some piece of evidence or got to their beliefs very unconsciously or un-Bayesianly, you have strong evidence that their beliefs are close to correct.

Another problem with policies like this hypothetical nuclear reactor is that people don't have access to facts about the future or hypothetical futures, so we're left with estimates. People don't acknowledge that their "facts" are actually estimates, and don't share how they're estimating things. If we did this, politics would be better. Just give your methods and assumptions, as well as the estimates that are determined by the methods and assumptions, of costs and benefits, and then people can pick the choice(s) with the best estimated benefits - costs.

The other thing about political arguments is that people don't start with the foundation to the above, which is values. People will often talk about "lives saved", which is ridiculous, because you can't save lives, only postpone deaths. People who don't agree on values aren't ready to look at estimated costs and benefits. If I value 3 years of postponed-death at $100k, and someone else values it at $10, then we're almost certain to disagree about which policies are best. Values are the prices at which you trade things you like/want/value.

A few ideas:

You can't save a life. Every living thing is doomed to die. You can only postpone deaths.

Morality ought to be based on the expected values of decisions people make or actions they do, not the actual outcomes. Morality includes the responsibility to correctly evaluate EV by gathering sufficient evidence.

Earplug gang represent!

All the no-earplug sleepers are fools.

"you'll also immediately know the others all don't"

No. Receiving an anonymous love note from among the 6 in NO WAY informs you that 5 of the 6 DON'T have a crush on you. All it does is take the unspecified prior (rate of these 6 humans having a crush on you), and INCREASE it for all 6 of them.

@irmckenzie is right. There's no way you get < 10:1 with MORE positive (confirmatory) evidence for Bob than a random stranger. All positive evidence HAS TO make a rational mind MORE certain the thing is true. Weak evidence, like the letter, which informs that AT LEAST 1 in 6 has a crush, should move a rational mind LESS than strong evidence, like the wink, but it must move it all the same, and in the affirmative direction.

This is obviously correct. The error was that Rob interpreted the evidence incorrectly. Getting an anonymous letter DOES NOT inform a rational mind that Bob has 1:5 odds of crushing. It informs the rational mind that AT LEAST ONE of the 6 classmates has a crush on you. It DOES NOT inform a rational mind that 5 of the 6 classmates DO NOT have a crush on you. I also hated this. Obviously, two pieces of evidence should make Bob MORE LIKELY to have a crush on you that one. There's no baseline rate of humans having a crush on us, so the real prior isn't in the problem.

Strongly believed the reverse on 1 and 4, and had very little belief either way on the rest. But it was enough that I began to suspect they were all false, perhaps also the big white space beneath it tipped off my subconscious to such a possibility. Can't find the paper on sci-hub. What are the answers?

"98 is closer to 100 than 100 is to 98"

Geometrically, this is literally true. I would like to see if the same applies for how close 98 is to 100 vs 100 to 101. I suspect we get the same result, but for me, at least, it "feels" different. My innate comparison is multiply/divide, then add/subtract, then other things. I bet I'm more likely to add/subtract weird multiples of 12 and 24 and 100 (like 3, 6, 8, and 25), and more likely to multiply/divide "round" numbers like 1, 5, 10, 20, 100.

"you only communicate maps to concepts, or instructions for building concepts—you don't communicate the actual categories as they exist in your mind or in the world."

Really? I've always defined definition as either the sorting algorithm between, or description of the boundary between, two categories, yes-thing and not-thing.

Of course you're not giving me your neuronal arrangement, but you ought to be giving me one of two things that any agent, on any substrate, can use to sort every possible thing into yes-thing and not-thing, the same way you do.

If, after receiving a "definition", I (and any/every rational agent) am not able to apply the algorithm or description of the boundary between, and sort everything into yes-thing and not-thing the same way as you do, then what you've given me isn't really a definition (by my definition).

Using this definition of definition cuts down lots of useless (or anti-useful) definitions people try to give. I find that bad definitions are at the root of most stupid disagreements, both on the internet and IRL.

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