[extropy-chat] what is probability?

Jef Allbright jef at jefallbright.net
Sun Jan 7 19:01:29 UTC 2007

John K Clark wrote:

> "Jef Allbright" <jef at jefallbright.net>
> > all statements of probability necessarily entail a subjective 
> > viewpoint
> Everybody thought that a century ago, but not now. It's not 
> just a good idea for there to be a 50% probability of this 
> atom decaying in the next hour, it's THE LAW.

This example falls at the end of the range where the degree of
subjectivity is minimal and for all practical purposes (other than
philosophical debate) negligible.  However, we should remain aware that
such a statement of probability, or in a more general sense,
uncertainty, is still an output of some system working from a prior and
a likelihood function within a context less than perfectly objective.

> > No one has the ultimate objective god's-eye view.
> Are you sure?

John, did you intend to be funny here?

Or (more likely) did you intend this to be a trick question?

Or were you not paying attention when I said that *all* statements of
probability are subjective, and thus to some (possibly negligible
degree) less than sure?

- Jef

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