[extropy-chat] what is probability?

Jef Allbright jef at jefallbright.net
Sun Jan 14 22:09:59 UTC 2007

From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org on behalf of Samantha Atkins

Jef Allbright wrote:
> When one identically rational agent chooses to use linear edge length,
> while the other agent chooses to use quadratic surface area, do you
> really think that different choice is made in the absence of different
> input information?

Methinks the problem is that there is no such thing as "two identically
rational agents" so identical that they have substantially identical
values, relevant knowledge, relevant perceptions, mental processes,
tools and so on.   Why bother with multiple different entities at all if
only precise rationality is needed and can be precisely defined and the
"right way" and "right views" is totally and completely objectively
determinable in all things?    Is it not amusing that we very sloppy
meat brains of very limited rigorous rationality or reasoning continue
to circle around the question of whether two really rational reasoners
can disagree?   Is it a rational use of our limited time and abilities
to continue thus?

Samantha -
I couldn't care less about these hypothetical and unrealistic scenarios around which swirl such unproductive discussion and debate.
What does gravely concern me is that that a large majority of the decision-makers in our population are uncomfortable and unskilled at rational  thought!
It's scary in the face of rapidly escalating technological empowerment that so many people aren't equipped to effectively exercise their volition in an increasingly complex environment.  It's not that we should be expected to have the "right" answers, but we do a pitifully poor job of recognizing the problems and asking the questions.  And I won't even get into how many people think rationality itself is evil.
Did you really think I give a fuck about angels dancing on pins?!
- Jef
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