[ExI] Model uncertainty (Was: LIGO)

Anders anders at aleph.se
Thu Nov 10 00:38:19 UTC 2016

On 2016-11-09 19:51, William Flynn Wallace wrote:
> I am still trying to get my head around that: how could we have seen 
> two crazy-unlikely events in just a few weeks?  My view of the cosmos 
> must be serious flawed.  COOL!
> This expresses my feeling exactly.  I think somewhere along the line I 
> lost contact with the human race and am seriously out of contact with 
> reality.  I am still stunned.

In fact, this is an interesting development. Pollsters and information 
markets missed the UK election, Brexit and the US election. The models 
are clearly wrong. Even if one accepted that the 15% chance of Trump on 
Monday evening was true and we saw a 15% probability event, the swathe 
of other recent polling failures demonstrate that something important 
has changed.

Generally, I think there is both an epistemic uncertainty about how to 
poll current people properly, and a more meaty uncertainty about what is 
going on politically. I have recently shifted away from my previous 
model that people had a broken epistemology because of networked media 
to a model that what we are seeing is more a tribal defense of core 
values (Haidt's explanation: 

Now, realizing that one's model is not correct and trying to fix it is 
an uneasy but exciting place. Especially since it might mean one should 
change strategy about a lot of things.

Dr Anders Sandberg
Future of Humanity Institute
Oxford Martin School
Oxford University

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