Open Thread

Here is our monthly place to discuss Overcoming Bias topics that have not appeared in recent posts.

Here is our monthly place to discuss Overcoming Bias topics that have not appeared in recent posts.

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  • Cyan

    In the January Open Thread, I wrote,

    …yudkowsky.net doesn’t seem to have a narrative of Eliezer’s Bayesian Enlightenment, which is really what I’m after. Eliezer has said he’ll get there eventually (in the comment thread to Reversed Stupidity). Eliezer’s enlightenment was more than just an understanding of Bayes’ Theorem — in [the comment thread of Reversed Stupidity], Tom McCabe notes that Eliezer was posting about that in 2001. So what was it exactly?

    Thanks to the latest series of posts, I think I now understand Eliezer’s Bayesian Enlightenment. I say “I think…” to leave open the possibility that future posts will be even more enlightening. I’m enjoying these posts very much!

  • Boris

    My friends exhibit some sort of bias similar to that in “Fake Explanations”, http://www.overcomingbias.com/2007/08/fake-explanatio.html

    That is, their responses to things are often incredibly contrived explanations. It is sometimes possible to argue against them by demonstrating their invalidity (“this would also imply that you …”) or by complex meta-arguments.

    Do anyone have any recommendations how to either
    (1) analyze the likelihood of whether or not a particular explanation is a “fake explanation”
    or, much more importantly,
    (2) convince someone that they often come up with “fake explanations”.

    The latter is harder than it may seem. Even after having a series of explanations disproven, it’s not altogether clear to them that the reason was their “fakeness” rather than “mere incorrectness” (an assumption turned out to be false, as demonstrated by an experiment, say).

    Thanks!

  • Bachian

    More on RT Cox’s theorems please.

  • PK

    Hello, I have a question. This is not directly related to the topics discussed on this blog but I think it’s a good question to ask to smart people who are trying to accurately understand the world. I’m going with the assumption that knowing the truth is a good thing even if it is somewhat disturbing.

    I’ve found some videos on Youtube which I personally find somewhat disturbing. They deal with “covert hypnosis”. They are not graphic in any way but they are a bit creepy and mind-controlish. So if you don’t want to see that kind of thing don’t click. The videos show people being tricked into hypnosis.
    Video 1
    Video 2

    My questions is, is this real or fake, and if real how powerful is it?

  • Doug S.

    Yes, you can get people to do some rather silly things just by asking them, using a bit of distracting/confusing patter, and acting as though it was the most natural thing in the world for them to doing it. “Covert hypnosis” is a little bit strong of a term for it, though. (I probably would have handed over my wallet, too, although I think I would have asked why he wanted it, because I have a habit of asking such questions.)

  • Tom

    Are there any messageboards, mailing lists, irc channels etc that deal with themes similar to those of this blog?

    Thanks to everyone who writes for Overcoming Bias as well, I set aside a portion of my day to read the entries here and another portion to think about them. The fact that I get all this for free is a great source of great satisfaction to me.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/davidstrauss David Strauss

    Reading “Fake Explanations” reminds me of an evaluation strategy employed by a professor in the engineering department. Each test question has two components: the answer and a confidence rating, each chosen by the student. The maximum points can only be achieved with a high-confidence, correct answer. A high-confidence, incorrect answer yields the worst number of points, if any. Thus, the tests discourage guessing and encourage accurate self-assessment of correctness.

  • SG

    Re: Leave a Line of Retreat

    As an aspiring rationalist, I am optimistic about cryonics, but I was reminded of a concern I’ve had by Eliezer’s story of the woman who believed in souls and rejected cryonics: how does the field presently address consciousness? (“Consciousness” = that which is most closely tantamount to a “soul.”) Will the “me” who is looking through the eyes I have today be the “me” that looks through the eyes of some exact copy of me in the future? (Signs point to “no.”)

    The value of replicating my life and experiences in the future might well be enough, but my selfish solipsistic side would still like to know if consciousness suspension or transfer is forever relegated to science fiction.

  • PK

    Disclaimer: I discuss things about hypnosis that might seem disturbing to some people.

    Note: I will not be offended if told I wandered into paranoid conspiracy theory land(but please explain). My goal is to get to the truth, no matter what it is. I am asking this here because this site is frequented by smart and knowledgeable people who have committed themselves to getting to the truth in an unbiased way.

    Yes, you can get people to do some rather silly things just by asking them, using a bit of distracting/confusing patter, and acting as though it was the most natural thing in the world for them to doing it.
    Are you saying the upper limit of this kind of “persuasion” is doing “silly things”? What if people were asked to do something “non silly”? eg: Handing over a car, sex, killing someone… Personally I think handing over your wallet and house keys to a stranger is already “non silly”.

    “Covert hypnosis” is a little bit strong of a term for it, though. (I probably would have handed over my wallet, too, although I think I would have asked why he wanted it, because I have a habit of asking such questions.)
    Please explain how is it less than “covert hypnosis”? You are probably talking about the first video where the manipulation is relatively small and short. The second video showed more extreme hypnosis. See this video for something that looks more like “covert hypnosis”, with people closing their eyes and zoning out without a hint of prior consent.

    Either there is something trivial I missed or humans have a pretty crappy “firewall” when it comes to mind-control. On the one hand when I read about hypnosis on the internet the literature suggests:
    a)A person needs to believe they can be hypnotized to be hypnotized.
    b)A person needs to consent to hypnosis to be hypnotized.
    c)A person will refuse a suggestion that is against their morals/beliefs.

    On the other hand, Youtube videos seem to indicate that:
    a)A person doesn’t even need to know what hypnosis is to be hypnotized, never mind believing they can be.
    b)A person can be hypnotized without being informed about it in advance as long as they are calm(ie. no fight or flight response triggered) and following the instructions of a hypnotist seems natural(ie. a bit of raport is established. Note this does not mean the person agreed to be hypnotized). Unless the person explicitly rejects the hypnotist they will do as he says by default.
    c)The hypnotist can use various tricks to push the person into doing things against their interests. The hypnotist can issue direct commands(eg. give me your wallet). As long as the command doesn’t stick out as too out of place, the subject will not notice it’s against his interests because his critical thinking is diminished. The hypnotist can change a person’s perception of reality such that the person suddenly wants to do the things s/he would not otherwise do(eg. the person believes the hypnotist is a movie star so they serve him free drinks or the person is led to believe their coat belongs to the hypnotist so they give it away). Lastly the hypnotist can simply get away with doing things while the person is in a trance and unaware of their surroundings(eg. take something belonging to the person and flee).

    I find the cognitive dissonance unbearable. It’s hard to decide in an unbiased way what to believe; the Youtube videos or the literature on hypnosis. This is compounded by the fact that I secretly wish hypnosis was weak. Frankly I find all this “mind-hacking” disturbing but I can’t just ignore what my eyes see, I must explain it.

    If hypnosis is this powerful manipulation tool one would expect frequent media reports of criminals using it. I mean you hear about guns because criminals use guns to gain power over their victims. Wouldn’t it be advantageous for a criminal to learn to surreptitiously hypnotize people and take advantage of them? Yet we don’t see media reports of these incidents very often, or at all unless you specifically look for it on the net.

    Maybe “covert hypnosis” is actually much harder to do then it seems. Maybe it only works on a small portion of the population. Maybe the Youtube videos are all fake stuffed with actors. Or maybe the police and media dismiss reports of such crimes because it seems too unbelievable. Maybe the victims under-report the crimes because it seems so embarrassing(like rape). Or maybe the victims don’t realize they are doing something they wouldn’t otherwise want to do or they simply don’t remember being a victim.

    What is the rational explanation? There must be a falsehood or bias somewhere in there, either in the literature on hypnosis, the Youtube videos or me.

  • Stefan

    @PK: The rational explanation is that you don’t see Derren Browns selection process or the failed attempts on TV/Youyube.

  • Nick Tarleton

    Maybe what the videos show is real, but not actually “hypnosis” in the sense the literature discusses.

  • Z. M. Davis

    SG, if we’re really talking about an exact copy of you–a person that thinks of him- or herself as you, and has all the same memories, motives, and so forth–in what sense wouldn’t that person be you?

  • Silas

    Report from the Bay Area rationalist/OB meetup?

  • SG

    Z. M. Davis: In an individual perspective sense. SG and SG’ may have the exact same physiologies and histories, but from the moment of creation of SG’, there is no mystical “SG network” that will link the two minds henceforth. SG’ may carry all SG baggage, but no action by SG’ will be actually experienced by SG. Once SG is dead, he’s dead, regardless of the continued existence of SG’.

    If that’s not coherent, I may try to refine my formulation… later. If someone else thinks he grasps my dilemma and thinks he can do a better job conveying it, by all means, do.

  • Nick Tarleton

    No, it’s not coherent. In what way are you linked to yourself one second ago that your thawed self would not be linked to your pre-frozen self?

    As Eliezer likes to say, there’s no real difference between the trillion trillion trillion trillion (or whatever) Planck instants between successive moments of experience in a life and the thousand trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion Planck instants that might elapse between freezing and thawing.

  • cm

    My request:

    More posts on communicating rationality. Most people don’t even understand exactly what “bias” is beyond (a) racial prejudice or (b) unfairness. The whole idea that people have “systematic error” and aren’t very good at thinking is just not on the radar screen amongst “real people” in “the real world.”

  • http://www.frankhirsch.net Frank Hirsch

    Should we do away with the idea of a “language of thought”?

    Is it possible, that one of the most natural-seeming assumptions one might be inclined to hold – the idea of a sort of “language of thought” or “mentalese” – might be quite wrong? Language is sure a kind of necessary evil for communication between individuals. But nobody would really want to suggest that talking with someone was nearly as good a way to communicate with them as being that someone. So if being myself is so obviously far superior to just talking to myself, why should I bother at all? Maybe when it seems like I was thinking to myself, it is really just the language centers freewheeling over my current cognitive processes!
    “But wait,” says someone, “the language of thought must not necessarily be the language you speak to others. It need not even be a serial stream of symbols, as ordinary spoken language. It might be something quite different, actually.”.
    Yes it might, but then why call it a language at all?

  • Caledonian

    a)A person needs to believe they can be hypnotized to be hypnotized.
    b)A person needs to consent to hypnosis to be hypnotized.
    c)A person will refuse a suggestion that is against their morals/beliefs.

    None of those things are strictly true.

    Actual hypnotic states are just unusually deep forms of states humans normally enter – their beliefs are irrelevant, and although non-consent and active non-cooperation make achieving those states less likely, there are ways around those things.

    You can’t use any techniques to get people to do things that they will not be talked into normally – however, people can be talked into quite a lot.

  • http://www.frankhirsch.net Frank Hirsch

    [Having read the other comments]

    [Well, if my last comment was a bit off topic here, I hope it was not inconveniently so.]

    David Strauss:
    Reading “Fake Explanations” reminds me of an evaluation strategy employed by a professor in the engineering department. Each test question has two components: the answer and a confidence rating, each chosen by the student. The maximum points can only be achieved with a high-confidence, correct answer. A high-confidence, incorrect answer yields the worst number of points, if any. Thus, the tests discourage guessing and encourage accurate self-assessment of correctness

    Kinda nice. Maybe it would be even nicer if he also rated how well-adjusted the self-assessments where. I have recently read something interesting about the topic on a related site.

  • PK

    @PK: The rational explanation is that you don’t see Derren Browns selection process or the failed attempts on TV/Youyube.
    Hmmmm… obviously you are saying covert hypnosis is weaker/less-reliable then it is portrayed in the videos. What do you think his failure rate is?

    A few more comments:

    -If a boxed AI wanted to escape ve would likely invent some form of advanced hypnosis to make the humans let vim out.

    -Am I really the only one who finds hypnosis really disturbing?

  • Tiiba

    Personally, I think all talk about whether your upload would be you is pointless. Am I the person with the same name from 20 years ago? I might not share a single atom with that little brat, and have a completely different psychology. But I say that it’s stll me, because it feels right.

    I think the best policy here is to just do what feels right. Don’t ask others for advice, and don’t encourage others to do like you. There isn’t an objectively right answer.

    But here’s a question: if you make a copy of yourself, and stay alive, or make two copies – what do you even call that?

  • http://yudkowsky.net/ Eliezer Yudkowsky

    If a boxed AI wanted to escape ve would likely invent some form of advanced hypnosis to make the humans let vim out.

    Not necessary.

  • SG

    Nick, Tiiba: My understanding of cryonics is that there is no plan on “thawing,” but that one will necessarily be cloned. Tiiba’s question – “if you make a copy of yourself, and stay alive, or make two copies – what do you even call that?” – nears the mark I’m trying to hit about what happens to the individual and the fact that there would be no “mystical network” that connects the minds of successive clones.

    I reiterate, cryonics can still be the right thing if I value the existence of some entity that is, for the world, equivalent to myself – but still not “me.”

  • http://profile.typekey.com/Unholysmoke/ Ben Jones

    Eliezer – not fair to tell us that but not let us in on how the AI convinces us to let it out of vis box!

    I imagine it has something to do with demonstrating a fundamental alignment of my and vis utility functions, but how you can demonstrate that an AI could prove this to me is still beyond me. Yes, it would be foolish and egotistical to deny the possibility of a mind advanced enough to convince me of anything. But proving that to me without actually being transhuman? I imagine there’s more to it than ‘Whatever your utility function is, I can help you get there.’

  • Nick Tarleton

    My understanding of cryonics is that there is no plan on “thawing,” but that one will necessarily be cloned.

    Where did you get that? Cloning would obviously produce a different person who just happened to share your DNA, but that’s not the intent.

    I reiterate, cryonics can still be the right thing if I value the existence of some entity that is, for the world, equivalent to myself – but still not “me.”

    What does “me” mean that doesn’t include “equivalent to myself”?

  • SG

    “Cloning would obviously produce a different person who just happened to share your DNA…”

    Now substitute “DNA” with “brain state,” and you might begin to see what I mean. It’s an obvious, bodily, “different person.” Now imagine that the original person is NOT DEAD but is looking across the room at the copy who, to the rest of the world, is equivalent; but from his perspective, is not HIM.

  • SG

    MOVIE SPOILER ALERT

    MAJOR PLOT TWIST: In a way, this dilemma was faced by hugh jackman’s character in the prestige.

  • Z. M. Davis

    SG, the standard answer in that case is simply that there are two of you. Imagine waking up in such a situation, finding yourself face-to-face with your duplicate–but the technicians won’t tell either of you which one of you is the original and which is the copy. Are you (both of you) really going to agonize over which one is the original?

    I understand that there is a real historical distinction between original and copy. But if there’s no difference in personality, memory, &c., it’s not clear to me why we should really care. In an individual perspective sense, as you say.

  • Acheman

    I believe stage hypnosis is illegal in London, though I’ve been unable to find an internet citation for that. Something I’ve always found particularly frightening about hypnosis is that you can put people who have been hypnotised not to feel pain into a position where they can communicate without feedback – give them a pen, for example, but cover the hand so that they can’t see what they’re writing – and they’ll tell you how much pain they’re in. I suppose it’s this fragmenting of the ego that is at the core of what we find frightening in hypnosis. I think what’s odd is that we don’t talk about it more. It seems to me that along with the placebo effect it’s one of the biggest loci of threat to our ‘commonsense’ conception of the self. When you start looking at those two phenomena, everything about the standard model starts looking untenable.

  • Silas

    PK: I haven’t seen the videos, but I’ll watch them when I get a chance — they seem interesting from the description. What I can give at this point as input, however, is that I know from personal experience, my own mind state can be altered to something like the description of the victims. Basically, I’ve been in sitations where I get talked into or out of doing something and regret it, and what I remember is that after it happens, looking back, it seems like my mind was put in a completely different state, where I feel completely different from my usual self. I typically attribute it to social ineptness — not having the sort of social intelligence that would allow me to identify relevant facts of the situation. And I don’t think the people in those situations were even intentionally using “hypnosis”.

    I also one time saw a stage hypnotist perform at my college. That, however, did not make me any more likely to believe that what he was doing was real. The one thing that struck me was that when he asked for volunteers, a bunch of crazed people ran up (who I didn’t recognize from around there) and started jumping up on furniture and otherwise showing a level of enthusiasm way above the level of normal students at that event. It really made me pause and say, “Hey, something’s not right here.” The event had all the marking of having plants in the audience.

    I definitely think a rationalist should be interested in knowing what kind of things are going on the situations depicted.

  • IL

    SG, I used to think like you( up until a few weeks actually!) and this is the argument that changed my mind:
    Suppose that this thing happens every time you go to sleep, and when you wake up, you think you are the same person,
    and everyone around you think you are the same person, but you’re actually an exact duplicate of someone who died.

    Think about this scenario for a few moments…

    How do you know that this is’nt what’s happening now? Is there any difference between that scenario and reality?
    If I told you that this is what happens, would you never go to sleep again?
    No one would know the difference, including you.
    It’s the same thing for cryonics. It does’nt matter if the period of nonexistence is one night or a hundred years.

  • http://www.saunalahti.fi/~tspro1/ Kaj Sotala

    Don’t think this one was mentioned here yet: http://www.physorg.com/news122212997.html – When people feel powerful, they ignore new opinions, study finds.

  • http://dl4.jottit.com/contact Richard Hollerith

    It is good to examine or at least to point out or note important unspoken assumptions. Please allow me to suggest that an unspoken assumption of the “cryonics” thread here is that what matters about you is your subjective experiences. Following an earlier author, I will call that assumption or position “hedonism”. (A “utilitarian” then is a hedonist who believes that everybody’s subjective experience is essential, not just his own.)

    It is natural for a hedonist who knows science to be interested in cryonics because it offers a way for him to continue to have subjective experiences. It is also natural for him to view cryonics and related measures like uploading as philosophical dilemmas because they lead to questions such as whether a subjective experience experienced after he has been frozen and revived has the same importance or undeniable impact as an experience he might have yesterday or tomorrow.

    If (as I advocate) you believe that what matters about you is not your subjective experiences but rather what effects you have on objective reality, the questions become easy to answer. Details here. Sometimes something is murky or complicated because we are asking the wrong question, and things become clear when we substitute the right question. Perhaps asking about your subjective experiences after your freezing and reviving is the wrong question. Perhaps your subjective experiences are important in the same way that keeping an eye on your income is important or the way that knowing approximately how much cash you can get your hands on quickly if you need to is important, but hedonism is not a satisfactory or worthwhile terminal value (ultimate value) for a bright well-educated rationalist.

    No one in today’s thread inquired for example about the effect having oneself copied would have on one’s legal rights or one’s reputation (if the copy does something bad) or about how it would tend to double the need for income for the pair of you, which supports my suggestion at the start of this comment that the hedonistic position is an unspoken assumption in the conversation.

  • Silas

    Okay, about hypnosis again: I think I was the victim of almost the exact scam in the first video. Except that a guy came to my door. Fortunately he only got $10 from me (that I know of…) and when I expected not to be home the next day. It worked out almost exactly the same way: he asked for help at some trivial thing and then somehow I started to trust him and giving $10 seemed like no big deal.

    Definitely something worth understanding…

  • PK

    Did you realize it only after it happened or did you snap out of it in the middle? Did you go to the police?

    I’m surprised this is not the topic of conversation more often given how potentially powerful(dangerous) this can be. Most people think this is impossible and just laugh it off. Or maybe there is something about it that makes it rarer/weaker then I think it is. Nobody knows for sure? Bah! Cognitive dissonance again.

    I also find it strange that there is a debate about waterboarding for interrogation in the US. Seems like such a crude method. They could just drug the prisoner to get him to relax and try hypnosis. So either the CIA is incompetent, or hypnosis doesn’t work in those situation since they can’t induce trust in the subject(even drugged) or hypnosis isn’t nearly as effective as the videos suggest or something else I didn’t think of.

  • ChrisA

    Back to cryonics;

    The experience I am trying to avoid happening to me is dying. Therefore cryonics does not help solve my problem, because it involves me dying first. Eliezer’s argument there’s no real difference between the trillion trillion trillion trillion (or whatever) Planck instants between successive moments of experience in a life and the thousand trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion Planck instants that might elapse between freezing and thawing, is not valid, since what has happens in between these two different events is different (death in the case of the second event). “I” is (am?) an emergent property and “I” am (is?) path dependent.

    Likewise the me of 20 years ago is definitely not the same as the me of today, but in terms of the choices that I would have made 20 years ago that is OK, as I didn’t die in between.

    Now there is an argument that perhaps I should not try to avoid dying if I can be resurrected again. But that is a different argument. My take on that argument is that it is probable that there is a strong genetic drive (for obvious good reasons) to avoid dying, so my desire to avoid dying cannot be subject to rational challenge. I would note that the desire to be resurrected also probably stems from a genetic fear of death as well, so it is equally not subject to logic. In this case it is like morality, which appears to be a subject around which you can have rational debate, but actually comes from genes coding for group survival.

    My answer on copies of me is also equally simple, the answer is path dependent. If the original me were destroyed to make the copy, then the copy is not me and I think I would be happy to acknowledge that if I were the copy. If an advanced technology machine were to somehow split me into two copies (without destruction) then both of them could be considered me (I have no problem with multiples of me, per multiple universes say).

    I realise that death of course is subject to the sorites paradox, just like all defintions to some extent, but cryonics definitely seems to me to fall well into the definition.

  • Silas

    PK: I realized it only after it happened — that everything the guy said was a lie. He went from asking for some kind of rope to asking for $10. He repeatedly offered his driver’s license as a security for anything he wanted to borrow. God[1] only knows what would happen if I had taken him up on that. He even offered to pay interest on money he borrowed, but I turned that down (!).

    Go to the police? I figured I couldn’t give any helpful information except that the crime had happened. I had a burning desire to go where he claimed to work and cause him pain, but realized the claim about where he worked was a lie too.

    Perhaps it was just a good execution of the “camel’s nose in the tent” trick, ask for something trivial and slowly work your way up so they believe you’re serious the whole time. That’s what the guy did in my scenario and that’s what the guy did in Video 1.

    And PK … it’s a surprise to you that the CIA is using ineffective method?

    [1] I mean God in the secular sense.

  • http://mitechki.net/ Dmitriy Kropivnitskiy

    I wonder if someone could point me to any posts in this blog or other sources of information about post-factum rationalization. I am not sure what the official term for this is, but the phenomenon I am talking about is when a person first intuitively and in a lot of cases subconsciously comes up with a position on some issue and only after that comes up with “rational” arguments to justify the intuitive position.

  • Manon de Gaillande

    You don’t actually *die* (as far as I know, you can’t reverse death). You are “merely” dying, and the process that leads to death is stopped before you die, until the condition that would kill you can be cured. You may still consider it death, but then you should also regard a person with tuberculosis who doesn’t have access to penicilin as dead. Or do you think a prolonged lack of self-awareness is death? Then you probably don’t sleep much.

  • Z. M. Davis

    Dmitriy, see e.g., “The Bottom Line,” “Fake Justification,” and “Fake Optimization Criteria.”

  • Alan Gunn

    (If you’ve already discussed this, just ignore). Suppose you could get everybody to become completely free of bias, as you perceive it. Would people continue to disagree? To disagree as much as they do now? I ask not because I think these questions have answers, but because I suspect that dealing with them might clarify what you (we?) mean by “bias.”

    For instance–I like (some) music a lot, painting, not so much. Is this because I’m “biased” against painting for some reason, or something else? If it’s because of something in the way my brain is put together, would that be a kind of “bias,” or just a legitimate reason for different preferences? If I were blind and not deaf, no one would take my preference as a bias; same if it’s just a less extreme (but still biological) tic?

  • http://hanson.gmu.edu Robin Hanson

    Alan, browse the “disagreement” category of posts, especially this one.

  • Z. M. Davis

    Alan, my preferred solution to this problem is to insist on a very strict fact/value, is/ought distinction: ideal rational agents should come to agree on the facts of the matter about how the world is, but they need not value the same things. You can enjoy music more than paintings without making any falsifiable empirical claims.

    This is a common view, but by no means does it command universal agreement.

  • Z. M. Davis

    Um, mentally edit “command” to read “receive” in that last sentence.

  • Z. M. Davis

    One million hits!

  • http://profile.typekey.com/DaveInNYC/ DaveInNYC

    Quick question on log odds: from what I’ve read, you calculate the log odds in decibels by treating the odds as a fraction (i.e. dividing one “odd” from the other), taking the base 10 log of that, and multiplying by ten. But at http://www.overcomingbias.com/2008/01/0-and-1-are-not.html, it seems that they are calculated using the natural log:

    But when you transform to odds ratios, 0.502 and .503 go to 1.008 and 1.012, and 0.9999 and 0.99999 go to 9,999 and 99,999. And when you transform to log odds, 0.502 and 0.503 go to 0.08 decibels and 0.12 decibels, but 0.9999 and 0.99999 go to 92 decibels and 115 decibels.

    Earlier in the same post, base 10 seems to be used:

    For example, let’s say that the prior probability of a proposition is 0.0001 – this corresponds to a log odds of -40 decibels.

    So my question is, am I mistaken as to the definition of log odds, or was this just a mistake in the post?

    Also, why multiply by 10? I do not see how that helps out as far as further calculations go.

  • anonymous

    Does Bayes’ theorem make racial stereotyping okay?