Re: Intelligence, Aesthetics and Bayesianism: Game over!

From: <>
Date: Wed, 30 Jul 2008 03:22:46 -0700 (PDT)

On Jul 30, 1:22 am, "Stathis Papaioannou" <> wrote:

> I've long been puzzled by the phenomenon of delusion in intelligent,
> rational people who develop psychotic illness. For example, out of the
> blue, someone starts to believe that their family have been replaced
> by impostors. Their facility with deductive logic remains intact, and
> it is tempting to try to argue with them to show that their belief is
> false, but it doesn't work. The Bayes equation is:
> Pr(A|B) = Pr(B|A).Pr(A)/Pr(B)
> A = they are impostors
> B = they're acting weird
> The problem is that they overestimate Pr(A), the prior probability,
> and underestimate Pr(B). A very dull, but sane, person can see this,
> but they can't. Intelligence doesn't seem to help at all.
> --
> Stathis Papaioannou-

Um. I'm not totally sure what relevance this has to what I posted.

Popper showed that an infinite number of theories is compatible is any
given set of finite observations. Mere algorithmic shuffling to
calculate Pr(B) probablities according to the Bayes formula won't help
much. Successful induction needs principles to set the priors are set

Which is largely based on aesthetic judgements. Read the Graham

You'll get it some day - unfortunately, I suspect, the mererely
Bayesian probablity shuffling you're using to update your beliefs may
take an inifinite time to converge to my beliefs ;)

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Received on Wed Jul 30 2008 - 06:22:51 PDT

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