Showing posts from March, 2021Show all

Bostrom's Incubator and the epistemic ensemble.

A lot of tricky problems involving probabilities, such as the famous Monty Hall problem that has lead astray even professional statisticians, can be solved quickly and painlessly with the ensemble method ( see how ). The question however is: is the ensemble method alwa… Read more

The lottery fallacy.

Understanding common logical fallacies is really helpful to quickly put your finger on the exact flaw in a fishy argument. But sometimes fallacies themselves can trick you, and you can end up committing the fallacy fallacy by accusing someone of a fallacy who isn't… Read more

A fish named Asha: foiling an attack on the Requirement of Total Evidence.

An interesting challenge to the Requirement of Total Evidence is posed by philosopher Peter Epstein in his 2016 paper  The Fine-tuning Argument and the Requirement of Total Evidence . He gives a simple scenario that, he argues, disproves it. First, what is this Require… Read more

Anthropic reasoning 1: I am, therefore I think.

Should you use the mere fact of your own existence as a significant piece of information in your reasoning? Or is it, in and of itself, without any actual specifics, completely vacuous or even incoherent? To explain what I mean, here's a concrete example.  Abiogene… Read more

Chaos simulation: wacky double pendulum.

Chaos is all around us. Except chaos in physics doesn't have the colloquial meaning of complete disorder. Instead, it means the system's behavior is extremely sensitive to even the tiniest disturbances, also known as the butterfly effect . Here is a simulation … Read more

An atom named Fred: defending the total evidence requirement principle.

Warning: this particular article is going to be quite a bit more incomprehensible than my other articles. It is part of a discussion Alex Popescu, I, and a poster that goes by Disagreeable Me have been having on some tricky aspects of probabilistic inferences, particul… Read more