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Old 22nd May 2020, 10:16 AM   #41
caveman1917
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Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
If, as you suggest, the rising tide of evidence raises all boats, then it would be hard to consider it evidence in the operative sense.
It's not possible to raise all boats, they still have to sum to 1. If all H_i are subsets of E, which is the situation under consideration, then for all H_i: P(H_i|E) = P(H_i|E u ~E) and E is not evidence for (or against) any of them.

The problem with arguing the strength of hypotheses (ie the prior & posterior probability of the H_i) rather than the strength of the evidence for/against some H_j is that different people may rationally prefer different prior probabilities for the H_i, as these values depend on their entire lifetime of observations relevant to these H_i.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 10:28 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
It's not possible to raise all boats, they still have to sum to 1.
Of course. I meant it in a prosaic sense, not an arithmetic sense. And of course there's no such thing as an objective prima facie evaluation. At the risk of tickling a chronic condition at ISF, we could say, "God caused the writing to change." Some people believe in gods and not dragons, so they would assign a different prior probability. For scientific purposes, however, we would have to give them the same one.

It comes back to the same issue where we allude to statistical modes of reasoning, but can't really apply much rigor. So it turns out more like intuition with a nod to rigor. Does that make more sense?
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Old 22nd May 2020, 10:45 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
Of course. I meant it in a prosaic sense, not an arithmetic sense. And of course there's no such thing as an objective prima facie evaluation. At the risk of tickling a chronic condition at ISF, we could say, "God caused the writing to change." Some people believe in gods and not dragons, so they would assign a different prior probability. For scientific purposes, however, we would have to give them the same one.

It comes back to the same issue where we allude to statistical modes of reasoning, but can't really apply much rigor. So it turns out more like intuition with a nod to rigor. Does that make more sense?
It does, thanks.

I disagree that rigor couldn't be applied or an objective prima facie evaluation not be made. If we assume that a rigorous and objective update can be made to the probabilities when some evidence gets accounted for, then we can define the prior distribution (before any evidence - that's where the dependence on the "lifetime history" of relevant evidence comes from) as the maximum entropy distribution for whatever hypothesis set we're considering. I suppose you could question whether that definition is objective, but it is rigorous. Even better ones exist if we restrict ourselves to computable hypotheses.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 10:59 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
Of course. I meant it in a prosaic sense, not an arithmetic sense. And of course there's no such thing as an objective prima facie evaluation. At the risk of tickling a chronic condition at ISF, we could say, "God caused the writing to change." Some people believe in gods and not dragons, so they would assign a different prior probability. For scientific purposes, however, we would have to give them the same one.

It comes back to the same issue where we allude to statistical modes of reasoning, but can't really apply much rigor. So it turns out more like intuition with a nod to rigor. Does that make more sense?
I would like to point out that likely no one posting here has any need of forming a conclusion on this. So we could adopt the highest rigor and not have a position.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 11:32 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I would like to point out that likely no one posting here has any need of forming a conclusion on this. So we could adopt the highest rigor and not have a position.
If we assume that the evidence makes the hypothesis "the state is lying" 2 times more likely relative to "the state is not lying" then different rational people can come out of the thread saying things like "I used to think the state is lying and now I'm even more convinced" or "I used to think the state isn't lying but now I think it does" or "I used to think the state isn't lying and I still don't think it does." They could not come out like this: "I used to think the state is lying but now I don't think it does anymore." It depends on their prior probability of "the state is lying" at the moment right before going into the thread, which in turn depends on their entire individual lifetime history of relevant observations all the way back to when that prior probability had a singular defined value (way back to when they knew nothing whatsoever). And that's, of course, assuming no errors were made along the way - for example, what if it really makes the hypothesis 3 times more likely rather than 2?
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Old 22nd May 2020, 11:33 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
I thought the question in the thread was whether the presented event is evidence for the presented hypothesis, to which the answer is yes, and what generally makes an event evidence for a hypothesis. Sure, in this specific case it's also evidence for the state being incompetent, but that doesn't stop it also being evidence for the state lying. It depends on which hypotheses you consider.
I think you're right, and the high level answer is that it's evidence, and we really only dismiss a submission as evidence when it's a non sequitur, when there's no logical connection.

We see it a lot with schizophrenics.

Interviewer: "Why do you think you're married to President Trump?"
Patient: "Hoover Dam is made of ashes."

When there's a huge disconnect like this, I'm comfortable saying that the composition of Hoover dam is not evidence of a clandestine wedding.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 11:45 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
In the politics thread, there was a link to a story of one state swapping dates for daily infections, making the numbers look better....three different times.

Why don't you link to the alleged post? Why don't you link to the alleged story?
Do you think that your own presentation of both is better than the actual story?
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Old 22nd May 2020, 11:46 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by blutoski View Post
I think you're right, and the high level answer is that it's evidence, and we really only dismiss a submission as evidence when it's a non sequitur, when there's no logical connection.

We see it a lot with schizophrenics.

Interviewer: "Why do you think you're married to President Trump?"
Patient: "Hoover Dam is made of ashes."

When there's a huge disconnect like this, I'm comfortable saying that the composition of Hoover dam is not evidence of a clandestine wedding.
Yes, H = "patient is married to Trump", E = "Hoover Dam is made of ashes" (granting for the sake of argument this is true) then P(H|E) = P(H|E u ~E) and E is not evidence for/against H.

Yet two different rational people may still watch this exchange and come out with different posterior probabilities (strengths of) H. For example, the interviewer may think P(H|E) to be very low but I, assuming I'm in the private possession of a valid marriage certificate between the patient and Trump, may think P(H|E) is very high. We're both rational, because we didn't change our P(H)'s because of E, we just happen to have a different "lifetime history" of relevant evidence (I know of the marriage certificate, the interviewer doesn't). The patient would be irrational for believing H because of E.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 12:03 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
If we assume that the evidence makes the hypothesis "the state is lying" 2 times more likely relative to "the state is not lying" then different rational people can come out of the thread saying things like "I used to think the state is lying and now I'm even more convinced" or "I used to think the state isn't lying but now I think it does" or "I used to think the state isn't lying and I still don't think it does." They could not come out like this: "I used to think the state is lying but now I don't think it does anymore." It depends on their prior probability of "the state is lying" at the moment right before going into the thread, which in turn depends on their entire individual lifetime history of relevant observations all the way back to when that prior probability had a singular defined value (way back to when they knew nothing whatsoever). And that's, of course, assuming no errors were made along the way - for example, what if it really makes the hypothesis 3 times more likely rather than 2?
What is with all this "I think I think?" Should it be I accept/reject the claim?

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Old 22nd May 2020, 12:05 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Why don't you link to the alleged post? Why don't you link to the alleged story?
Do you think that your own presentation of both is better than the actual story?
Two reasons

A) can't find it

B) this thread has nothing to do with the claim. It is scene setting to get to the general concept of event as evidence for the explanation. Any hypothetical can be substituted for it. It is like a mcguffin in that sense....the details are meaningless.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 12:07 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
What is with all this "I think I think? Should it be I accept/reject the claim?
No it should be "I qfuwad" where qfuwad = "P(H) > P(~H)"
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Old 22nd May 2020, 12:09 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
No it should be "I qfuwad" where qfuwad = "P(H) > P(~H)"
Interesting. Why?
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Old 22nd May 2020, 12:14 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
This conversation is about explanations for events. Identification is separate.

They're the same thing.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 12:19 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Interesting.
No it isn't.

Quote:
Why?
Why not? It's a bunch of squiggles denoting the same concept as "I think H is true/false" which you objected to and wanted to replace with this particular bunch of squiggles: "I accept/reject the claim H". I mean, if we're just going to argue about which bunch of squiggles we're going to let denote the relevant concepts, then I prefer qfuwad over "accept/reject the claim" - the latter is so boring.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 12:20 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
They're the same thing.
"Who" and "why" are different questions.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 12:21 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
What is with all this "I think I think? Should it be I accept/reject the claim?
What claim?

The reason I'm asking is that caveman1917 pointed out that I had misread the claim (my bad - I was reading between the lines and am doing this on work breaks, so allowed myself to get distracted).

My understanding at this point is that the claim is:

"Three erroneous published stats is evidence that the errors were intentional."

The truth value to that claim is 'yes'. It's literally evidence, because it does logically support the hypothesis, there's a plausible mechanism.



However, I was jumping ahead and reading between the lines that you may have been trying to solve for a different and (in this thread) unstated claim: "Three erroneous published stats mean that the errors were intentional," is it (most likely) True or False?

The problem IMO is that I don't think the evidence (three erroneous publications) sufficiently disambiguates between the hypothesis and its complementary null.

IMO this doesn't mean we can dismiss the claim. It's quite plausible that the publications were deliberately misleading, and the evidence is consistent with that.

[Denying the consequent] would allow us to dismiss it, but that didn't happen.

Model:
P1: IF A THEN B
P2: ~B
C: THEREFORE ~A

Example from the OP:
P1: IF [The State is deliberately lying] THEN [they publish false stats over and over]
P2: [they did NOT publish false stats over and over]
C: THEREFORE [The State is NOT deliberately lying]

But we got B, not ~B, so the claim can't be summarily dismissed at this point. It's still quite credible if we limit the analysis to just an issue of whether we're incorporating literal evidence or not, as you were asking about in the OP.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 12:26 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by blutoski View Post
The truth value to that claim is 'yes'. It's literally evidence, because it does logically support the hypothesis, there's a plausible mechanism.
Is there anything to be said for the hypothesis being formed from the event?

Because X, I have y explanation for X, and then x is evidence for y.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 12:32 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
They could not come out like this: "I used to think the state is lying but now I don't think it does anymore."
I can think of at least a couple of current threads where the argument of some posters has almost exactly that form, however.

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Old 22nd May 2020, 12:40 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
I can think of at least a couple of current threads where the argument of some posters has almost exactly that form, however.

Dave
Then their argument must also be that the strength of the evidence is not 2 but smaller than 1. That's kind of been my point, rather than arguing about the value of P(H|E u ~E) it would be more productive to argue about the value of P(H|E) / P(H|E u ~E).
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Old 22nd May 2020, 12:43 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Is there anything to be said for the hypothesis being formed from the event?

Because X, I have y explanation for X, and then x is evidence for y.
Other than "That's exactly how it works?"

Hypotheses are born from observations.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 12:48 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by blutoski View Post
Other than "That's exactly how it works?"

Hypotheses are born from observations.
Which is my confusion. It is a prerequisite for forming a hypothesis. I'm surprised we dont have a good word to distinguish that.

It is literally evidence for every hypothesis that isn't a contradiction.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 12:48 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
"Who" and "why" are different questions.
Both are hypotheses whose relative probability can be affected by information. "Why" is just shorthand for identifying a causality. "Who" is shorthand for identifying an agent. The fact that something happened can give rise to questions of both method and agent. They are separate questions, but they are not different.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 12:49 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Is there anything to be said for the hypothesis being formed from the event?

Because X, I have y explanation for X, and then x is evidence for y.
Phrased like that, it's circular reasoning.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 12:50 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
Both are hypotheses whose relative probability can be affected by information. "Why" is just shorthand for identifying a causality. "Who" is shorthand for identifying an agent. The fact that something happened can give rise to questions of both method and agent. They are separate questions, but they are not different.
The issue being is that the event itself supports every single hypothesis of causality that isn't flawed.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 12:53 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
In the politics thread, there was a link to a story of one state swapping dates for daily infections, making the numbers look better....three different times.

Replies indicated this was evidence it was on purpose.

This is a concept in general that has seemed flawed to me the many times it comes up...


X is some event (getting it wrong three times)
Y is the theory for the reason of X (on purpose)
X is implied to be the evidence for Y (it was on purpose because it was done three times).

Can an event be evidence for the explanation? Or does the explanation of an event require evidence outside of X?


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Old 22nd May 2020, 12:53 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
I suppose you could question whether that definition is objective, but it is rigorous.
Which is one of the strengths of Bayes, in my opinion.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 12:55 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
The issue being is that the event itself supports every single hypothesis of causality that isn't flawed.
It also supports every single hypothesis of agency that isn't flawed. In your specific example we (probably) know the agent, but not necessarily the method. In other cases we might know the method, but not the agent. Both of these are hypotheses that can be affected by information.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 01:02 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
It also supports every single hypothesis of agency that isn't flawed. In your specific example we (probably) know the agent, but not necessarily the method. In other cases we might know the method, but not the agent. Both of these are hypotheses that can be affected by information.
Does it support every hypothesis of method?

"They did it after normal business hours."

It doesnt seem like the event itself (numbers out of order) does support that.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 01:06 PM   #69
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The sun moves across the sky. This is evidence that Apollo does indeed drag it in a chariot.

I guess thatís true, it is evidence, but itís not any kind of proof.

The sun moves across the sky. This is evidence that the earth rotates as it orbits the sun.

Same thing. We need a bit more information before we can conclude either hypothesis is true.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 01:07 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Does it support every hypothesis of method?
I was using method and causality interchangeably.

In any case you're stirring a tempest in a teapot. Loss Leader raised an example to illustrate the limitations of evidence. You're spending a lot of irrelevant effort trying to show that it's not an apt example.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 01:49 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
Which is one of the strengths of Bayes, in my opinion.
Yes indeed. One weakness of Bayes is not accounting for model complexity though. Using maximum entropy + Bayesian updates means, for example, that epicycles are still going just as strong as GR (as they must, sufficient epicycles can always approximate any curve to any required degree of precision as a Fourier series). Handling model complexity rigorously leads to elegant but impractical results in information theory, so depending on whether you consider elegance or practicality a "strength" or a "weakness" that would be either a strength or a weakness.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 01:51 PM   #72
blutoski
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Which is my confusion. It is a prerequisite for forming a hypothesis. I'm surprised we dont have a good word to distinguish that.

It is literally evidence for every hypothesis that isn't a contradiction.
I think the word is just 'observation'.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 01:54 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
OK, how about this.

I roll a pair of dice. Both come up 6.
I roll them again. Both come up 6.
I roll them again. Both come up 6.
That's two 18's. No DM's going to believe you.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 09:33 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
"Who" and "why" are different questions.

No, they're not.

In the legal example, we have three independent variables (color of car, model, state) that are evidence that a particular conclusion is likely.

In the mathematical one, we have three independent variables (rolls of dice) that are evidence that a particular conclusion is likely.

Same thing.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 10:11 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
No, they're not.

In the legal example, we have three independent variables (color of car, model, state) that are evidence that a particular conclusion is likely.

In the mathematical one, we have three independent variables (rolls of dice) that are evidence that a particular conclusion is likely.

Same thing.
It seems the event itself and the probability of the event is not the same piece of evidence. Presenting the probability of an event is additional evidence outside the initial scenario.
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Old Yesterday, 01:26 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
That's two 18's. No DM's going to believe you.
Did I mention they were D20s?

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