[FoRK] Fwd: Hey, big spender...

Kurt kwilkin at gmail.com
Thu Aug 28 20:49:20 PDT 2008

Jeff Bone wrote:
> On Aug 28, 2008, at 8:46 PM, Lucas Gonze wrote:
>> On Wed, Aug 27, 2008 at 10:28 AM, Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> wrote:
>>> That's the thing about Black Swan events.  They may not be very 
>>> likely ---
>>> indeed, you'll note that the high water mark for my prediction of a 
>>> GD given
>>> Obama influence is "only" 1/3 --- but the impact is severe enough 
>>> that you
>>> have to weight accordingly.
>> The impact is also unlikely enough that you have to weight
>> accordingly.  Your 1/3 estimate is less likely than your 29% estimate,
>> which is itself less likely than your 20% estimate.
> By the way, just to show you how silly this is, let's say I say "I 
> believe that the likelihood of the sun coming up tomorrow is approaching 
> 100%."  Your claim is that this would be "less likely" --- i.e., that 
> the accuracy of the estimate would be less --- than were I to claim "I 
> believe the likelihood of the sun coming up tomorrow is approaching 
> 90%."  Similarly 80%, 70%, etc.

Its entirely sensible to measure confidence in p.

Your counter example would have confidence levels of 100% for each of 
the (90, 80, 70), its that you already have 100% confidence in the 
strongest assertion that makes them fallacious, rather than the amount
of confidence in the smaller p.

> OTOH, it should be clear historically that I tend to be pretty good at 
> this.

Not really: earning a living from predictions means you've a vested 
interest in your "professional" expected outcome, and as your
"professed"[*] expected outcome will affect that, you've introduced a

Cheers, Kurt.

[*] Not claiming theres inconsistency between these, but that you don't
want for everyone to *place* bets the same way as you have[**].

[**]Unless that is what you want everyone to do, in which case you don't
want them to know that[***].

[***] Unless...

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