Re: Rationality, Miracles and ETI

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Tue, 02 Nov 1999 21:35:59 -0600

Dan Fabulich wrote:
> > For example, I found my copy of "True Names and Other
> > Dangers", which I'd been looking for for three years, when I went back
> > to the bookstore to return nine dollars they undercharged me. Now,
> > while Occam's Razor says this was a coincidence and not a causal effect
> > of my charity, I hope, it would be easy to target someone else looking
> > for a book, pay the store owner to undercharge ver, and then have the
> > book there when ve returned. Occam's Razor says it's a coincidence, but
> > in reality, it's not.
> I mean, for crying out loud: you think that it is RATIONAL to believe that
> your returning the nine dollars was an act of charity, yes? Thus, the
> rationally acceptable belief here is that your act was an act of charity,
> not that it was a coincidence!

No, no! Not that returning the money was a coincidence; finding the book I was looking for, after around 30 unsuccessful visits, during a charitable act, was coincidence.

           Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Running on BeOS           Typing in Dvorak          Programming with Patterns
Voting for Libertarians   Heading for Singularity   There Is A Better Way