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Are you actually arguing against giving anecdotes weight by using... anecdotes?



Yes, I'm evil.

Here is the "good" version: Bayesianism is correct. Those who don't believe me may want to read E. T. Jaynes[1] or Eliezer Yudkowsky[2] (long, and may feel abstract and dull). But countless studies about biases showed that we humans are poor at correctly assessing evidence at our disposal. Some of those studies showed that some failure modes come from anecdotes. Downvoting seems harsh, but it's the best we currently have to combat those failure modes.

Now we don't want to overdo it. I suggest we put a comment citing which reliable statistics contradict the downvoted anecdote. Maybe that'll help avoid groupthink. We may also want to allow people to just say they have anecdotal evidence to the contrary of whatever.

[1]: http://bayes.wustl.edu/etj/prob/book.pdf

[2]: http://yudkowsky.net/rational/technical


Those are examples, not anecdotes.


Yes, but I did make use of strong emotional story-like elements to make my point.


Those are hypotheticals or thought experiments, not anecdotes... they would be anecdotes if they were claimed to have actually happened.

I'm not arguing against anecdotes, but there is an important distinction there


Those aren't anecdotes, they are hypotheticals. They are useful, but statistically they occur even more infrequently than anecdotes.


I didn't see any anecdotes in the post.




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