Difference between revisions of "Absurdity heuristic"

From Lesswrongwiki
Jump to: navigation, search
m (added an "a" and a "the")
m (grammar fix: singular "there is" to plural "there are" preceeding "a number of")
 
Line 1: Line 1:
 
The '''absurdity heuristic''' classifies highly untypical situations as "absurd", or [[antiprediction|impossible]]. While normally very useful as a form of [[epistemic hygiene]], allowing us to detect nonsense, it suffers from the same problems as the [[representativeness heuristic]].
 
The '''absurdity heuristic''' classifies highly untypical situations as "absurd", or [[antiprediction|impossible]]. While normally very useful as a form of [[epistemic hygiene]], allowing us to detect nonsense, it suffers from the same problems as the [[representativeness heuristic]].
  
There is a number of situations where the absurdity heuristic is wrong. A deep theory has to [[shut up and multiply|override the intuitive expectation]]. Where you don't expect intuition to construct an [[technical explanation|adequate model]] of reality, classifying an idea as impossible may be [[overconfidence|overconfident]]. [http://lesswrong.com/lw/j1/stranger_than_history/ The future is usually "absurd"], although sometimes it's possible to [[exploratory engineering|rigorously infer low bounds on capabilities of the future]], proving possible what is intuitively absurd.
+
There are a number of situations in which the absurdity heuristic is wrong. A deep theory has to [[shut up and multiply|override the intuitive expectation]]. Where you don't expect intuition to construct an [[technical explanation|adequate model]] of reality, classifying an idea as impossible may be [[overconfidence|overconfident]]. [http://lesswrong.com/lw/j1/stranger_than_history/ The future is usually "absurd"], although sometimes it's possible to [[exploratory engineering|rigorously infer low bounds on capabilities of the future]], proving possible what is intuitively absurd.
  
 
==Blog posts==
 
==Blog posts==

Latest revision as of 03:44, 7 July 2016

The absurdity heuristic classifies highly untypical situations as "absurd", or impossible. While normally very useful as a form of epistemic hygiene, allowing us to detect nonsense, it suffers from the same problems as the representativeness heuristic.

There are a number of situations in which the absurdity heuristic is wrong. A deep theory has to override the intuitive expectation. Where you don't expect intuition to construct an adequate model of reality, classifying an idea as impossible may be overconfident. The future is usually "absurd", although sometimes it's possible to rigorously infer low bounds on capabilities of the future, proving possible what is intuitively absurd.

Blog posts

See also