Difference between revisions of "Possibility"

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(Created page with '{{wikilink}} {{Quote| Taken literally, saying that there is a "possibility" of infection tells me nothing. The probability could be 1/1,000,000,000,000 and it would still be tec...')
 
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Taken literally, saying that there is a "possibility" of infection tells me nothing.  The probability could be 1/1,000,000,000,000 and it would still be technically correct to describe the outcome as "possible".
 
Taken literally, saying that there is a "possibility" of infection tells me nothing.  The probability could be 1/1,000,000,000,000 and it would still be technically correct to describe the outcome as "possible".
 
|[[Eliezer Yudkowsky]]|[http://www.overcomingbias.com/2007/03/useless_medical.html Useless Medical Disclaimers]}}
 
|[[Eliezer Yudkowsky]]|[http://www.overcomingbias.com/2007/03/useless_medical.html Useless Medical Disclaimers]}}
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Words in natural language carry [[connotation|connotations]] that may become misleading when the words get applied with technical precision. It's much more precise, for communication of the actual fact through connotation, to say that it's ''impossible'' to win a lottery, rather than that it's possible. This is an example of [[antiprediction]].
  
 
==See Also==
 
==See Also==
 
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* [[Probability]]
 
* [[Probability]]
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* [[Antiprediction]]
  
 
==References==
 
==References==
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*[http://www.overcomingbias.com/2008/01/still-a-chance.html But There's Still A Chance, Right?] by [[Eliezer Yudkowsky]]
 
*[http://www.overcomingbias.com/2007/03/useless_medical.html Useless Medical Disclaimers] by [[Eliezer Yudkowsky]]
 
*[http://www.overcomingbias.com/2007/03/useless_medical.html Useless Medical Disclaimers] by [[Eliezer Yudkowsky]]
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*[http://www.overcomingbias.com/2007/04/lotteries_a_was.html Lotteries: A Waste of Hope] by [[Eliezer Yudkowsky]]
  
 
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[[Category:Concepts]]

Revision as of 01:23, 23 May 2009

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Taken literally, saying that there is a "possibility" of infection tells me nothing. The probability could be 1/1,000,000,000,000 and it would still be technically correct to describe the outcome as "possible".

Words in natural language carry connotations that may become misleading when the words get applied with technical precision. It's much more precise, for communication of the actual fact through connotation, to say that it's impossible to win a lottery, rather than that it's possible. This is an example of antiprediction.

See Also

References

Overcoming Bias Articles