Friday, August 29, 2008

Probability of being right

Opinion * probability of being right.

The above probability is crucial for the value of every opinion we have. Every opinion/perception/understanding we have is probabilistic by nature. 90% 99.9% or more usually mere 40-70%.

Overestimation is very common in gauging this probability.

Ignoring it altogether is no less common. "That is my opinion". Where is the error rate?

The components of which he final conclusion is based are no immune. Every part and parcel of your thinking process has its own susceptibility for mistakes.

Bottom line: Probability of mistakes = product of mistake probabilities for all partial understandings whose opinion builds crucially on + (i.e. multiply by) probability of error in the final conclusion + probability of error in way the thinking process went (i.e. you can define in many ways: Either the problem itself, or the logical struture you walk throught to the solution, or the attention (weight) you give to every part of the process)

errors in the aformentioned probabiity guesses
errors I have not thought about

The color of an understanding is crucial for its meaning. i.e. what exactly did you mean. + context. i.e. under which conditions does it work. understanding limits and level of idea. How far it goes and to which effect.

How you know the reliability of your thinking process? Usually it is done intuitively. I guess earlier mistakes are calibrating these intuitions. So ignoring our mistakes is not just a local problem, it distorts our whole reality perception. Reminds me of Warren Buffet "I hate managers that lie. Not because I will not kkn0ow what is going on. Rather, a manager who lies to investors is liikely to lie for himself. hene he is a bad manger"

After reading this Buffet words, I realized that it is rational to avoid lying, which seems to make me lying less. That is, if you are naive enough to believe me.

Another way is by using meta-rules of reliability. Here, too you have to deal with the reliability of the reliability rule and the reliability of its application.

If you do not feel confused I recommend re-reading.

No comments: