kbog comments on A Complete Quantitative Model for Cause Selection - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: kbog  (EA Profile) 21 May 2016 05:41:32PM 1 point [-]

Just to display my reasoning to a broader audience I am reiterating what I said on Facebook.

I think it's strange and mistaken to put numerical priors into the calculation to try to encapsulate human thinking. This model is merely taking one's opinions as given and predicting whether or not one will be convinced by a true EV calculation. It's not clear what this offers that is not offered by simply providing an EV calculation and seeing whether one is convinced. On the other hand, it introduces a number of potential problems. It makes the math and the spreadsheet much more complicated with more risk of minor errors and bad estimations. It also implies that our intuitions can be meaningfully written in the form of neat statistical distributions, which is clearly not how humans think, and might not even be a meaningful approximation to how humans think.