Friday, April 10, 2009

Boxes That Misunderstand Themselves

The explanations that some putative experts give for their decisions may not be accurate; i.e., those given reasons may not explain why those putative experts decide as they do (or say what they say). If that is the case, understanding these experts' stated reasons would not allow us to predict the decisions (or inferences) of these supposed experts. However, it does not follow that such putative experts do not follow some rules or principles (that are unknown to them). In short, sometimes we will distrust the explanations that some experts give but we may yet believe that these supposed experts will sometimes be useful barometers (for reasons they themselves do not accurately understand). But to figure out just when these nincompoopish experts will be useful barometers and when they won't, we need to understand what makes them tick -- what really makes them tick. Otherwise we may foolishly say, "Well, these people correctly predicted the last recession. Even if they can't explain what leads them to make the predictions they do, it's a good bet they'll correctly predict the next recession." Well, maybe, and maybe not.

the dynamic evidence page

coming soon: the law of evidence on Spindle Law

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