Tuesday, February 10, 2004

DECISIONS UNDER UNCERTAINTY:: TCS: Tech Central Station - Arnold Kling describes why being wrong about WMD non-existence after acting, is far better than not acting if they had existed. In the case where there was little we could do to improve our knowledge in the closed, non-cooperative Iraqi ex-regime, leaning towards caution is the only choice.

Similarly: "The classic example of asymmetric errors is a criminal trial. Sending an innocent person to prison, which is a Type I error, is considered a much more serious mistake than letting a guilty person go free, which is a Type II error. We express the asymmetry in the phrases "innocent until proven guilty" and "the prosecution must prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.""
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