Consensus between Epistemic Agents is Difficult

Damian R. Sowinski, Jonathan Carroll-Nellenback, Jeremy M. DeSilva, Adam Frank, Gourab Ghoshal, Marcelo Gleiser, Hari Seldon

We introduce an epistemic information measure between two data streams, that we term $influence$. Closely related to transfer entropy, the measure must be estimated by epistemic agents with finite memory resources via sampling accessible data streams. We show that even under ideal conditions, epistemic agents using slightly different sampling strategies might not achieve consensus in their conclusions about which data stream is influencing which. As an illustration, we examine a real world data stream where different sampling strategies result in contradictory conclusions, explaining why some politically charged topics might exist due to purely epistemic reasons irrespective of the actual ontology of the world.

Knowledge Graph



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