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In the same way, suppose there’s a city full of rich people who all love Thai food and are willing to pay top dollar for it.The city has lots of skilled Thai chefs and good access to low-priced Thai ingredients.Suppose you thought that modern science was broken, with scientists and grantmakers doing a bad job of focusing their discoveries on truly interesting and important things.But if this were true, then you (or anyone else with a little money) could set up a non-broken science, make many more discoveries than everyone else, get more Nobel Prizes, earn more money from all your patents and inventions, and eventually become so prestigious and rich that everyone else admits you were right and switches to doing science your way.Eliezer did some digging, found that existing light boxes were still way less bright than the sun, and jury-rigged a much brighter version.This brighter light box cured Brienne’s depression when the conventional treatment had failed.Entrepreneurs are pretty smart, so they would notice this money-making opportunity, raise some funds from equally-observant venture capitalists, make a better mass transit system, and get really rich off of all the tickets. So “US cities don’t have good mass transit” seems like the same kind of statement as “a bill has been on the floor of Grand Central Station for a week and nobody has picked it up.” Therefore, US cities have good mass transit, or at least the best mass transit that’s economically viable right now.This proof of God’s omnibenevolence is followed by Eliezer’s observations that the world seems full of evil.
But if lots of people want better mass transit and are willing to pay for it, this is a great money-making opportunity.
With the certainty of physical law, we can know that city will have a Thai restaurant.
If it didn’t, some entrepreneur would wander through, see that they could get really rich by opening a Thai restaurant, and do that.
Consider a freshman biology student reading her textbook who suddenly feels like she’s had a deep insight into the structure of DNA, easily worthy of a Nobel. For all of them to miss a brilliant insight sitting in freshman biology would be the same failure as everybody missing a on the floor of Grand Central, or all of Wall Street missing an easy opportunity to make money off of Google, or every entrepreneur missing a great market opportunity for a Thai restaurant.
So without her finding any particular flaw in her theory, she can be pretty sure that it’s wrong – or else already discovered.
If you see a $20 bill lying on the sidewalk in Grand Central Station, and you remember having seen the same bill a week ago, something is wrong. But there’s no way that such a low-hanging piece of money-making fruit would go unpicked for that long.