Chris Dixon’s Round Trip Fallacy

March 7, 2011 3:00 pm

Chris Dixon made a post yesterday on SEOs, in which he says:

“I talk to lots of startups and almost none that I know of post-2008 have gained significant traction through SEO (the rare exceptions tend to be focused on content areas that were previously un-monetizable).”

It will be helpful for us to revisit the definition of Round-Trip Fallacy:

The Round-trip Fallacy. This is the confusion of absence of evidence that unexpected, high impact events (Black Swans) have occurred, or will occur, with evidence of absence of such events (no possible Black Swans). (p. 310) For example, there is an absence of evidence, that al-Qaeda has successfully established terrorist cells in Washington, DC, at the moment. But it would be erroneous to infer that there is evidence of the absence of all such events. As NNT points out (p. 54), post- cancer treatment absence of evidence from body scans that cancer remains in the body, is not equivalent to evidence of the absence of all such cancer cells.

Wow. Classic.

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2 Comments for “Chris Dixon’s Round Trip Fallacy”

  1. zaarcis

    Such misunderstandings are the reason why I like bayesians.

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