Can the believability of a statement be couched in terms of how much the world would have to (have) change(d) to make it true?
I've eaten 10.25 pounds of sardines over the course my life. The back of this envelope suggests that statement may be true. It’s believable.
Strange, as there is almost surely no way for anyone to confirm its truth; at best we have guesswork, envelope backs. Usually we treat such cases with distributions and confidence, the stuff of (subjectivist) probability. Yet what observation could be made now to adjust belief in a past fact that presumably leaves no trace on the present and future other than memory?
It’s not hard to imagine a person keeping track of such a figure, however. The world would have to have been changed in a seemingly negligible way for the truth of this statement to be known now not as an interval with confidence but as an actualized fact.
Herein lies a cognitive error: as technology advances, and more changes become “seemingly negligible,” more statements become believable. Among those undoubtedly number false statements.