TagLast edit: 30 Jul 2020 21:35 UTC by Ruby

Law-thinking is an approach in which action and reasoning are thought to have theoretical criteria (laws) specifying the optimal actions and belief adjustments in any given situation. These criteria may be impossible to apply to a situation directly, and one may be forced to use only rough approximations. But one can still evaluate the approximations based on how well they match the optimal criteria.

The relationship between laws and approximations resembles that of between physics and engineering. Physics specify the laws by which the world works, while engineering tries to find practical solutions as constrained by those laws.

Some concepts which have been used as theoretical criteria in law-thinking:

Note that one can make use of e.g. Bayes Theorem or decision theory without being a law-thinker. Thus, articles covering the above topics do not automatically fall under this tag. A “toolbox-thinker” may use such tools if that seems warranted, without considering them normative standards to compare things against. This difference is discussed in Toolbox-thinking and Law-thinking.

Toolbox-think­ing and Law-thinking

Eliezer Yudkowsky31 May 2018 21:28 UTC
102 points
48 comments12 min readLW link

Univer­sal Fire

Eliezer Yudkowsky27 Apr 2007 21:15 UTC
114 points
43 comments3 min readLW link

Out­side the Laboratory

Eliezer Yudkowsky21 Jan 2007 3:46 UTC
98 points
349 comments7 min readLW link

The Se­cond Law of Ther­mo­dy­nam­ics, and Eng­ines of Cognition

Eliezer Yudkowsky27 Feb 2008 0:48 UTC
103 points
69 comments9 min readLW link

Per­pet­ual Mo­tion Beliefs

Eliezer Yudkowsky27 Feb 2008 20:22 UTC
55 points
44 comments3 min readLW link

Search­ing for Bayes-Structure

Eliezer Yudkowsky28 Feb 2008 22:01 UTC
51 points
48 comments5 min readLW link

What does it mean to ap­ply de­ci­sion the­ory?

abramdemski8 Jul 2020 20:31 UTC
40 points
5 comments8 min readLW link

An In­tu­itive Ex­pla­na­tion of Solomonoff Induction

Alex_Altair11 Jul 2012 8:05 UTC
118 points
220 comments24 min readLW link

Beau­tiful Probability

Eliezer Yudkowsky14 Jan 2008 7:19 UTC
67 points
120 comments6 min readLW link

Univer­sal Law

Eliezer Yudkowsky29 Apr 2007 6:41 UTC
63 points
26 comments3 min readLW link

Is Real­ity Ugly?

Eliezer Yudkowsky12 Jan 2008 22:26 UTC
44 points
42 comments5 min readLW link

What is Bayesi­anism?

Kaj_Sotala26 Feb 2010 7:43 UTC
102 points
217 comments4 min readLW link

Real­ism about rationality

Richard_Ngo16 Sep 2018 10:46 UTC
172 points
139 comments4 min readLW link

My Bayesian Enlightenment

Eliezer Yudkowsky5 Oct 2008 16:45 UTC
41 points
64 comments7 min readLW link

[Question] How would we check if “Math­e­mat­i­ci­ans are gen­er­ally more Law Abid­ing?”

Raemon12 Jan 2020 20:23 UTC
26 points
4 comments1 min readLW link

Lawful Creativity

Eliezer Yudkowsky8 Nov 2008 19:54 UTC
37 points
34 comments7 min readLW link

Where to Draw the Boundaries?

Zack_M_Davis13 Apr 2019 21:34 UTC
100 points
106 comments13 min readLW link2 nominations3 reviews

Un­nat­u­ral Cat­e­gories Are Op­ti­mized for Deception

Zack_M_Davis8 Jan 2021 20:54 UTC
58 points
18 comments33 min readLW link
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