I don’t think that chapter is trying to be realistic (it paints a pretty optimistic picture),
Sure, in that case there is a 0% counterfactual chance of heads, your words aren’t going to flip the coin.
The question “how would the coin have landed if I had guessed tails?” seems to me like a reasonably well-defined physical question about how accurately you can flip a coin without having the result be affected by random noise such as someone saying “heads” or “tails” (as well as quantum fluctuations). It’s not clear to me what the answer to this question is, though I would guess that the coin’s counterfactual probability of landing heads is somewhere strictly between 0% and 50%.
Reviewer is obliged to find all errors.
Not true. A reviewer’s main job is to give a high-level assessment on the quality of a paper. If the assessment is negative then usually they do not look for all specific errors in the paper. A detailed list of errors is more common when the reviewer recommends the journal to accept the paper (since then the author(s) can edit the paper and then publish in the journal) but still many reviewers do not do this (which is why it is common to find peer-reviewed papers with errors in them).
At least, this is the case in math.
You don’t harbor any hopes that after reading your post, someone will decide to cooperate in the twin PD on the basis of it? Or at least, if they were already going to, that they would conceptually connect their decision to cooperate with the things you say in the post?
I am not sure how else to interpret the part of shminux’s post quoted by dxu. How do you interpret it?
My point was that intelligence corresponds to status in our world: calling the twins not smart means that you expect your readers to think less of them. If you don’t expect that, then I don’t understand why you wrote that remark.
I don’t believe in libertarian free will either, but I don’t see the point of interpreting words like “recommending” “deciding” or “acting” to refer to impossible behavior rather than using their ordinary meanings. However, maybe that’s just a meaningless linguistic difference between us.
A mind-reader looks to see whether this is an agent’s decision procedure, and then tortures them if it is. The point of unfair decision problems is that they are unfair.
dxu did not claim that A could receive the money with 50% probability by choosing randomly. They claimed that a simple agent B that chose randomly would receive the money with 50% probability. The point is that Omega is only trying to predict A, not B, so it doesn’t matter how well Omega can predict B’s actions.
The point can be made even more clear by introducing an agent C that just does the opposite of whatever A would do. Then C gets the money 100% of the time (unless A gets tortured, in which case C also gets tortured).
I note here that simply enumerating possible worlds evades this problem as far as I can tell.
The analogous unfair decision problem would be “punish the agent if they simply enumerate possible worlds and then choose the action that maximizes their expected payout”. Not calling something a decision theory doesn’t mean it isn’t one.
Again, this is just a calculation of expected utilities, though an agent believing in metaphysical free will may take it as a recommendation to act a certain way.
Are you not recommending agents to act in a certain way? You are answering questions from EYNS of the form “Should X do Y?“, and answers to such questions are generally taken to be recommendations for X to act in a certain way. You also say things like “The twins would probably be smart enough to cooperate, at least after reading this post” which sure sounds like a recommendation of cooperation (if they do not cooperate, you are lowering their status by calling them not smart)
Games can have multiple Nash equilibria, but agents still need to do something. The way they are able to do something is that they care about something other than what is strictly written into their utility function so far. So the existence of a meta-level on top of any possible level is a solution to the problem of indeterminacy of what action to take.
(Sorry about my cryptic remark earlier, I was in an odd mood)
There I was using “to be” in the sense of equality, which is different from the sense of existence. So I don’t think I was tabooing inconsistently.
Maybe there is no absolutely stable unit, but it seems that there are units that are more or less stable than others. I would expect a reference unit to be more stable than the unit “the difference in utility between two options in a choice that I just encountered”.
This seems like a strawman. There’s a naive EU calculation that you can do just based on price, tastiness of sandwich etc that gives you what you want. And this naive EU calculation can be understood as an approximation of a global EU calculation. Of course, we should always use computationally tractable approximations whenever we don’t have enough computing power to compute an exact value. This doesn’t seem to have anything to do with utility functions in particular.
Regarding the normalization of utility differences by picking two arbitrary reference points, obviously if you want to systematize things then you should be careful to choose good units. QALYs are a good example of this. It seems unlikely to me that a re-evaluation of how many QALYs buying a sandwich is worth would arise from a re-evaluation of how valuable QALYs are, rather than a re-evaluation of how much buying the sandwich is worth.
Right, so it seems like our disagreement is about whether it is relevant whether the value of a proposition is constant throughout the entire problem setup, or only throughout a single instance of someone reasoning about that setup.
I agree with the matching of the concepts, I don’t think it means that there is a clear difference between instrumental and terminal values.
Fair enough, maybe I don’t have enough familiarity with non-MIRI frameworks to make an evaluation of that yet.
Incidentally here is another rationalist guide on how to get therapy, which I have been told is good.