One of my go-to examples is crash-only code: graceful shutdown is complicated, so instead you always crash and make your code crash-proof.
Happiness is a complicated emotion. It can spring from so many causes. Maybe start with something more primitive. For example, before you can feel happiness or sadness due to having to pick an option, you need to feel the ability to make that choice. So maybe relate the subroutine that considers the options and makes the choice to the feeling of free will or something. Still quite complicated, but seems simpler than what you are attempting. Maybe even try to dissect it even further.
Here is 4 off the top of my head:
Young’s double-slit experiment
A better question is, if you write a complex enough decision making algorithm, would there necessarily be a part of it that would naturally map into the free will quale?
How useful was learning chemistry 10+ years of the chemistry community existing?
Good question. I don’t know what reference class is appropriate here. I can’t come up with other communities like this off the top of my head.
The assumptions depends a lot on how much of possible rationality techniques we already discovered and for those techniques that we did discover we actually got people to use them on a regular basis.
It does. One estimate is “what CFAR teaches”, and I think it’s quite a bit. Whether the CFAR alumni are measurably better than their peers who didn’t attend a CFAR workshop, I don’t know, do you?
I understand it’s meant to be fictional, but probably less fictional than Harry Potter-style magic, in that it is assumed to be achievable without supernatural miracles. Still, the conjecture is that most people would measurably benefit from learning rationality, as opposed to, say, math or tarot cards, and one would expect these benefits to start showing up quite visibly after 10+ years of the community existing.
Rationalists are capable of impressive feats individually, and accomplish miracles when working in groups.
I believe it when I see it. Any real-life examples where previously ordinary people who mastered zen and the art of rationality “accomplished miracles”?
Indeed starting with an imperfect predictor helps. Classic CDT implicitly assumes that you are not a typical subject, but one of those who can go toe-to-toe with Omega. In the limit of 100% accuracy the space of such subjects is empty, but CDT insists on acting as if you are one anyway.
I definitely agree with the last paragraph, stick with one perspective. To the predictor you are an algorithm that either one-boxes or not. There is nothing more to design.
I agree with you on self-locating probabilities not being a useful concept for making optimal decisions. However, in the absent-minded driver problem turning with the probability 2⁄3 to optimize your payout is not talking about a self-locating probability. Not sure if that is what you meant.
I don’t understand the point about the Copenhagen-type interpretation at all...
As for the free will, metaphysics is definitely not against it, physics is. The feeling of free will is a human cognitive artifact, not anything reducible or emergent. But it doesn’t seem useful to argue this point.
“Matter” was a poor choice of words (hah). But no, there is no difference between determinism and non-determinism in terms of how free the choices are. Unless you are willing to concede that your choice is determine by the projection postulate, or by which Everett branch “you” end up in.
I talked about it a few years back. If you think of the world as a deterministic or non-deterministic evolution of some initial conditions, you can potentially separate small parts of it as “agents” and study what they would internally consider a better or worse outcome, which is the “should”, vs what they actually do, which is the “would”. You don’t have to internally run a God’s eye view algorithm, some agents can still notice themselves “make decisions” (the internal feeling as an artifact of the agency algorithm evolving in time), while understanding that this is only a feeling, and the reality is nothing more than learning what kind of an agent you are, for example whether you one-box or two-box. Or maybe it’s what you mean by an outside view.
Notice, however, that the view you have re-discovered is anti-memetic: it contradicts the extremely strong “free choice” output of a subroutine that converts multiple potential maps of the observed world into an action that has a certain degree of optimality, and so is almost instantly internally rejected in most cases. In fact, most agents pretend to find a loophole, often under the guise of compatibilism, that lets them claim that choices matter and that they can affect the outcome by making them, not just passively watch themselves think and act and discover what they would actually do.
First, you unexpectedly switched from the unexpected hanging to the unexpected test in your third last paragraph :)
Second, surprise is best defined as inaccurate map, and the judge/teacher in their pronouncement assumes that the prisoner/student will not be able to come up with an accurate map. If the prisoner can come up with one, then the judge’s assertion of “it will be a surprise” will be just another inaccurate map, not the territory. The two maps cannot be both accurate given the stipulation of “surprise”.
The prisoner’s reasoning, as described, is a maximally inaccurate map.
What would be a maximally accurate map for the prisoner? That crucially depends on the mechanism the judge uses to decide on the day. If the judge rolls a five-sided fair die, then the odds are 20% on Monday, 25% by Tuesday, 33% by Wednesday, 50% by Thursday, 100% by Friday. If the judge instead flips a coin before each day, the probability is 50% each day except on Friday, when there is no coin flip and it’s 100%. If the judge instead decides that Friday is right out and rolls a 4-sided die, then it’s 25%/33%/50%/100%/0%. Maybe the judge always schedules executions on Wednesdays, and if the prisoner knows that, then the odds are 0/0/100%.
Can the prisoner construct an accurate map? Who knows, their capabilities and their knowledge of the judge are not specified in the problem statement. Either way, increased accuracy of one map can only come at the expense of the accuracy of the other map. That’s all there is to it.
This whole thing is aliens of the gaps. Grainy fuzzy images and videos whose quality has not improved in decades despite manifold advances in optics and imaging, scientific, military and commercial, all across the (EM) spectrum. Yet the “aliens” are good enough to avoid outright detection, yet sloppy enough to show the faint artifacts of their presence. Now, think for a moment what it would mean for “aliens” to be present on earth, to begin with, despite zero signs of them existing anywhere in the Galaxy. The only sensible action is to stop speculating about it and focus on obtaining better data whenever we see something unusual.
I don’t disagree that it was discussed on LW… I’m just pointing out that there was little interest from the founder himself.
Eliezer’s X-risk emphasis has always been about extinction-level events, and a pandemic ain’t one, so it didn’t get a lot of attention from… the top.
There are no actionable predictions in his models, so they are mostly of aesthetic value.
Time is a convenient abstraction. Like baseball.
I’d actually suggest starting at a different blog: https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/vwqLfDfsHmiavFAGP/the-library-of-scott-alexandria
It’s just a general pattern of overlooking certain kinds of terrible suffering that is not very visible. My go-to example is that, even by the most conservative estimates, at least 1% of children go through severe physical, emotional and sexual abuse growing up, which means that, if you live in the city, there is a high chance that there a girl being raped by her brother/uncle/father within a mile of you right now and no one would hear about it or pay attention, until it’s too late. A decade or two or three down the road she will end up in a psych ward with incurable CPTSD manifesting as a host of personality disorders, only to be marginalized and often abused and neglected there, as well.
Omelas was so much better, even for the one suffering child, compared to our society. At least everyone there knew about the suffering child, and it was not completely in vain. And there is nowhere to walk away, it’s no better anywhere else.