A video of Daniel Dennett giving an excellent talk on free will at the Santa Fe Institute: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGPIzSe5cAU It largely follows the general Less Wrong consensus, but dives into how this construction is useful in the punishment and moral agent contexts more than I’ve seen developed here.

# wnoise

- 5 Jun 2014 3:04 UTC; 21 points) 's comment on [Meta] The Decline of Discussion: Now With Charts! by (

That does look right.

Altering the structure of divorce alters the payoff-matrix for behaviors inside the marriage itself.

It’s helpful to go a bit further for these corrections. What’s the reason not to use “uncorrelated” here?

In ordinary English, “uncorrelated” is indeed used for this (and a host of other things, because ordinary English is very vague). The problem is that it means something else in probability theory, namely the much weaker statement E(a-E(a)) E(b-E(b)) = E((a-E(a)(b-E(b)), which is implied by independence (p(a,b) = p(a)p(b)), but not does not imply independence. If we want to speak to those who know some probability theory, this clash of meaning is a problem. If we want to educate those who don’t know probability theory to understand the literature and be able to talk with those who do know probability theory, this is also a problem.

(Note too that uncorrelatedness is only invariant under affine remappings (X and Y chosen as the coordiantes of a random point on the unit circle are uncorrelated. X^2 and Y^2 are perfectly correlated. Nor does correlated directly make any sense for non-numerical variables (though you could probably lift to the simplex and use homogeneous coordinates to get a reasonable meaning).)

The usual situation is that both detectors actually have some correlation to Q, and thereby have some correlation to each other.

This need not be the case. Consider a random variable Z that is the sum of two random independent variables X and Y. Expert A knows X, and is thus correlated with Z. Expert B knows Y and is thus correlated with Z. Expert A and B can still be uncorrelated. In fact, you can make X and Y slightly anticorrelated, and still have them both be positively correlated with Z.

That’s the big one I can think of, and this usually arises in a very different context where it’s easy to dehumanize those forced to take such tests: alleged criminals and children.

(Even in these contexts, peeing in a cup or taking a breathalyzer is quite a bit less severe than enduring a forced pregnancy. Mandatory blood draws for DUIs do upset a signifianct number of people. How you feel about employment tests and sports doping might depend on how you feel about economic coercion and whether it’s truly “mandatory”.)

We don’t, for instance, require people to donate redundant organs, nor even blood. Nor is organ donation mandatory even after death (prehaps it should be).

What are some cases where we do require people to give up their bodily autonomy?

They essentially have already updated on their own testimony.

Operationally, it’s a distinction without a difference.

Likewise, the position “every sperm is sacred” seems mistaken because sperm are by nature fungible (and beyond that, we can complain about the word sacred).

In what way are sperm fungible? There is usually a wide variety of difference between two random ones from the same person. After all, half the genetic variability of two siblings is due to the difference in sperm.

It’s true that differences are such that we can’t easily tell much difference between any two sperm (of the same sex and chromosome number) -- but the same is true of a just fertilized zygote or just divided embryo, which you appear to count as non-fungible when you say that “I can’t think of a situation where I would be willing to accept the death/murder of a fetus or infant where I wouldn’t be willing to accept the death/murder of an adult.”

It seems that “fungibility” needs to be treated as a continuum. I think that just about all reasonable criteria for deciding this turn out on closer inspection to be fairly continuous.

Wouldn’t Gibbs free energy be more appropriate? pV should be available for work too.

I find myself slightly confused by that definition. Energy in straight quantum mechanics (or classical Newtonian mechanics) is a torsor. There is no preferred origin, and adding any constant to all the states changes the evolution not at all. It therefore must not change the extractable work. So the free energies are clearly incorrectly defined, and must instead be defined relative to the ground state. In which case, yes, you could extract all the energy above that, if you knew the precise state, and could manipulate the system finely enough.

Given a quantum state, you can always tell me the entropy of that specific quantum state. It’s 0.

Only for pure states. Any system you have will be mixed.

Some people report that it’s easier to remove tonsilloliths as well as a possible reduction in formation. If you don’t get them, not a concern, of course.

Every rational number has two infinite decimal expansions.

No. Every terminating number has two infinite decimal expansions, one ending with all zeros, the other with all nines.

^{1}⁄_{3}, for instance is only representable as 0.333… , while 1/8th is representable as 0.124999… and 0.125.

It’s a standard joke about mathematicians vs everybody else, and I intended it as such. I can do limited visualization in the 4th dimension (hypercubes and 5-cells (hypertetrahedra), not something as complicated as the 120-cell or even the 24-cell), but it’s by extending from a 3-d visualization with math knowledge, rather than specializing n to 4.

Doing specific rotations by breaking it into steps is possible. Rotations by 90 degrees through the higher dimensions is doable with some effort—it’s just coordinate swapping after all. You can make checks that you got it right. Once you have this mastered, you can compose it with rotations that don’t touch the higher dimensions. Then compose again with one of these 90 degree rotations, and you have an effective rotation through the higher dimensions.

(Understanding the commutation relations for rotation helps in this breakdown, of course. If you can then go on to understanding how the infinitesimal rotations work, you’ve got the whole thing down.)

Just visualize n dimensions, and then set n = 4.

Morals are

*modeled as*axioms in certain formulations.

Without the fnord, of course.

Are you asserting that “smart” is top decile to 2.5%, or that sociopathy is correlated to intelligence?

I’d consider a sigma away from the mean to be smart, so 0.3-1.3%.