1 min read3rd May 20219 comments
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Well, "0" is not a probability, but aside from that, this is far too general.  There are certainly things you should set an expectation of arbitrarily low probability.  1/36 is way too high for some things that I don't want/intend to do, and way too low for some things that I kind of want to do, but am conflicted in ways that I can't just commit.  And for many many things I don't even intend to expend the effort of rolling dice or otherwise externally making a decision.

Also, for things that part of me wants but I am so averse to that I'll only agree to a 1/36 chance I'll have to do it, I'm likely to cheat anyway, so I should just pre-commit to "no" and not have to worry about it.  I kind of suck that way.

[ edit: I don't mean to talk anyone out of trying this - if it works for you, that's awesome! ]


if you are able to follow through on the respective actions you precommitted to

If I had that much willpower, I'd just do (or not do, if that's my true net preference) the thing.  

There are no such situations I can think of where an explicit outside randomness helps me.  The classic uses of a mixed strategy (where the adversary is strategically optimizing against your intent) don't apply here.   


Why I think what is?  That this intervention doesn't help?  Because if I don't want to do something, and I think I can get away with not doing it, I think that will STILL BE THE CASE after I roll a die.  For me, at least (I acknowledge that it may work for others, which is great), I care far less about a statement of intent to obey a random event than I care about the actual behavior.  Adding the die roll does not add any information or decision weight.


Definitely I'm confused - I don't see how the die roll helps, over just deciding to do or not do the thing.  I think you're describing a decision about whether to commit to something, prior to the actual behavior of doing it (which is a decision as well, though I'm not sure whether you agree on that point).  Your description is of a decision to assign an external probability source to the commitment portion of the sequence.  I don't understand why you wouldn't prefer to just decide.

I think remain most confused by 

But it is NOT okay, to decrease that chance to 0

I don't understand why it's OK to commit to a small chance of doing something I don't want to, but why it's not OK to just not do it (colloquial 0%.  Bayesian arbitrary small chance, as circumstances can change).

I think an existence proof would help - what decisions or actions has this worked for for you?  How did you pick the odds to use?  I can't think of any decisions where I expect it to help me in any way (except certain adversarial games where mixed strategies are optimal, but those are incredibly rare in the real world).

Interesting - what sort of thing do you use this for? what sort of thing have you done after rolling a 2? 

I imagine it must be things that are in some sense 'optional' since (quite literally) odds are you will not end up doing it.

[+][comment deleted]3y30