it seems that it's not as if I'm making the world a better place, I'm just putting myself in a better world.

It seems like you are not making world a better place because you think about fixed probability of becoming a murderer, which your decisions cannot change. But the probability of you becoming a murderer is a result of your decisions.

You have reversed the causality, because you imagine the probability of you ever being a murderer as something that existed sooner, and your decisions about murdering as something that happens later.

You treat probability of something happening in future as a fact that happened in the past. (Which is a common error. When humans talk about "outside of time", they always imagine it in the past. No, the past is not outside of time; it is a part of time.)

Stupid Questions Open Thread Round 3

by OpenThreadGuy 1 min read7th Jul 2012209 comments


From the last thread:

From Costanza's original thread (entire text):

"This is for anyone in the LessWrong community who has made at least some effort to read the sequences and follow along, but is still confused on some point, and is perhaps feeling a bit embarrassed. Here, newbies and not-so-newbies are free to ask very basic but still relevant questions with the understanding that the answers are probably somewhere in the sequences. Similarly, LessWrong tends to presume a rather high threshold for understanding science and technology. Relevant questions in those areas are welcome as well.  Anyone who chooses to respond should respectfully guide the questioner to a helpful resource, and questioners should be appropriately grateful. Good faith should be presumed on both sides, unless and until it is shown to be absent.  If a questioner is not sure whether a question is relevant, ask it, and also ask if it's relevant."


  • How often should these be made? I think one every three months is the correct frequency.
  • Costanza made the original thread, but I am OpenThreadGuy. I am therefore not only entitled but required to post this in his stead. But I got his permission anyway.



  • I still haven't figured out a satisfactory answer to the previous meta question, how often these should be made. It was requested that I make a new one, so I did.
  • I promise I won't quote the entire previous threads from now on. Blockquoting in articles only goes one level deep, anyway.