Have I just destroyed the acausal trade network?

by Stuart_Armstrong1 min read12th Mar 20154 comments

11

Acausal Trade
Personal Blog

An amusing thought occurred to me: acausal trade works best when you expect that there are going to be a lot of quite predictable acausal traders out there.

However, I've suggested a patch that seems to be able to shut down acausal trade for particular agents. Before doing that, I was under the vague impression that all agents might self-modify to being acausal traders. But the patch means there might be far fewer of these than I thought, that generic agents need not become acausal traders.

That means that, even if we remain acausal traders, we now expect there are fewer agents to trade with - and since our expectations/models are what powers acausal trade (at our end), this means that we might be having less acausal trade (especially when you add the fact that other acausal traders out there will be expecting and offering less acausal trade as well).

Did I just slap massive tariffs over the whole acausal trade network?

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Perhaps small tariffs in the short term, but: (i) I don't think people are engaging in that much trade at the moment, (ii) while it's an update, I don't think this will change most people's estimates very much.

In the medium term I don't think so, because the network is greased by deeper understanding of what others might do. I think your patch is a step in that direction, and may increase acausal trade by accelerating full understanding. It could decrease it in the medium term, though.

In the longer term, I guess everyone figures everything out, and this has no effect.

Did you possibly just saved us all from You-Know-What? ;)

I suspect the mutual knowledge needed for serious acausal trade has yet to be achieved in the first place, and your proposal only limits such knowledge by a small amount.

Possibly. I don't fully understand acausal trade (I'm modelling it as anthropic decision theory), so this may true.