Two-boxing, smoking and chewing gum in Medical Newcomb problems

I think UDT reasoning would go like this (if translated to human terms). There are two types of mathematical multiverse, only one of which is real (i.e., logically consistent). You as a UDT agent gets to choose which one. In the first one, UDT agents one-box in this Genetic Newcomb Problem (GNP), so the only genes that statistically correlate with two-boxing are those that create certain kinds of compulsions overriding deliberate decision making, or for other decision procedures that are not logically correlated with UDT. In the second type of mathematical... (Read more)(Click to expand thread. ⌘/CTRL+F to Expand All)Cmd/Ctrl F to expand all comments on this post

Thank you for this elaborate response!!

Omega picks a random gene look at (from a list of all human genes), and puts $1M in box B for you if you don't have that gene

Why would Omega look at other human genes and not the two-boxing (correlated) gene(s) in any world?

Under this assumption, the second type of multiverse is better because the number and distribution of boxes containing $1M is exactly the same in both multiverses, but in the second type of multiverse UDT agents get the additional $1K.

Maybe I overlook something or did not describe the probl... (Read more)(Click to expand thread. ⌘/CTRL+F to Expand All)Cmd/Ctrl F to expand all comments on this post

Two-boxing, smoking and chewing gum in Medical Newcomb problems

by Caspar42 1 min read29th Jun 201593 comments


I am currently learning about the basics of decision theory, most of which is common knowledge on LW. I have a question, related to why EDT is said not to work.

Consider the following Newcomblike problem: A study shows that most people who two-box in Newcomblike problems as the following have a certain gene (and one-boxers don't have the gene). Now, Omega could put you into something like Newcomb's original problem, but instead of having run a simulation of you, Omega has only looked at your DNA: If you don't have the "two-boxing gene", Omega puts $1M into box B, otherwise box B is empty. And there is $1K in box A, as usual. Would you one-box (take only box B) or two-box (take box A and B)? Here's a causal diagram for the problem:

Since Omega does not do much other than translating your genes into money under a box, it does not seem to hurt to leave it out:

I presume that most LWers would one-box. (And as I understand it, not only CDT but also TDT would two-box, am I wrong?)

Now, how does this problem differ from the smoking lesion or Yudkowsky's (2010, p.67) chewing gum problem? Chewing Gum (or smoking) seems to be like taking box A to get at least/additional $1K, the two-boxing gene is like the CGTA gene, the illness itself (the abscess or lung cancer) is like not having $1M in box B. Here's another causal diagram, this time for the chewing gum problem:

As far as I can tell, the difference between the two problems is some additional, unstated intuition in the classic medical Newcomb problems. Maybe, the additional assumption is that the actual evidence lies in the "tickle", or that knowing and thinking about the study results causes some complications. In EDT terms: The intuition is that neither smoking nor chewing gum gives the agent additional information.