# Alejandro1's Posts

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Stupid Questions December 2016

The question is analogous to the Grim Reaper Paradox, described by Chalmers here:

A slightly better example of prima facie without ideal positive conceivability may be the Grim Reaper paradox (Benardete 1964; Hawthorne 2000). There are countably many grim reapers, one for every positive integer. Grim reaper 1 is disposed to kill you with a scythe at 1pm, if and only if you are still alive then (otherwise his scythe remains immobile throughout), taking 30 minutes about it. Grim reaper 2 is disposed to kill you with a scythe at 12:30 pm, if and only if you are still alive then, taking 15 minutes about it. Grim reaper 3 is disposed to kill you with a scythe at 12:15 pm, and so on. You are still alive just before 12pm, you can only die through the motion of a grim reaper's scythe, and once dead you stay dead. On the face of it, this situation seems conceivable — each reaper seems conceivable individually and intrinsically, and it seems reasonable to combine distinct individuals with distinct intrinsic properties into one situation. But a little reflection reveals that the situation as described is contradictory. I cannot survive to any moment past 12pm (a grim reaper would get me first), but I cannot be killed (for grim reaper n to kill me, I must have survived grim reaper n+1, which is impossible). So the description D of the situation is prima facie positively conceivable but not ideally positively conceivable.

Open thread, Sep. 26 - Oct. 02, 2016

Lately it seems that at least 50% of the Slate Star Codex open threads are filled by Trump/Clinton discussions, so I'm willing to bet that the debate will be covered there as well.

There is no such thing as strength: a parody

I guess one is Eugine/Azathoth/VoiceOfRa

I had suddenly the same suspicion about VoR today, in a spontaneous way; has there been previous discussion of this conjecture that I missed?

There is no such thing as strength: a parody

It is true that normally, taking people at their word is charitable. But if someone says that a concept is meaningless (when discussing it in a theoretical fashion), and then proceeds to use informally in ordinary conversation (as I conjectured that most people do with race and intelligence) then we cannot take them literally at their word. I think that something like my interpretation is the most charitable in this case.

There is no such thing as strength: a parody

When people say things like "intelligence doesn't exist" or "race doesn't exist", charitably, they don't mean that the folk concepts of "intelligence" or "race" are utterly meaningless. I'd bet they still use the words, or synonyms for it, in informal contexts, analogously to how we use informally "strength". (E.g. "He's very smart"; "They are an interrracial couple"; "She's stronger than she looks"). What they object to is to treating them as a scientifically precise concepts that denote intrinsic, context-independent characteristics. I agree with gjm that your parody arguments against "strength" seem at least superficially plausible if read in the same way than the opponents of "race" and "intelligence" intend theirs.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 116

I think that the trial and error model is implausible; in which "time" are these trials and iterations occurring? The global determination of the whole universe seems much simpler.

I don't think it necessarily conflicts with free will, when free will is understood in a compatibilist way (which is how EY and most LWers understand it). If we agree that one can have free will in a completely deterministic universe with ordinary past-to-future causal chains, then why can't one have it in a universe where some of the chains run future-to-past?

Open thread, Jan. 12 - Jan. 18, 2015

He actually said it beforehand in LW as well. Link.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 109

In all details, certainly not; Dumbledore's CEV might well include reuniting with his family, which won't be a part of others' CEV.

In broad things like ethics and politics, it is hoped that different people's CEVs aren't too far apart (thanks to human values originating in our distant evolutionary history, which is shared by all present-day humans) but there is no proof, and many would dispute it. At least that is my understanding.