Decision Theory: Newcomb's Problem


AGI Predictions

IMO, we decidedly do not "basically have it covered."

That said, IMO it is generally not a good idea for a person to try to force themselves on problems that will make them crazy, desperate need or no.

I am often tempted to downplay how much catastrophe-probability I see, basically to decrease the odds that people decide to make themselves crazy in the direct vicinity of alignment research and alignment researchers.

And on the other hand, I am tempted by the HPMOR passage:

"Girls?" whispered Susan. She was slowly pushing herself to her feet, though Hermione could see her limbs swaying and quivering. "Girls, I'm sorry for what I said before. If you've got anything clever and heroic to try, you might as well try it."

(To be clear, I have hope. Also, please just don't go crazy and don't do stupid things.)

Where do (did?) stable, cooperative institutions come from?

Thanks; this resonates for me and I hadn't thought of it here.

The guess that makes sense to me along these lines: maybe it's less about individual vulnerability from attack/etc. And more that they can sense somehow that the fundamentals of the our collective situation are not viable (environmental collapse, AI, social collapse, who knows, from that visceral perspective I imagine them to have), and yet they don't have a frame for understanding the "this can't keep working," and so it lands in the "in denial" bucket and their "serious person" is fake. (I don't think the "fake" comes from "scared" alone, I think you need also "in denial about it." For example, I think military units in war often do not feel fake, although their people are scared.)

(Alternative theory for scared: maybe it is just that we are lacking tribe.)

Where do (did?) stable, cooperative institutions come from?

Thanks. I buy the death spirals thing. I'm not sure I buy the "OK in the private sector but not the public sector b/c no competitive process there" thing -- do you have a story for why the public sector remained okay for ~200 years (if it did)? Also, particular newspapers and academic institutions have competitors, and seem to me also to be in decline.

Open & Welcome Thread – November 2020

"And the explosive mood had rapidly faded into a collective sentiment which might perhaps have been described by the phrase: Give us a break!

Blaise Zabini had shot himself in the name of Sunshine, and the final score had been 254 to 254 to 254."

Where do (did?) stable, cooperative institutions come from?

The first half is fine, but replace "altruistically" with "selfishly".... They figure out how to make a living... [emphasis mine]

At first glance, if we're talking about a thing that requires cooperative effort from many people across time, this seems like a heck of a principal agent problem. What keeps everybody's incentives aligned? Why does each of us trying selfishly to make a living result in a working fire fighting group (or whatever) instead of a tug-of-war? I understand the "invisible hand" when many different individuals are individually putting up goods/services for sale; I do not understand it as an explanation for how hundreds of people get coordinated into working institutions.

My 0-3 is an attempt to understand how something-like-selfishness (or something-like-altruism, or whatever) could stitch the people together into a thingy that could produce good stuff despite the principal agent problem / coordination difficulty.

Where do (did?) stable, cooperative institutions come from?

Thanks for the SF crime link; you may be right. Multiple (but far from all) friends of mine in SF have been complaining about being more often accosted, having greater fear of mugging than previously, etc.; but that is a selection of crimes and is not conclusive evidence.

Where do (did?) stable, cooperative institutions come from?

There actually seems to be far more subcultures being formed than there ever were before

DaystarEld, what are your favorite current happening scenes? (Where new art/science/music/ways of making sense of the world/neat stuff is being created?) Would love leads on where to look.

Where do (did?) stable, cooperative institutions come from?

Thanks. Under this hypothesis, we should see an improvement in the quality of private-sector institutions. (Whereas, under some competing hypotheses, Google and other private-sector companies should also have trouble creating institutional cultures in the 0-3 sense.) Thoughts on which we see?

Also, thoughts on David Chapman's claim that subcultures (musical scenes, hobby groups, political movements, etc.) have been vanishing? Do you also hypothesize this brain drain to affect hobby groups?

Where do (did?) stable, cooperative institutions come from?

Good question. I'm not sure if this will make sense, but: this is somehow the sort of place where I would expect peoples' stab-in-the-dark faculties ("blindsight", some of us call it at CFAR) to have some shot at seeing the center of the thing, and where by contrast I would expect that trying to analyze it with explicit concepts that we already know how to point to would... find us some very interesting details, but nonetheless risk having us miss the "main point," whatever that is.

Differently put: "what is up with institutional cultures lately?" is a question where I don't yet have the right frame/ontology. And so, if we try to talk from concepts/ontologies we do have, I'm afraid we'll slide off of the thing. Whereas, if we tune in to something like that tiny note of discord Eliezer talks about (or if we pan out a lot, and ask what our taste says is/isn't most relevant to the situation, or ask ourselves what does/doesn't feel most central), we may have a better shot.

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