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Recent Comments

I think this is a special case of the problem that it's usually easier for an AI to change itself (values, goals, definitions) than for it to change the external world to match a desired outcome. There's an incentive to develop algorithms that edit the utility function (or variables storing the resu...(read more)

It actually does have practical applications for me, because it will be part of my calculations. I don't know whether I should have any preference for the distribution of utility over my lifetime at all, *before* I consider things like uncertainty and opportunity cost. Does this mean you would say t...(read more)

I can think of example where I behaved both ways, but I haven't recorded the frequencies. In practice, I don't feel any emotional difference. If I have a chocolate bar, I don't feel any more motivated to eat it now than to eat it next week, and the anticipation from waiting might actually lead to a ...(read more)

That assumption is to make time the only difference between the situations, because the point is that the total amount of utility over my life stays constant. If I lose utility during the time of the agreement, then I would accept a rate that earns me back an amount equal to the value I lost. But if...(read more)

Thanks for that – the point that I’m separating out uncertainty helped clarify some things about how I’m thinking of this.

So is time inconsistency the only way that a discount function can be self-inconsistent? Is there any reason other than self-inconsistency that we could call a discount functi...(read more)

> Second, with respect to "my intuition is not to discount at all", let's try this. I assume you have some income that you live on. How much money would you take at the end of three months to not receive any income at all for those three months? Adjust the time scale if you wish.

If I received an a...(read more)

I have some questions on discounting. There are a lot, so I'm fine with comments that don't answer everything (although I'd appreciate it if they do!) I'm also interested in recommendations for a detailed intuitive discussion on discounting, ala EY on Bayes' Theorem.

* Why do people focus on hyperb...(read more)

I think the value of a Wikipedia pageview may not be fully captured by data like this on its own, because it's possible that the majority of the benefit comes from a small number of influential individuals, like journalists and policy-makers (or students who will be in those groups in the future). A...(read more)

>This can be illustrated by the example of evolution I mentioned: An evolutionary explanation is actually anti-reductionist; it explains the placement of nucleotides in terms of mathematics like inclusive genetic fitness and complexities like population ecology.

This doesn't acknowledge the other t...(read more)

> Sure, this experiment is evidence against 'all fat, tired people with dry hair get better with thryoxine'. No problem there.

Okay, but you said it was evidence in favor of your own hypothesis. That’s what my question was about.

>Yes, it is kind of odd isn't it? One of the pills apparently made...(read more)