All of ChrisHibbert's Comments + Replies

Placebo effect report: chiropractic adjustment

I don't believe in chiropractic either, but I go occasionally when I have pains that conventional treatments don't help. It has probably been 20 years since my last visit, but I'd guess there have been 5-10 occasions when I went for 1 or a few sessions. Sometimes things got better faster than I expected, other times it took as long as I expected doing nothing would. 

*The placebo effect is an effect.* There's no reason to refuse to take advantage of it when other things don't seem to be working. The big benefit of the placebo effect is that it has few deleterious side effects, so it doesn't hurt to make use of it, while some drugs aren't nearly as safe.

1supposedlyfun20dYes, I guess I'm just wrestling with how it pings both instrumental and epistemic rationality.
Yet another world spirit sock puppet

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Be secretly wrong

I'm all about epistemology. (my blog is at But in order to engage in or start a conversation, it's important to take one of the things you place credence in and advocate for it. If you're wishy-washy, in many circumstances, people won't actually engage with your hypothesis, so you won't learn anything about it. Take a stand, even if you're on slippery ground.

1Benquo4yPer my reply to Owen [], I think fine to say "X% A, 100-X% not-A" as a way to start a discussion, and even to be fuzzy about the %, but it's then important to be pretty clear about the structure of A and not-A, and to have some clear "A OR not-A" belief, and beliefs about what it looks like if A is true vs false.
A Visualization of Nick Bostrom’s Superintelligence

To begin with, there are significant risks of medical complications—including infections, electrode displacement, hemorrhage, and cognitive decline—when implanting electrodes in the brain.

This is all going to change over time. (I don't know how quickly, but there is already work on trans-cranial methods that is showing promise.) If we can't get the bandwidth quickly enough, we can control infections, electrodes will get smaller and more adaptive.

enhancement is likely to be far more difficult than therapy.

Admittedly, therapy will come first. That ... (read more)

0[anonymous]7yLet's not forget that this is fundamentally an economic question and not just a technological one. "The vast majority of R&D has been conducted by private industry, which performed 70.5 percent ($282.4 billion) of all R&D in 2009." - [] (a great study of R&D since WW2). It's true that any of the channels towards strong AI would have abundant applications to sustain them in the marketplace, but BCI is special because it can ride the wave of virtualization technologies that humans are virtually guaranteed to adopt (see what I did there :). I'm talking about fully immersive virtual reality. The applications for military, business, educational training and entertainment of a high efficacy BCI are truly awe inspiring and could create a substantial economic engine. And then there are the research benefits. You've already put BCI on the spectrum of interfacing technologies which arguably started with the printing press, but BCI could actually be conceived as the upper limit of this spectrum. As high-bandwidth BCI is approached a concurrent task is pre-processing information to improve signal, expert systems are one way of achieving this. The dawn of "Big Data" is spurring more intensive machine learning research and companies like Aysasdi are figuring out techniques like topological data analysis to not only extract meaning from high dimensional data sets, but to render them visually intuitive - this is where the crux of BMI lies. Imagine full virtual realities in which all of the sensory data being fed into your brain is actually real-world data which has been algorithmically pre-processed to represent some real world problem. For example, novel models could be extracted in real time from a physicists brain as she thinks of them (even before awareness). These models would be immediately simulated all around her, projected through time, and compared to previous models. It is even possible that the abstract symbology of mathemat
Solomonoff Cartesianism

I'm confused by the framing of the Anvil problem. For humans, a lot of learning is learning from observing others, seeing their mistakes and their consequences. We can predict various events that will result in other's deaths based on previous observation of what happened to yet other people. If we're above a certain level of solipsism, we can extrapolate to ourselves.

Does the AIXI not have the ability to observe other agents? Is it correct to be a solipsist? Seems like a tough learning environment if you have to discover all consequences yourself.

It's s... (read more)

0Houshalter7yHere is the problem as I understand it: It's not that it can't predict it will die. It's that it can't predict what it will observe when it dies. It is trying to predict it's observations in the future, even if it doesn't exist in the future. What does a non-existing being observe?
2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey

I don't answer survey questions that ask about race, but if you met me you'd think of me as white male.

I'm more strongly libertarian (but less party affiliated) than the survey allowed me to express.

I have reasonably strong views about morality, but had to look up the terms "Deontology", "Consequentialism", and "Value Ethics" in order to decide that of these "consequentialism" probably matches my views better than the others.

Probabilities: 50,30,20,5,0,0,0,10,2,1,20,95.

On "What is the probability that significan... (read more)

Wait vs Interrupt Culture

In my group at work, it's relatively common to chat "interruptible?" to someone who's sitting right next to you. You can keep working until they're free to take the interrupt, and they don't need to take the interrupt utill they're ready.

In f2f conversations, it's mostly an interrupt culture, but with some conventions about not breaking in in groups larger than 4 or so.

Three ways CFAR has changed my view of rationality

I believe that emotions play a big part in thinking clearly, and understanding our emotions would be a helpful step. Would you mind saying more about the time you spend focused on emotions? Are you paying attention to your concrete current or past emotions (i.e. "this is how I'm feeling now", or "this is how I felt when he said X"), or more theoretical discussions "when someone is in fight-or-flight mode, they're more likely to Y than when they're feeling curiosity"?

You also mentioned exercises about exploiting emotional states; would you say more about what CFAR has learned about mindfully getting oneself in particular emotional states?

How to Measure Anything

|New information can be gained that increases the expected work remaining despite additional valuable work having been done.

That's progress.

[This comment is no longer endorsed by its author]Reply
2wedrifid8yYes. That is the point.
The Least Convenient Possible World

When I've argued with people who called themselves utilitarian, they seemed to want to make trade-offs among immediately visible options. I'm not going to try to argue that I have population statistics, or know what the "proper" definition of a utilitarian is. Do you believe that some other terminology or behavior better characterizes those called "utilitarians"?

5Desrtopa8yWell, in my experience people who self identify as utilitarians don't appear to be any more shortsighted in terms of real life moral quandaries than people who don't so self identify. I don't think it's the case that utilitarians tend to be shortsighted, just that people in general tend to be; if non-utilitarians tend to choose a less shortsighted action in a constructed moral dilemma, it's not usually due to consciously taking a long view. When I was in college, a professional philosopher once visited and gave a seminar, where she raised the traveler-at-a-hospital scenario as an argument against utilitarianism (simply on the basis that killing the traveler defies our moral intuitions.) I responded that realistically, given human nature, if doctors tended to do this, then because people aren't effective risk assessers, people would tend to avoid hospitals for fear of being harvested, to the point that the practice would probably be doing more harm than good. She had never heard or thought of this argument before, and found it a compelling reason not to harvest the traveler from a utilitarian point of view. So as a non utilitarian, it doesn't seem that she was any more likely to look at questions of utility from a long view, she was just more willing to let moral intuitions control her decision, which sometimes has the same effect.
Rationality Quotes October 2012

Did Munroe add that? It's incorrect. There are lots of situations in which it's reasonable to calculate while throwing away an occasional factor of 2.2.

0[anonymous]9yYeah, but the way he shows that the Avogadro number is approximately one trillion trillion is still hilarious (though it does work).
Rationality Quotes October 2012

downvoted. You're saying you don't know anything about the context provided by a story that is apparently of interest to (at least) several readers here, and you're proud of not sharing the context. Doesn't seem like something to crow about without first finding out if the content is frivolous.

3wedrifid9yNo I wasn't. I could give you an analysis of likely outcomes of a battle between Mirkwood and Lorien archers depending on terrain. It isn't often that my knowledge of utterly useless details of fantasy stories is outclassed. I may as well enjoy the experience.
Who Wants To Start An Important Startup?

Atul Gawande has a new article on how the medical industry can learn from other businesses that use production methods to achieve consistent results. He mentions a couple of national start-ups that are trying to use consistent evidence-based practices, and continuous review of outcomes to make health care more reliable and consistent and do it at a profit.

Be Happier

My significant other keeps a garden, and we have several productive fruit trees that we enjoy getting fruit from. Squirrels take a significant amount of fruit, and cats leave unwelcome surprises in the garden.

We trap squirrels and remove them to county parks. (We don't do anything about the cats.)

Marginally increasing the frequency of squirrels and cats is a negative externality for us. I'm glad you aren't feeding squirrels (or cats) near us.

0TheOtherDave9y(nods) Sounds like it works out well for both of us.
Teachable Rationality Skills

"and the wisdom to know the difference"

Teachable Rationality Skills

For many more exercises exploring status behavior (both high and low), see Keith Johnstone's Impro. (Here's my review.) Johnstone's theory of improvisation (and acting in general) is that most of the weight of convincing the audience is carried by relative status distinctions among the actors. He provides a detailed set of exercises for exploring and understanding subtle and extreme differences so actors can be comfortable on stage projecting whatever distinction is called for.

3RichardKennaway10yBy my recollection (I don't have the book in front of me) the status distinctions that he writes about are not among the actors, but among the characters that the actors are portraying (as you say in your review). I doubt if a theatrical company could long survive if the actors themselves were ceaselessly jockeying for position in the way Johnstone has the fictional characters doing. I am unconvinced of the usefulness of taking this as a key to human relationships in the real world. What Johnstone did was to take a single aspect of human relationships and use it as a cantus firmus [] on which to construct theatrical scenes. It convinces the audience not by resembling life, but by resembling a single idea about life, much as a cartoonist makes an instantly recognisable face with a few lines by concentrating on a single, simplified physical feature. You could take any ubiquitous feature of real life and use it in this way as a key to theatrical composition. If Impro had been written in the 60s, the key that it presented might have been sex: everything the characters did would be constructed on the basis of being a negotiation, overt or covert, about whether, when, and with whom to have sex. Social class can serve as a key, from which one gets "stock characters" and comedies of manners. Pinter found a minimalist key: explain nothing and insert unnaturally long pauses between conversational turns. The audience fill the gap themselves by confabulating the characters' thoughts, and wonder how Pinter made his dialogue sound so realistic. At least, they did at first, but this happens with all new theatrical techniques. They begin by being lauded as refreshingly realistic, but with time they are seen to be no less artificial than their predecessors.
2calcsam10yI am actually reading that book now. Thanks!
The Good News of Situationist Psychology

Without the follow-up report, this is hardly evidence that the theory works. I guess it counts as evidence that the theory is convincing.

For some evidence, it might be worthwhile to take a look at how agile software development works.

(Or that it works at all.)

At my current workplace, there are teams of around 6-8 people, working together in one big room for each team. The way it works is the following: we get a task every 2 weeks, generate lots of post-its with sub-tasks, then during the 2 weeks, everyone is free to pick and solve these. (see )

The interesting part is that there is no boss telling you what to do (and making you responsible for... (read more)

Bayesians vs. Barbarians

My point wasn't just that I wouldn't make a good torturer. It seems to me that ordinary circumstances don't provide many opportunities for anyone to learn much about torture, (other than from fictional sources). I have little reason to believe that inexperienced torturers would be effective in the time-critical circumstances that seem necessary for any convincing justification of torture. You may believe it, but it's not convincing to me. So it would be hard to ethically produce trained torturers, and there's a dearth of evidence on the effectiveness o... (read more)

Bayesians vs. Barbarians

Maybe my previous answer would have been cleaner if I had said "I don't think I can procure useful information by torturing someone when time is short." It's a relatively easy choice for me, since I doubt that even with proper tools, that I could appropriately gauge the level of pain to the necessary calibration in order to get detailed information in a few minutes or hours.

When I think about other people who might have more experience, it's hard to imagine someone who had repeatedly fallen into the situation where they were the right person to ... (read more)

0moshez10yYou talked about two issues that have little to do with each other: 1. What should the law be? (I didn't argue with your point here, so re-iterating it is useless?) 2. A statement that was misleading: apparently you meant that you're not a good torturer. That is not impossible. I think that given a short amount of time, with someone who knows something specific (where the bomb is hidden), my best chance (in effective, not moral, ordering) is to torture them. I'm not a professional torturer, I luckily never had to torture anyone, but like any human, I have an understanding in pain. I've watched movies about torture, and I've heard about waterboarding. If I decided that this was the ethical thing to do (which be both agree, in some cases is possible), and I was the only one around, I'd probably try waterboarding. It's risky, there's a chance the prisoner might die, but if I have one hour, and 50 million people will die otherwise, I don't see any better way. So let me ask you flat out -- I'm assuming you also read about waterboarding, and that when you need to, you have access to the WP article about waterboarding. What would you do in that situation? Ask nicely? All that does not go to condone torture. I'm just saying, if a nation of Rationalists is fighting with the Barbarians, then it's not necessarily in their best interests to decide they will never torture no matter what.
Bayesians vs. Barbarians

I'm not completely convinced that all the people who were punished believed they were not doing what their superiors wanted. I understand that that's the way the adjudication came out, but that's what I would expect from a system that knows how to protect itself. But I'll admit I haven't paid close attention to any of the proceedings.

Is there any good, short, material laying out the evidence that none of the perpetrators heard anything to reinforce the mayhem from their superiors--non-coms etc. included? Your sentence "the people who went to jail... (read more)

5NancyLebovitz10yTorture and Democracy [] argues that torture is a craft apprenticeship technique, and develops when superiors say "I want answers and I don't care how you get them". This makes the question of what's been ordered a little fuzzy.
Procedural Knowledge Gaps

I've been investing in stocks (occasionally) and mutual funds (consistently) for about thirty years, and I endorse Vaniver's advice heartily. I think overall, I'm up on stocks, due to doing most of my stock investing in cyclical stocks that I can buy and sell repeatedly over the course of many years. This has worked for me with both SGI and Cypress, which I repeatedly bought at low prices and sold at high prices. If you try this and find that you're not buying low and selling high, then you should stick to mutual funds and a buy-and-hold strategy. I've... (read more)

Frugality and working from finite data

For instance: you can keep getting new data on economics, but there's no way anyone's going to let you do an experiment.

This is somewhat true of macroeconomics, but manifestly untrue of microeconomics. Economists are constantly doing experiments to learn more about how incentives and settings affect behavior. And the results are being applied in the real world, sometimes in environments where alternative hypotheses can be compared.

And even in macroeconomics, work like that explained in Freakonomics shows how people can compare historical data from ... (read more)

Frugality and working from finite data

Over the course of your natural lifetime, your past light-cone will extend by about 100 years. Since it already envelopes almost 14 billion years, you won't get much new information relative to what you already know.

You are forgetting the impact of improving science. In fact, most of what we know about the 14 billion year light cone has been added to our knowledge in the last few hundred years due to improved instruments and improved theories. As theories improve, we build better instruments and reinterpret data we collected earlier. As I explained... (read more)

Kevin T. Kelly's Ockham Efficiency Theorem

The game of Science vs. Nature is more complicated than that, and it's the interesting structure that allows scientists to make predictions that are better than "what we've seen so far is everything there is." In particular, the interesting things in both Chemistry and particle Physics is that scientists were able to find regularities in the data (the Periodic Table is one example) that led them to predict missing particles. Once they knew what properties to look for, they usually were able to find them. When a theory predicts particles that a... (read more)

Diseased thinking: dissolving questions about disease

I don't believe much in penance. (The dictionary I checked said "self punishment as a sign of repentance". I don't think either aspect is valuable.) It's not related to the question of how we should treat people when they have conditions that are often under voluntary control.

We should convince them that (assuming they agree that it would be better to not have the condition) their best approach is to accept that the condition is at least partially under voluntary control, that control always appears hard, and therefore to change their lifesty... (read more)

Ureshiku Naritai

Was it Yoda who said "There is no try, there is only do"? The point is Alicorn's point about making it a top priority. You may have meant to be this positive, but you didn't sound this positive.

0[anonymous]11y"Do or do not; there is no try."
The ABC's of Luminosity

I love "Codd help you". Brilliant!

Let There Be Light

"The Cult of Statistical Significance" suggests that we're looking for tests that display power rather than significance.

Undiscriminating Skepticism

the temperature change is not uniform everywhere

But it's non-uniform enough that some people are observing warming and some are observing cooling. So it seems clear from a perspective that accepts the terms of the claim that all purely local observations are uninformative.

second, the effects of such changes on weather may be noticeable in ways other than simple warming (e.g. more extreme weather events).

Tracking extreme weather events from a local perspective seems likely to give even less reliable results than looking for trends in your local c... (read more)

2RobinZ11yFair enough - I was quibbling, to a large part because: 1. The weather in my home region has gotten weird compared to my childhood - many mild winters and summer droughts, for example. 2. An Alaskan on DeviantArt a while ago wrote a prose piece about how she was always freezing, never warming enough in the summer to withstand the following winter ... and prefaced it with a matter-of-fact note about how that wasn't the case in recent years. Hence, when you commented that "[i]t's not like a normal person, can observe such changes", that seemed to contradict my own experiences. But given the prior attitude effect [], my experiences should probably be discounted a fair bit.
Conversation Halters

Isn't this an opportunity to allow them a line of retreat?

You're Entitled to Arguments, But Not (That Particular) Proof

Part of my problem with arguing about AGW is that it has gotten to the point that it's not a science question, it's a political question at this point. So I can be reasonably sure that any "scientific evidence" that will be announced will come from one faction or another, and will have been carefully vetted by the policy board to ensure that it hews to the party line. (Whichever party it comes from. All sides are equally to blame as far as I can tell.)

In this kind of environment, it's hard to take any evidence at face value. Both (all) sides ... (read more)

Rationality Quotes: February 2010

If we take in our hand any volume; of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance: let us ask, "Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number?" No. "Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence?" No. Commit it then to the flames: for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion. --- David Hume

(quoted in Beyond AI by JoSH Hall)

Open Thread: December 2009

There's also a group of proponents of this style working on Caja at Google, including Mark Miller, the designer of E. And some people at HP.

Actually, all these people talk to one another regularly. They don't have a unified plan or a single goal, but they collaborate with one another frequently. I've left out several other people who are also trying to find ways to push in the same direction. Just enough names and references to give a hint. There are several mailing lists where these issues are discussed. If you're interested, this is probably the on... (read more)

On the Power of Intelligence and Rationality

You didn't state a point of view. I'm surprised that MatthewB was willing to guess at what side you were taking.

You Be the Jury: Survey on a Current Event

I was aware of the case before, but hadn't looked into it in any detail. My reaction to the sites is that the site arguing innocence seems to be presenting facts and showing contradictions in the other side's arguments. I couldn't find any consistent argument on the other side. There were many scenarios, with inconsistent adherence to the facts, lots of innuendo and plausibility arguments for particular claims, but no coherent story.

  1. Your probability estimate that Amanda Knox is guilty. less than 30%
  2. Your probability estimate that Raffaele Sollecito
... (read more)
Rationality Quotes November 2009

I routinely use "a couple" and "a few" to indicate vague quantities. A few is bigger than a couple, but they overlap. I know that not everyone does this (my S.O., in particular, thinks I'm wrong) but I also know that I'm not nearly alone in this habit.

Yes, certainly, there are circumstances in which "a couple" means exactly two. If I'm talking about some friends, and refer to them as "a couple" rather than "a couple of people", you'd be justified to think I meant exactly two people with some relationsh... (read more)

0Blueberry11yUpvoted because I do the same thing (tell your SO!). You're not alone.
-1[anonymous]11yA couple is two. There are other quite specific names for when you add a third.
Less Wrong Q&A with Eliezer Yudkowsky: Ask Your Questions

Do you disagree with Eliezer substantively? If so, can you summarize how much of his arguments you've analyzed, and where you reach different conclusions?

0StefanPernar11yYes - I disagree with Eliezer and have analyzed a fair bit of his writings although the style in which it is presented and collected here is not exactly conducive to that effort. Feel free to search for my blog for a detailed analysis and a summary of core similarities and differences in our premises and conclusions.
Money pumping: the axiomatic approach


I work on prediction markets, so I see it all as bets, and am used to thinking that both participants in a purely financial trade can gain from it, even though many people on the outside of the deal see it as zero sum. Sometimes you increase your variance because you think it's worth increasing your expected return, other times you reduce your variation.

Money pumping: the axiomatic approach

Maybe uncertainty makes you nervous, [...]. Then either I'm weakly money pumping you [...], or I'm objectively granting you the removal of your worry as a service. Most people at the time feel that I'm granting them a service, but afterwards they feel I money pumped them. Especially if I repeat it.

Does this mean we should start treating certain types of money pumping as payment for a service rather than something rational agents always avoid?

The name of the service is "insurance". This is a business in which customers repeatedly make bets that they wish they hadn't made in retrospect, but it still makes sense to make the bet ex ante.

1bgrah44912yPlease forgive the nitpicking but as an actuary, I do try to make this point whenever I feel it's helpful to do so: Insurance is not betting. Insurance is removing variation and chance from your life, not introducing variation and chance to your life. A bet introduces risk where there was none before. Insurance removes risk when it already exists. End of nitpicking.
1Stuart_Armstrong12yActually, for most insurances, it makes no sense to do the bet at any point. Aggregating [] the risk over your lifetime, you're better off not paying the insurance (this doesn't apply to insurance for major disasters).
Your Most Valuable Skill

My most valuable skill I can think of is in the context of being a software developer. I've learned to be pretty good at extracting requirements from customers. I often say this is one of the more important skills a software developer can learn. It's important at all levels of the profession, and is really a gateway skill to performing at a high level.

The reason it's important and hard to learn is that most of the time, customers don't know what they want, or they have an idea in their head, but they're wrong about what will satisfy. Extreme Programmin... (read more)

0matt12yI'm a programmer but have worked as a more general engineering/management consultant and attest that this skill is valuable for more than programming. "Extracting requirements" is pretty close to "looking at the problem and figuing out what interventions (tools, systems changes, training, outsourced services, etc) would fix it", which is pretty obviously pretty generally useful.
3CronoDAS12yIndeed. Programming is the art of figuring out what you want so precisely that even a machine can do it.
How to use SMILE to solve Bayes Nets

(Note: The tutorial 2 code is not correct, but the appendix tutorial 2 code is).

Did you submit a correction to the maintainers?

ETA: Here, too:

Note: The smilehelp document claims that to use the XML format, you need a separate library, but this is no longer correct.

0Johnicholas12yNow I have.
Reason as memetic immune disorder

voted up for backing away from the details of the metaphor rather than trying to justify them. Not always an easy choice.

Decision theory: Why we need to reduce “could”, “would”, “should”

I think some concreteness might be useful here. When I write code (no pretense at AI here), I often write algorithms that take different actions depending on the circumstances. I can't recall a time when I collected possible steps, evaluated them, and executed the possibility with the highest utility. Instead I, as the programmer, attempt to divide the world into disjoint possibilities, write an evaluation procedure that will distinguish between them (if-then-else, or using OO I ensure that the right kind of object will be acting at the time), and desig... (read more)

Rationality Quotes - September 2009

It has to be "may your grandchildren live in interesting times", or the caster of the curse is as cursed as the recipient. sheesh!

Timeless Decision Theory and Meta-Circular Decision Theory

I use OmniGraffle for such things on a Mac. Many people seem happy with the drawing packages in their word processor or presentation program, though. The advantage of an object based editing program is that you can keep arrows connected as you drag things around.

Timeless Decision Theory and Meta-Circular Decision Theory

Eli, you are doing an amazing good job of putting Pearl's calculus into a verbal form, but I can't help feeling that this would be clearer if you had a few graphs. Do you have tools that would let you draw the causal diagrams? Why not use them? Is it that the move from Pearl's causal calculus to TDT is hard to express in the graph notation? I still think, in that case, that the causal surgery part of the argument would be clearer in Pearl's notation.

2Eliezer Yudkowsky12yNo. Do you have recommendations?
How inevitable was modern human civilization - data

There were wheels in the western hemisphere before the arrival of the europeans, but they were only used for toys. No one seemed to guess that they might be useful. But if they'd had more time....

ETA: perhaps I should cite Diamond here in case anyone wonders where this factoid comes from. It's from "Guns, Germs, and Steel".

2randallsquared12yIn particular, Diamond (I believe, though it's been a while since I read GG&S) argues that wheels have far less obvious utility for vehicles if you don't have pack animals, and therefore don't think in terms of animal-powered transport apart from carrying.
Ingredients of Timeless Decision Theory

okay, you're right they're in there, but Pearl uses those in the proofs, not the explanations, as I recall. I don't think you have to understand the proofs to get the idea.

If you find math oppressive, let me know if you try Pearl and find it too daunting. If that happens, I'll change the way I describe the book, I promise.

Ingredients of Timeless Decision Theory

Some kinds of majoritarianism, certainly. The confusion is based on mistaking correlation of votes with commonality of interests. "If we can all agree to vote for proposition X, then it must be in our favor, right?"

Ingredients of Timeless Decision Theory

CTDT vs. ETDT. Hmm, that's a tough one. First, CTDT allows "screening off" of causes, which makes a big difference.

I liked EY's formulation above: "TDT doesn't cooperate or defect depending directly on your decision, but cooperates or defects depending on how your decision depends on its decision." It's hard to collect evidence, I think, but reasoning about a causal graph gives you the ability to find out how latent decisions affect other outcomes.

So in this case, expected utility based reasoning leaves you in a posiiton where you... (read more)

1Eliezer Yudkowsky12y= Drescher's street crossing example, don't know if Drescher got it from somewhere else.
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