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Recent Comments

> There is no value to a superconcept that crosses that boundary.

This doesn't seem to me to argue in favour of using wording that's associated with the (potentially illegitimate) superconcept to refer to one part of it. Also, the post you were responding to (conf)used both concepts of utility, so ...(read more)

I'm hesitant to get into a terminology argument when we're in substantive agreement. Nonetheless, I personally find your rhetorical approach here a little confusing. (Perhaps I am alone in that.)

Yes, it's annoying when people use the word 'fruit' to refer to both apples and oranges, and as a resul...(read more)

While I'm in broad agreement with you here, I'd nitpick on a few things.

>Different utility functions are not commensurable.

Agree that decision-theoretic or VNM utility functions are not commensurable - they're merely mathematical representations of different individuals' preference orderings. B...(read more)

Are you familiar with the debate between John Harsanyi and Amartya Sen on essentially this topic (which we've discussed ad nauseam [before](http://lesswrong.com/lw/91/average_utilitarianism_must_be_correct/))? In response to an argument of Harsanyi's that purported to use the VNM axioms to justify u...(read more)

It wouldn't necessarily reflect badly on her: if someone has to die to take down Azkaban,* and Harry needs to survive to achieve other important goals, then Hermione taking it down seems like a non-foolish solution to me.

*This is hinted at as being at least a strong possibility.

Although I agree it's odd, it does in fact seem that there is gender information transferred / inferred from grammatical gender.

From Lera Boroditsky's [Edge piece](http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/boroditsky09/boroditsky09_index.html)

>Does treating chairs as masculine and beds as feminine in the ...(read more)

My understanding of the relevant research* is that it's a fairly consistent finding that masculine generics (a) do cause people to imagine men rather than women, and (b) that this can have negative effects ranging from impaired recall, comprehension, and self-esteem in women, to reducing female job ...(read more)

Isn't the main difference just that they have a bigger sample. (e.g. "4x" in the hardcore group).

Isn't the claim in 6 (that there is a planning-optimal choice, but no action-optimal choice) inconsistent with 4 (a choice that is planning optimal is also action optimal)?

> Laying down rules for what counts as evidence that a body is considering alternatives, is mess[y]

Agreed. But I don't think that means that it's not possible to do so, or that there aren't clear cases on either side of the line. My previous formulation probably wasn't as clear as it should have b...(read more)