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Wow, thank you this is a really well made point. I see now how accounting for future lives seems like double counting their desires with our own desires to have their desires fulfilled.

You already put a lot of effort into a response so don't feel obliged to respond but some things in my mind that I need to work out about this:

Can't this argument do a bit too much "I'm not factoring in the utility of X (future peoples happiness) but I am instead factoring in my desires to make X a reality" in a way that you could apply it to any utility function parameter. For instance, "my utility calculation doesn't factor in actually (preventing malaria), but I am instead factoring in my desires to (prevent malaria)." Maybe while the sentiment is true, it seems like it can apply to everything.

Another unrelated thought I am working with. If the goal is to have grandpa on his deathbed happy thinking that the future will be okay, wouldn't this goal be satisfied by lying to grandpa? In other words if we have an all powerful aligned AGI and tell it give it the utility function you outlined, where we maximize our desires to have the future happy. Wouldn't it just find a way to make us think the future would be okay by doing things we think would work? As opposed to actually assigning utility to future people actually being happy, which the AGI would then actually improve the future.

You helped me see the issues with assigning any utility to future people. You changed my opinion that that isn't great. I guess I am struggling to accept your alternative as I think it may have a lot of the same issues if not a few more.

Glad you posted this.

I think everyone agrees we should take into account future people to some degree, we just disagree on how far out and to what degree.

I choose to believe that the whole ".0001% chance of saving all future lives is still more valuable than saving current lives" is a starting point to convince people to care, but isn't intended to be the complete final message. Like telling kids atoms have electrons going in circles, its a lie but a useful start.

Maybe I'm wrong and people actually believe that though. I believe that argument is usually a starting point that SHOULD get more nuanced such as, but we arent certain about the future and we need to discount for our uncertainty.

I interpreted this post as anti-longtermism but I think most real longtermists would agree with most of your points here except for one. I think your argument could be pro-longtermism if you accepted the ".0001% chance of saving all future lives is still more valuable than saving current lives" as a good starting point rather than arguing against it.

All to say I agree with almost all your points but I still call myself a long termist.

Thank you. I'm going to work on the edits. Also thank you for the link, I am going to read up on IFS before finals edits to see if I can see this with new eyes.

Thank you for this. I had been defining apology as - expressing remorse for ones actions.

Your three part apology is different, you don't have to express remorse for your actions. I like your definition better and I think if I reframe my definition of apology to what you have here, it completely fits within this framework and I can add it as an essential step.

Thank you so much for the read, the feedback and sharing your experience!

I think I see what you are saying here. If I may try to use a fake example: My wife takes out the trash bins every week, and I never thank her or even acknowledge this is something she does. Therefore she feels unrecognized and upset. Through her expressing these feelings to me, me deeply acknowledging her feelings, validating her feelings, and acknowledging all the hard work she does around the house; that might be the action needed to solve the issue.

So my rule, don't bring up something that can't be resolved by action would make the above discussion and healing impossible.

I agree with you.

Your comment also made me realize that by making rules I kind of missed the "connection" part that is so important in the book.

I will think about how to correct this but I am thinking about the following changes:

  1. I will remove the rule you brought up. I was coming at it from a, "it's unfair to bring up something with the expectation of an apology", but I think I can deal with that case by also...

  2. Adding a section in "winning the game" that discusses validating feelings and creating a connection.

  3. I might need to rethink my apology section too, I see how an apology WITH an acknowledgement may actually solve a problem.

Do you think I understood you correctly?

Thanks for the comment! This was my first post on lesswrong so I have been nervous. Thank you so much for the read and feedback!

  1. This is almost entirely theoretical. I can't pretend these are tried and true. I have been doing something like this for 6 months with awesome success but I don't have a lot of conflict.

  2. I see your point and agree. Maybe I was being dramatic. Maybe I should change "loss of friendship" to something like, "unresolved relationship tension"?

  3. Is this IFS you are talking about? I just heard it for the first time last week and then a couple more times this week. I really need to learn what it is. Considering I didn't know about IFS when I wrote this, any parallel or usages would be entirely accidental.

  4. I too am uncomfortable with the power Hurt has. These rules are a bit unfair because I didn't write these rules to be the "best way to resolve conflict" I wrote them to be the "best way to resolve conflict while not getting taken advantage of".

So I think you are right, sometimes a person can have misguided emotional responses and the BEST thing to do would be to try to discuss those emotions and have them see how they could avoid the inappropriate response in the future. The problem with this is that talking someone out of their emotions or trying to change their emotional response is exactly how bad actors manipulate and abuse others. So under the constraints I set up, this can't be allowed.

What if I added a part in the conclusion that states this is not the ideal rules for conflict resolution if you are willing to accept the risk of being manipulated. These are only the rules if you want to completely avoid the possibility of being manipulated, and are willing to accept the tradeoffs? Do you think that would square the vibes?

This post is great.

I think using a ratio between 5%ci and the 95%ci to determine if something is normal, might be incorrect for any highly variable dataset. What if we used the absolute difference from the ci to the mean.

log normal distribution should have a longer right tail, so this should work. So if the abs(95ci - mean) is a lot larger than the abs(5%ci - mean) then you could take an initial guess it is lognormal. If the ratio is around 1, you might have normal data.

Like you said, this is still just a quick and imperfect check.

Love this post. I am going to use the comments to air out some thoughts I have. But I am not disagreeing with you on anything to be clear. I am more trying to collaborate by presenting my similar world view.

I fully agree with you that independence levels seem to be trending towards less independent.

When deciding for my kid, I try to use the heuristic: " what choice would I make if I had unlimited time and resources?" That choice is usually the best, but it is always unreasonable. The beauty of this heuristic is it then forces me to admit to myself that I am compromising, or at least weighing my needs against my children's. Now taking care of yourself is taking care of the family and a net gain for everyone involved. It's not selfish to say you are making this calculation. But, I think ignoring the calculation is a bit dishonest.

I remember your sleep training post. I honestly feel like if I had unlimited time and resources, I would hold my baby every day until they are old enough to have a discussion and make sure they understand that I am one room away if they need anything. Spoiler alert, I still ended up sleep training my baby at 1yo because I we could not juggle work/sleep/health with a baby that just couldn't sleep without us. I did my research and I think there are benefits to sleep training, but to me it feels weird to say I am doing it for the kid when I just so happen to also get a huge quality of life improvement. I find it more true to say, in a perfect world I would stay up with my baby as they sleep on me... But I don't live in a perfect world and I need to sleep/work/function to take care of the family soooo, sleep training it is! It sounds cold, but I feel like it's more honest than "I am doing my child a favor by sleep training them".

With the independence levels. I feel like my unlimited time and resources answer would be to allow my children to feel independent while also never letting them leave my sight. Anything less than that does seem like a compromise. The best decision for me and my family may be to let my kids play at the playground by themselves while I do dishes in my house a block away, but that is a compromise from watching them from the car nearby. I think it can be the right decision, but I think it should be framed as me making a compromise/tradeoff calculation instead of "I am giving my child the gift of independence".

I don't want to belittle the importance of fostering independence, or promoting self soothing (I'm regards to sleep training). But I think they are often used to fully justify a decision when in reality they are a small variable in the balancing act between what is a perfect decision and what is a actually feasible.

If you accept my premise that "the importance of fostering independence" is something people say when they really mean "we are making a decision based off what is best for our kid and what we can feasibly provide them" then you may accept my next statements. The next portion is also the opinion I most weakly hold, it just ties the thought together ...

A more connected world means a more judgemental world where everyone is comparing themselves to others. Kids and their self image aren't the only thing effected by the internet, parents are too. Some parents can hire a house cleaner, work only 20 hours a week, hire a nanny during the day, so that if they want to stay up all night with their baby they can. In the same way teenage girls compare them to the Instagram influencers, parents compare themselves to the incredibly fortunate families who never has to worry about sleep training. Everyone is pushed to these unattainable standards where parents are shamed for having their kids walk a half mile to school. This section is starting to sound a bit "kids these days", so I will end it but you get my point, it's the internets fault.

We get so much pressure to do the unlimited time and resources thing even though we do not have unlimited time and resources. We are forced to either say, "welp I don't have those resources, but I'm doing the best that I can!" OR we say "actually what I'm doing is healthy" (i.e. I'm fostering independence, I'm giving my baby the gift of self-soothing). In my opinion the former is closer to the truth.

We are all just trying our best to maximize our children's happiness.

Jeff, thanks for your post. I want to make it clear that I'm not disagreeing or accusing you of anything here. I am more going off on a tangent. I described "independence" as a variable in everyone's equation and what you are pointing out here is that everyone weighs that variable differently. Therefore I see your post as a great example that even with the same equation different families arrive at different correct answers based off how they weight their variables. I love all your child-based posts recently and you inspired me to think about this deeply enough to write this really really long comment.

Huge fan of solonoid entity and his work on SSC. I think this is a treat choice, I'm very excited.