Seems like you want me to acknowledge that various people, including on LW, have been doing pretty sophisticated stuff with game theory lately?


What do you mean by "even the most basic games [...] don't tend to be turn based"?


And I guess also in real-life situations the menu of options is typically really large instead of small? I don't actually know if that's central.

As much as I would like to already have a clean objection, it's probably more fruitful at this point for me to generally poke around and try to articulate whatever in the general space I have some traction on.


Related to what I said here (https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/G2SQzLnoBnmYhPygE/divia-s-shortform?commentId=wSce6sGx9LLqQGAQ4), I also have a general beef with game theory typically being a misleading abstraction (outside of the context of certain formal games (when they are played by economists??)). I think the most common objection I've heard to game theory as a paradigm is that it's much more common for "games" to be iterated than one-off, but I think maybe my bigger complaint is that it's quite rare for stuff to be anywhere near as turn-based as the paradigm implies.

That said, I don't have this sort of objection to decision theory as a paradigm--I basically just like it--and it at least superficially it shares the turn-taking abstraction that I'm objecting to, so I'll keep trying to clarify what's up for me.


Yeah, in some basic sense I totally agree with you, and also I still get the sense that the vectors of coordination and alignment are fundamental missing the point (again, in a way that leadership and culture aren't really).


cached-ish thoughts fleshing out further my allergy to the stag hunt framing

  • something about how ime irl it's a yellow flag when I'm confident about wanting a particular social outcome before I have it??? this doesn't seem quite right, and I think I have a more true longer version but not a more true short version
  • there's something about the whole "coordination problem" frame that I react to as though there's an error already baked in, and I notably don't have this reaction to people talking about there being a failure of leadership, and moooostly don't have it when people talk about "cultural problems'

Oh, and I think I do have disagreements (or something?) with the longer form stuff people have written about stag hunts/cooperation, but they are some combination of "less of a disagreement" and "harder to pinpoint", which interests me as a phenomenon in and of itself.


Also seems me worth saying that insofar as I think something like this would improve lw conversations, I don't think there's anything stopping me from "just" unilaterally doing more of it. Maybe I would do that if I commented on lw? So far I have barely ever commented, so I wouldn't say I have an excellent predictive model of that. I seem to do it at least some when I write on social media in general.


re: the empathy thing, part of my context is that I've read a lot of communication books over the years, and it seems fair to me to say that the single most common/most important recommendation for improving discussions that are difficult is to spend more time reflecting what people have already said in various ways. And, afaict, when I've done this more, I've gotten dramatically better outcomes by my values. Still (despite having been over various versions of this is my head a bajillion times) I notice I'm confused about something in this space. (I also think this point has a lot to do with why I mostly haven't liked written conversations... not in a very articulate way though.)


I have talked to Ray about my objection about the stag hunt framing multiple times, and iirc I haven't had this conversation with Duncan. Often talking to people about what I think is enough that I mostly let go of it and stop thinking about it, but so far it's still on my mind.

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