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But I don't think "utility function" in the context of this post has to mean, a numerical utility explicitly computed in the code.

It could just be, the agent behaves as-if its utilities are given by a particular numerical function, regardless of whether this is written down anywhere.

In humans, goal drift may work as a hedging mechanism.

One possible explanation for the plasticity of human goals is that the goals that change aren't really *final* goals.

So *me-now* faces the question,

> Should I assign any value to final goals that I don't have now, but that *me-future* will have because of goal drift?

If goals are interpreted...(read more)

I am not that confident in the convergence properties of *self-preservation* as instrumental goal.

It seems that at least some goals should be pursued *ballistically* -- i.e., by setting an appropriate course in motion so that it doesn't need active guidance.

For example, living organisms vary w...(read more)

Hard to see why you can't make a version of this same argument, at an additional remove, in the time travel case. For example, if you are a "determinist" and / or "n-dimensionalist" about the "meta-time" concept in Eliezer's story, the future people who are lopped off the timeline still exist in the...(read more)

Any inference about "what sort of thingies can be real" seems to me premature. If we are talking about causality and space-time locality, it seems to me that the more parsimonious inference regards *what sort of thingies a conscious experience can be embedded in*, or *what sort of thingies a conscio...(read more)

Which of these is a major stressor on romantic relationships?

>(Wikipedia's article on tax incidence claims that employees pay almost all of payroll taxes, but cites a single paper that claims a 70% labor / 30% owner split for corporate income tax burden in the US, and I have no idea how or whether that translates to payroll tax burden or whether the paper's c...(read more)

>The USA is not the best place to earn money.2 My own experience suggests that at least Japan, New Zealand, and Australia can all be better. This may be shocking, but *young professionals with advanced degrees can earn more discretionary income as a receptionist or a bartender* in the Australian out...(read more)

Note that a lot of the financial benefit described here comes from living somewhere remote -- in particular the housing and food costs. That's the reason for the strenuous warning not to live in "Sidney, Melbourne or any major Australian city." From a larger perspective, it partly accounts for choos...(read more)