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I read on r/MagicArena that, at least based on public information from Wizards, we don't *know* that "You draw two hands, and it selects the hand with the amount of lands closest to the average for your deck."

What we know is closer to: "You draw two hands, and there is some (unknown, but possibly not absolute) bias towards selecting the hand with the amount of lands closest to the average for your deck."

I take it that, if the bias is less than absolute, the consequences for deck-building are in the same direction but less extreme.

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 widely enough, the answer should be, No. By hypothesis, those goals of me-future make no contribution to the goals of me-now, so they have no value to me. Accordingly, I should try pretty hard to prevent goal drift and / or reduce investment in the well-being of me-future.

Humans seem to answer, Yes, though. They simultaneously allow goal drift, and care about self-preservation, even though the future self may not have goals in common with the present.

This behavior can be rationalized if we assume that it's mostly instrumental goals that drift, with final goals remaining fixed. So maybe humans have the final goal of maximizing their inclusive fitness, and consciously accessible goals are just noisy instruments for this final goal. In that case, it may be rational to embrace goal drift because 1) future instrumental goals will be better suited to implementing the final goal, under changed future circumstances, and 2) allowing goals to change produces multiple independent instruments for the final goal, which may reduce statistical noise.

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 widely in their commitments to self-preservations. One measure of this variety is the variety of lifespans and lifecycles. Organisms generally share the goal of reproducing, and they pursue this goal by a range of means, some of which require active guidance (like teaching your children) and some of which don't (like releasing thousands of eggs into the ocean).

If goals are allowed to range very widely, it's hard to believe that all final goals will counsel the adoption of the same CIVs as subgoals. The space of all final goals seems very large. I'm not even very sure what a goal is. But it seems at least plausible that this choice of CIVs is contaminated by our own (parochial) goals, and given the full range of weird possible goals these convergences only form small attractors.

A different convergence argument might start from competition among goals. A superintelligence might not "take off" unless it starts with sufficiently ambitious goals. Call a goal ambitious if its CIVs include coming to control significant resources. In that case, even if only a relatively small region in goal-space has the CIV of controlling significant resources, intelligences with those goals will quickly be overrepresented. Cf. this intriguing BBS paper I haven't read yet.

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 meta-timeless eternity of the "meta-timeline," just as in your comment the dead still exist in the eternity of the past.

In the (seemingly degenerate) hypothetical where you go back in time and change the future, I'm not sure why we should prefer to say that we "destroy" the "old" future, rather than simply that we disconnect it from our local universe. That might be a horrible thing to do, but then again it might not be. There's lots of at-least-conceivable stuff that is disconnected from our local universe.

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 conscious experience can be of.

The suggested inference seems to privilege minds too much, as if to say that only the states of affairs that allow a particular class of computation can possibly be real. (This view may reduce to empiricism, which people like, but stated this way I think it's pretty hard to support! What's so special about conscious experience?)

EDIT: Hmm, here is a rather similar comment. Hard to process this whole discussion.

EDIT EDIT: maybe even this comment is about the same issue, although its argument is being applied to a slightly different inference than the one suggested in the main article.

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 conclusions are generally accepted.)

There's no consensus on the incidence of the corporate income tax in the fully general case. It's split among too many parties.

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 outback than as, say, a software engineer in the USA.

As a side question, when did a receptionist or bartender become a "professional"? Is "professional" just used as a class marker, standing for something like "person with a non-vocational 4-year college degree"?

Or is the idea that one is a professional because one is in some sense a software engineer (e.g.), even while employed as a receptionist or bartender?

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