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Years ago, before coming up with even crazier ideas, Wei Dai invented a concept that I named [UDASSA]( One way to think of the idea is that the universe actually consists of an infinite number of Universal Turing Machines running all possible programs. Some of the...(read more)

You make a lot of interesting points, but how do you apply them to the question at hand: what should you have for dinner, and why?

This is a fascinating topic, and I hope it attracts more commentary. As Bentarm says, it is important and relevant to each of us, yet the topic is fraught with uncertainty, and it is expensive to try to reduce the uncertainty.

I do not believe Taubes. No one book can outweigh the millions of pages ...(read more)

Here is a remarkable variation on that puzzle. A tiny change makes it work out completely differently.

Same setup as before, two private dice rolls. This time the question is, what is the probability that the sum is either 7 or 8? Again they will simultaneously exchange probability estimates until ...(read more)

I thought of a simple example that illustrates the point. Suppose two people each roll a die privately. Then they are asked, what is the probability that the sum of the dice is 9?

Now if one sees a 1 or 2, he knows the probability is zero. But let's suppose both see 3-6. Then there is exactly one v...(read more)

Let me give an argument in favor of #4, doing what the others do, in the thermometer problem. Now we seem to have them behaving badly. I think in practice many people would in fact look at other thermometers too in making their guesses. So why aren't they doing it? Two possibilities: they're stupid;...(read more)

Actually if Omega literally materialized out of thin air before me, I would be amazed and consider him a very powerful and perhaps supernatural entity, so would probably pay him just to stay on his good side. Depending on how literally we take the "Omega appears" part of this thought experiment, it ...(read more)

When I signed up for cryonics, I opted for whole body preservation, largely because of this concern. But I would imagine that even without the body, you could re-learn how to move and coordinate your actions, although it might take some time. And possibly a SAI could figure out what your body must h...(read more)

Like others, I see some ambiguity here. Let me assume that the substrate includes not just the neurons, but the glial and other support cells and structures; and that there needs to be blood or equivalent to supply fuel, energy and other stuff. Then the question is whether this brain as a physical e...(read more)

Another sample problem domain is crossword puzzles:

Don't stop at the first good answer - You can't write in the first word that seems to fit, you need to see if it is going to let you build the other words.

Explore multiple approaches simultaneously - Same idea, you often can think of a few diffe...(read more)