All of JonathanMoregard's Comments + Replies

But even if so, we (along with many other non-human animals) seem to enjoy and receive significant fulfillment from many activities that are extremely unlikely to lead to external rewards (e.g. play, reading etc).

I see play serving some vital functions:

  1. exploring new existential modes. Trying out new ways of being without having to take a leap of faith.
  2. connecting with people, and building trust. I include things like flirting, banter, and make-believe here.

As for reading, I think of it as a version of exploring.

Note that there are certain behaviours... (read more)

Thanks for the reply Jonathan. Indeed I'm also a bit skeptical that our innate drives (whether the ones from SDT theory or others) are really non-utility maximizing. But in some cases they do appear so. One possibility is that they were driven to evolve for utility maximization but have now broken off completely and serve some difficult-to-understand purpose. I think there are similar theories of how consciousness developed - i.e. that it evolved as a by-effect/side-effect of some inter-organism communication - and now plays many other roles.

I really enjoyed your "successor agent" framing of virtue ethics! There are some parts of the section that could use clarification:

Virtue ethics is the view that our actions should be motivated by the virtues and habits of character that promote the good life

This sentence doesn't make sense to me. Do you mean something like "Virtue ethics is the view that our actions should be motivated by the virtues and habits of character they promote" or "Virtue ethics is the view that our actions should reinforce virtues and habits of character that promote the go... (read more)

Sorry for confusion I tried to paraphrase what classical virtue ethicist believe, in my view. For clarity, this is how I interpret it in a computationalist way: virtue ethics focuses on the properties of decision procedures leading to actions, and takes them as the central object of theory. "Action is good so far as it was produced by a good(=virtuous) computational procedure + reinforces the good computations". Where the focus is on the computations. The philosophy encyclopedia states .... virtue ethicists will resist the attempt to define virtues in terms of some other concept that is taken to be more fundamental. Rather, virtues and vices will be foundational for virtue ethical theories and other normative notions will be grounded in them. Again, it's me trying to paraphrase what I believe classical virtue ethicists believe. My interpretation of the claim is this: in the previously described computationalist paraphrase, you may be left wondering how do you decide about which properties of the computations make them good. Where you have an easy option to ground it in outcomes, consequentialist style. But as I understand it, the classical claim is you try to motivate it purely "intrinsically": your goal is to design the best possible successor agent ... and that it. You evaluate the properties of the computations using that. All other forms of "good", such as good outcomes, will follow. My personal take is this leaves virtue ethics partially under-defined. Yes.

Didn't expect this reply, thanks for taking your time. I do mention Beeminder briefly at one point, and yes, a lot of the post is about how beeminder-esque motivational strategies tend to backfire.

To start with: I have friends that thrive on coercive motivational strategies. I'm pretty sure my claims aren't universally applicable. However, coercive approaches seems to be a strong cultural norm, and a lot of people use coercive strategies in unskillful ways (leading to procrastination etc). These people might find a lot of value in trying out non-coercive m... (read more)

I've fixed the spelling, thanks for the correction

Something in me doesn't like putting love <-> disgust as antonyms.

love to me can be abstracted to prioritizing the utility of others without regard for your own. (at least the agape kind of love). I'd put the antonym as exploitation.

disgust to me is about seeing something as lower/unclean. To me the antonym for disgust is reverence.

I think this is a bit too diffuse to actually have correct answers. but I like playing with concepts (programmer), so thanks for the game.

Regarding time inconsistency of rewards, where subjects displayed a "today-bias", might this be explained by shards formed in relation to "payout-day" (getting pocket money or salary)? For many people, agency and well-being vary over the month, peaking on the day of their monthly payout. It makes sense to me that these variations create a shard that values getting paid TODAY rather than tomorrow.

For the 365 vs 366 example, I would assume that the selection is handled more rationally, optimizing for the expected return.

Tasker is great in general, I've integrated it with my todo list using todoists REST API, which works great.

As for sourcing triggers:

The only general way I can think of is a personal assistant (or some kind of service that provides the same kind of human assistance).

Otherwise maybe figure out a couple of domain-specific trigger-sourcing methods. If this allows you to do websites, you've covered most online things.

For covering non-online things, maybe you can find an API, use some kind of oracle service or similar.

Do you have an example for thing you struggle with?

This sounds useful, thanks. However, I was thinking more in something that reminds of all the tasks that are dependent on B. Actually this app is a good way to have the trigger (as long as it is something changing a website), but it misses the part or reminding the tasks. UPDATE: The app has an expansion pack [] that seems to get (at least very close) to the issue at hand. It contains a "Plug-in to integrate with Tasker, Automate and Automagic". I have actually never used these apps, but for what I've read about them I would be surprised if they would not be able to add events in a calendar or entries in a to-do list. Still, I would like to know how people deal with these kinds of situations in general, as this only works when a website changes.

Does anyone know about an addon to filter facebook notifications? I want to know about comments, but not reactions/likes

That's native to Facebook now, actually. I don't remember where, but if you dig around in the settings you can turn off notifications for reactions/likes.