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It seems to me that one needs to place a large amount of trust in one's future self to implement such a strategy. It also requires that you be able to predict your future self's utility function. If you have a difficult time predicting what you will want and how you will feel, it becomes difficult...(read more)

I know that feeling, but I don't know how conscious it is. Basically when then outcome *matters* in a real immediate way and is heavily dependent on my actions, I get calm and go into 'I must do what needs to be done' mode. When my car lost traction in the rain and spun on the highway, I probably ...(read more)

Ok- folding a fitted sheet is really fucking hard! I don't think that deserves to be on that list, since it really makes no difference whatsoever in life whether or not you properly fold a fitted sheet, or just kinda bundle it up and stuff it away. Not being able to deposit a check, mail a letter,...(read more)

That's kind of my point-- it *is* a utility calculation, not some mystical er-problem. TDT-type problems occur all the time in real life, but they tend not to involve 'perfect' predictors, but rather other flawed agents. The decision to cooperate or not cooperate is thus dependent on the calculate...(read more)

"I think this is different from the traditional Newcomb's problem in that by the time you know there's a problem, it's certainly too late to change anything. With Newcomb's you can pre-commit to one-boxing if you've heard about the problem beforehand."

Agreed. It would be like opening the first bo...(read more)

Ok, so as I understand timeless decision theory, one wants to honor precommitments that one *would* have made *if* the outcome actually depended on the answer regardless of whether or not the outcome actually depends on the answer or not. The reason for this seems to be that behaving as a timeless ...(read more)

This is a truly excellent post. You bring the problem that we are dealing with into a completely graspable inferential distance and set up a mental model that essentially asks us to think like an AI and *succeeds*. I haven't read anything that has made me feel the urgency of the problem as much as...(read more)

This is true. We were (and are) in the same social group, so I didn't need to go out of my way for repeated interaction. Had I met him once and he failed to pick up my sigs, then NO, we would NOT be together now... This reminds me of a conversation I had with Silas, in which he asked me, "How man...(read more)

Self help usually fails because people are terrible at identifying what their actual problems are. Even when they are told! (Ahh, sweet, sweet denial.) As a regular member of the (increasingly successful) OB-NYC meetup, I have witnessed a great deal of 'rationalist therapy,' and frequently we end...(read more)