Marco Discendenti

Two types of mathematician

There are two similar clusters/tensions in arts:

- visual art: on one hand you have to design the "big picture", with all its equilibia, balances and tensions, on the other hand you have to design the local and fine details, wich is something less imaginative and more formal and technical, with strict rules (for anatomy, shadows,...)
- creative writing: your story need to have emotional tensions on the scale of the general plot, but need also to be realistic and credible on the scale of more detailed single events and interactions, wich must respect some stricter constrains
- music composition: you need to design a general theme and mood and then you have to articulate the detailed development of the melodies and rithms which need to observe stricter rules in order to work appropriately

Expected utility and repeated choices

Thank you for your insights! You say: " Yes! You do have to think about the amount of games you play if your utility function is not linear"

Let's consider the case of rational agents acting in a temporal framework where they are faced with daily decisions. If they need to consider all their future possible choices in order to decide for a single present choice then it seems they are always completely unable to make any single decision (the computation to be made seems almost never ending) and this principle of expected utility maximization would turn out to be useless. How do we make rational decisions then?

It's not enitrely clear what does t mean to create a number of "me": my consciuousness is only one and cannot be more than one and I only can feel sensations from one sigle body. If the idea is just to generate a certain number of physical copies of my body and embed my present consciousness into one of them at random then the problem is at least clear and determined from a mathematical point of view: it seems to be a simple probability problem about conditional probability. You are asking what is the probability that an event happened in the past given the condition of some a priori possible consequence, it can be easily solved by Bayes' formula and the probability is about one over 1 billion.