Imagine someone really really hyper and shortsighted is answering the question:

Why is your product better than mix-panel?

OH MY GOD it has BUNNIES on THE FRONT PAGE.

... or tone it down a bit...

Because I can like, put totally awesome stuff like BUNNIES on my version of the app!

... and then maybe take that statement and generalize it a little bit...

Because users can customize their version of the app.

411y

With my professional hat on, I would look askance at that last version and ask
"Why is that feature a benefit? What users are we talking about, and what
customizations will they be able to do, and how do those customizations make the
app better for those users?"

It seems natural to evaluate existential quantifiers using model-checking and any universally quantified statement can be transformed into an existentially quantified statement by applying double-negation and moving the inner negation through the quantifier.

Example:

forall x. p(x)

not (not (forall x. p(x)))

not (exists x. (not p(x)))

But I can't think of how to apply this to Yudkowsky's example so it's probably useless for teaching :P

1[anonymous]11y

Here's one way that this could be transformed into an exercise: Have the
instructor read a proof (or a fake proof) from, say, formal logic or set theory,
and ask the students to follow along step-by-step using a simple example (a la
Richard Feynman). Then, at the end of the proof, the students have to explain
whether the proof is or is not valid using their example. E.g.:
Instructor: forall x. p(x)
"Ok, let's see, 'all ice cream cones are delicious'."
Instructor: not (not (forall x. p(x)))
"It's not true that 'not all ice cream cones are delicious'."
Instructor: not (exists x. (not p(x)))
"Therefore, 'there is never going to be an ice cream cone that is not
delicious'. Valid!"

Exercise: Add as many qualifiers as you can that do not make your statement irrelevant or false.

For example:

My startup is better than MixPanel

My startup is better than MixPanel at making revenue on day zero

My startup is better than MixPanel at making revenue on day zero when the economy is down

Well, never mind, that didn't work.

Awesome users, like maybe they have this awesome hat with a huge brim or they are a ninja or something.

Add bunnies to the front page or make it so you can learn to be a pirate by using the app or order cookies to your doorstep!

Because it would be totally awesome to learn how to be a pirate and bunnies are cute and cookies are delicious and WHAT IF YOU COULD HAVE ALL OF THEM AT THE SAME TIME????