PlatypusNinja

Posts

Sorted by New

Comments

Total Utility is Illusionary

I think the key difference is that delta utilitarianism handles it better when the group's utility function changes. For example, if I create a new person and add it to the group, that changes the group's utility function. Under delta utilitarianism, I explicitly don't count the preferences of the new person when making that decision. Under total utilitarianism, [most people would say that] I do count the preferences of that new person.

Total Utility is Illusionary

I suppose you could say that it's equivalent to "total utilitarianism that only takes into account the utility of already extant people, and only takes into account their current utility function [at the time the decision is made] and not their future utility function".

(Under mere "total utilitarianism that only takes into account the utility of already extant people", the government could wirehead its constituency.)


Yes, this is explicitly inconsistent over time. I actually would argue that the utility function for any group of people will be inconsistent over time (as preferences evolve, new people join, and old people leave) and any decision-making framework needs to be able to handle that inconsistency intelligently. Failure to handle that inconsistency intelligently is what leads to the Repugnant Conclusions.

Total Utility is Illusionary

My intended solution was that, if you check the utility of your constituents from creating more people, you're explicitly not taking the utility of the new people into account. I'll add a few sentences at the end of the article to try to clarify this.

Another thing I can say is that, if you assume that everyone's utility is zero at the decision point, it's not clear why you would see a utility gain from adding more people.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 10

...Followup: Holy crap! I know exactly one person who wants Hermione to be defeated by Draco when Lucius is watching. Could H&C be Dumbledore?

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 10

My theory is that Lucius trumped up these charges against Hermione entirely independent of the midnight duel. He was furious that Hermione defeated Draco in combat, and this is his retaliation.

I doubt that Hermione attended the duel; or, if she did attend it, I doubt that anything bad happened.

My theory does not explain why Draco isn't at breakfast. So maybe my theory is wrong.


I am confused about why H&C wanted Hermione to be defeated by Draco during the big game when Lucius was watching. If you believe H&C is Quirrell (and I do): did Quirrell go to all that trouble just to impress Lucius with how his son was doing? That seems like an awful risk for not much reward.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 10

The new Update Notifications features (http://hpmor.com/notify/) is pretty awesome but I have a feature request. Could we get some sort of privacy policy for that feature?

Like, maybe just a sentence at the bottom saying "we promise to only use your email address to send you HPMOR notifications, and we promise never to share your email address with a third party"?

It's not that I don't trust you guys (and in fact I have already signed up) but I like to check on these things.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread

I think the issue was that Harry was constantly, perpetually, invariably reacting to everything with shock and outrage. It got... tiresome.

But I went back much later and read it again, and there wasn't nearly as much outrage as I remembered.

Good story!

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread

Ouch! I -- I actually really enjoyed Ender's Game. But I have to admit there's a lot of truth in that review.

Now I feel vaguely guilty...

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread

I found this series much harder to enjoy than Eliezer's other works -- for example the Super Happy People story, the Brennan stories, or the Sword of Good story.

I think the issue was that Harry was constantly, perpetually, invariably reacting to everything with shock and outrage. It got... tiresome.

At first, before I knew who the author was, I put this down to simple bad writing. Comments in Chapter 6 suggest that maybe Harry has some severe psychological issues, and that he's deliberately being written as obnoxious and hyperactive in order to meet plot criteria later.

But it's still sort of annoying to read.

I did enjoy the exchange with Draco in Chapter 5, mind.

(I encountered the series several weeks ago, without an attribution for the author. I read through Chapter 6 and stopped. Now that I know it was by Eliezer, I may go back and read a few more chapters.)

This isn't visible, right? I will feel very bad if it turns out I am spamming the community with half-finished drafts of the same article.

Load More