shminux

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Can we get people to shut up on public transportation?

Would an ordinance do it? Or is the famous German law-abiding nature a myth?

Pain is not the unit of Effort

"If sex is pain in the butt, you are doing it wrong!" was a semi-humorous reminder from one of my former coworkers in situations like you describe.

Inner Alignment in Salt-Starved Rats

Well, you are clearly an expert here. And indeed bridging from the neurons to algorithms has been an open problem since forever. What I meant is, assuming you needed to code, say, an NPC in a game, you would code an "urge" certain way, probably in just a few dozen lines of code. Plus the underlying language, plus the compiler, plus the OS, plus the hardware, which is basically gates upon gates upon gates, all alike. There is no reinforcement learning there at all, and yet rows of nearly identical gates become an algorithm. Maybe some parts of the brain work like that, as well?

Inner Alignment in Salt-Starved Rats

a comparatively elaborate world-modeling infrastructure is already in place, having been hardcoded by the genome

is an obvious model, given that most of the brain is NOT necortex, but much more ancient structures. Somewhere inside there is an input to the nervous system, SALT_CONTENT_IN_BLOOD which gets translated into less graded and more binary "salt taste GOOD" or "salt taste BAD", and the "Need SALT" on/off urge. When the rat tastes the salt water from the tap for the first time, what gets recorded is not (just) "tastes good"  or "tastes bad" but "tastes SALTY", which is post-processed into a behavior based on whether the salty taste is good or bad. Together with the urge to seek salt when low, and the memory of the salty taste from before, this would explain the rats' behavior pretty well.

You don't need a fancy neural net and reinforcement learning here, the logic seems quite basic.

Notes on Honor

To me honor/conscience is an evolutionary adaptation to cooperate in iterated prisoner's dilemmas, plus whatever side effects/lost purposes that ended up piling up on top of that. Just like love is an outgrowth of evolutionary adaptation that improved the odds of genetic material propagation through strategies like (serial) monogamy. Of course, we wax poetic about both, forgetting that they are but a fluke of evolution.

What is the right phrase for "theoretical evidence"?

What you are describing is models, not observations. If you confuse the two, you end up with silly statements like "MWI is obviously correct".

The Born Rule is Time-Symmetric

I find the title extremely misleading. Projecting always loses information about the full state, so in that sense there no time symmetry, as the arrow of time is irreversible. 

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