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A possible solution to pascals mugging.

I understand that a lot of issues are solved, like the existence of god and so on, but I for one still haven't gotten an appropriate explanation as to why my claim, which seems perfectly valid to me, is incorrect. That proposal is going to further hinder this kind of discussion and debate.

And as far as I can tell, I'm correct. It's honestly very concerning to me that a bunch of lesswrongers have failed to follow this line of reasoning to its natural conclusion. Maybe I'm just not using the correct community-specific shibboleths, but the only one who's actu... (read more)

0buybuydandavis9yI think you're getting at an important problem, and have taken a step toward the solution. How do we deal with choice in the face of fundamentally arbitrary assertions? One way, at least, is to see if there is another equivalently arbitrary assertion that would lead you to make the opposite choice.
A possible solution to pascals mugging.

In this case my judgement of the probabilities is that we are completely justified in ignoring the threat.

Do you consider my pascals mugging to be less likely then the general examples of the genre, or do you think that all pascals muggings" probabilities are that we are completely justified in ignoring the threat."

0DuncanS9yIt surely depends on one's estimate of the numbers. It seems worthwhile doing something about possible asteroid impacts, for example.
A possible solution to pascals mugging.

One of which is in a temporally advantaged position in which he can do anything you can do and do more in addition to that - a strictly superior position.

Sorry, explain to me how this hypothetical god-being can exceed my threat consistently? Presuming we are both from the same privileged outside-your-time perspective?

0gwern9yOne of which is in a temporally advantaged position in which he can do anything you can do and do more in addition to that - a strictly superior position. Without auxiliary arguments about what sample space we are drawing from, I don't see how you could possibly come to any kind of conclusion about this.
A possible solution to pascals mugging.

Fair enough. Would you mind explaining your intent then?

A possible solution to pascals mugging.

Well done. Roryokane mentioned it up here however.

0Epiphany9yI wonder what Eliezer would DO if he actually got $5 for flimple utility. I kinda want to try sending him five bucks as a psychology experiment.
A possible solution to pascals mugging.

And their claim afterwards? Any threat you can make, they can make. You see why this is a dead end?

That's kind of what I'm trying to point out here. It is a dead end, but I'm actually claiming the below. Sure, someone else can also claim the below as well. We can both make the claims. Now, who do you believe more?

But lets formalize my claim. My claim is that I will make n+1 utilitons happen if n is positive or n-1 utilitons happen is n is negative, as long as you do the opposite of what they tell you to do.

Where n is how many utilitons they offer given any result.

I'm outside of your conception of time. So if they make the threat after this is of no concern to me.

1gwern9yYou can't just wave your hands like that. What if the mugger offers a more complicated deal like a 2-step reward, where the second step overcomes your penalty? Are you just going to say 'fine my precommitment is to the net value'? But then the mugger can just toss in a Turing machine to his offer, and now your attempt to analyze his offer is equivalent to solving a halting problem! If you claim to have an oracle on hand, so can he, and that just relativizes the problem because with an oracle, now there are meta-halting problems... etc. Your strategy doesn't work. Deal with it.
A possible solution to pascals mugging.

Err, yes. Maybe it is. That's what I'm trying to find out...

Are you saying that I should take some action with the knowledge that it might just be a quirk in the system? Like not posting my hypothesis?

-1BerryPick69yNot at all. I was probably being unclear, I apologize.
A possible solution to pascals mugging.

Ahh, makes sense. I actually found many different and interesting solutions to pascals mugging with my search terms though. Just not this "counter" solution.

This thread already shows up pretty close to the top for searches of "pascals mugging solutions" that I've attempted. For that exact phrase it's number 3, and has been before you posted this. I don't know that this particular solution needs to be more closely associated with the search terms then it already is.

1Epiphany9yEliezer presented a counter solution similar to this on Overcoming Bias. search fu Click here for Flimple Utility!!! [http://www.overcomingbias.com/2012/07/life-after-death-for-pascals-wager.html#comment-591147175]
A possible solution to pascals mugging.

If we have two gods, one claiming that if I do X, they'll mug me, and one claiming that if I don't do X they'll mug me, well I'm probably going to believe the god that isn't fuzzy and celery...

-1Epiphany9yWell that's making the wrong choice, buddy. Other Gods are useless against fuzzy celery God because fuzzy celery God can transform itself at will into the Most Believable God. Don't think of fuzzy celery God as a piece of fuzzy celery. Fuzzy celery God is nothing like that. If an old wise man is the most compelling God-form for you, fuzzy celery God looks like an old wise man. If benevolent Gods are more credible to you, fuzzy celery God becomes benevolent. No matter what Pascal's mugging the person wants to accept, fuzzy celery God will always take on the appearance and traits of the most believable God that the person can conceive of.
0gwern9yAnd their claim afterwards? Any threat you can make, they can make. You see why this is a dead end? (And what kind of decision theory requires a third party to make precommitments before you can make the right decision, anyway?)
A possible solution to pascals mugging.

Because I doubt I can remember all of them. Also, I'm not entirely clear on why you have "quotes" around search-fu. It's a pretty accepted term on the internet. Search-fu is the skill one is employing when searching for something.

A more reasonable question seems to me like asking how I arrived at the answer, not asking how I failed to arrive at the answer. I find it odd that you'd go that particular route, and would be very interested if you could expand on why you wanted to see all of my failed attempts, instead of my one successful attempt?

Seei... (read more)

3Epiphany9yBecause all of the other people who want to start threads on solutions to Pascal's muggings will be more likely to find your thread and go "Oh, someone already did this." That will save us from similar "solutions to Pascal's mugging threads" in the future. The worse your search terms failed, the better - that way Pascal's mugging solvers with low search-fu skill (no quotes this time) will be likely to find the existing solutions. P.S. It's better to put them into complete sentences to avoid search engine penalties.
A possible solution to pascals mugging.

I never threatened to harm you. Yes, on average, you're significantly more likely to be in the torture group then where you are now, but anthropic principle and all that.

Integrated Method for Policy Making Using Argument Modelling and Computer Assisted Text Analysis

Not quite in the same class as the listed software. Useful, I've used them, but they get really complicated with more variables. If you look at what they've got, it doesn't exactly seem bayesian. They don't work of probability, but off of absolute truths. Debating each piece of minutia in a sort of tree structure. It could definitely be improved upon.

3gwern9ySo then your solution doesn't work. Any precommitment you make a mugger can just trivially overcome. You're not following the process here. 'Which of you I believe more' is already being compensated for by additional increases in the promised reward.
A possible solution to pascals mugging.

As an omnipotent god entity I pledge to counter any any attempt at pascals muggings, as long as the mugger actually has the power to do what they say.

I’ve just canceled out your pledge.

Yep. You did, or you would have if you could actually carry through on your threats. I maintain that you can't. Now it's a question of which of our claims is more likely to be true. That's kind of the point here. When you're dealing with that small or a probability then the calculation becomes useless and marred by noise.

If I'm correct, and I'm one of the very few entiti... (read more)

A possible solution to pascals mugging.

Apparently my search-fu is weak. Would you care to link, or suggest search terms that would make finding it less arduous?

EDIT: found it, I think, over here. One of the obvious issues is that it's not a credible threat.

So far I haven't seen a counter argument over there that satisfies me. If there is anywhere that they go into it more in depth, please do give it a link here.

0Epiphany9yWhy not put all the search terms you tried during your search-fu session into a comment. That will make this less likely to happen in the future. [http://lesswrong.com/lw/ewv/a_possible_solution_to_pascals_mugging/7met]
2ewang9yWhat do we do when there is a very tiny (2^-x) chance that THIS random thing has incredibly huge (O(3^^^^3)) importance?
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 11

Because harry can carry through on his threats, and it seems the standard mental model for dementors has them being self-serving. A dementor should respond to threats, as far as I can tell.

When I was arguing this I was also taking into account that albus (and the great hall) had seen the dementor be afraid of harry, but it occurs to me that that was in the future.

DIY Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation. Who wants to go first?

Would you mind going over your cerebrolysin injections a bit?

/necrothurging

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[LINK] Learning enhancement using "transcranial direct current stimulation"

That ones actually a bit dangerous. The current regulator is rated to go that low, so it's going to be unreliable. In this instance unreliable means brain lesions.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 14, chapter 82

they locked to his own

legilimency of some sort? or simply dramatic license. I don't remember any example of that particular action being pointed out that wasn't leglimency.

0pedanterrific9yIn canon? In MoR eye-contact has happened a bunch of times since Harry got good enough to detect Legilimency, it's just been the usual dramatic device.
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 11

Yeah, I'm not arguing the point. I just have a weird sense of humour and "Because he's insane" tickles my funny bone.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 11

My running theory is because he's a horcrux, but it's hard to say. Apparently there's one point where this fix departed from cannon, if we can pin point that you'll have your answer.

Alright, fine. An actual non-sarcastic answer. He plays with the trope of being insane. He's entire chaos legion cackles maniacally. He is very certain of strange ideas that are almost the opposite of that his experienced elders believe, about their areas of expertise.

From that point of view it's easy to see why people would think he's crazy. Not to mention the simple fact that he doesn't adhere to social rules like normal people do.

1DanArmak9yThe short answer is that this hasn't stopped Hermione from trusting him and considering him her friend before. And she did look at Harry later (once convicted) begging for help. The only open question is whether there was something significant Minerva mouthed to her that we're not aware of. I consider this very unlikely.
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 11

Bellatrix truly believed she was doomed, that's a strong belief against harrys position. Harry himself didn't fully believe it either. I'd argue that the extent of bellatrixes disbelief was greater then the great halls, although it's hard to say. That coupled with the fact that harry wasn't a true believer leads to a consensus that they're not leaving. Now we have 2 true believer on harrys side and a bunch of people who probably don't have real strong opinions one way or the other.

Also, it's entirely possible that magical ability decides how many "vot... (read more)

0Sheaman37739yWhy does Albus have such a belief? He witnessed Harry kill a dementor, yes, but not control one. That's not to say that he would disbelieve that Harry could do it, but I see no reason for him to have a reason to "very very strongly believe" it.
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 11

That's why it needs to be phrased in such a way as to put them off guard. if they're consensus!dementors then hopefully that seed of doubt combined with McGonigal's and Albus's belief could tip the balance. I admit my own attempt to create doubt (by using "just say yes or no") was a bit amateurish. I'd imagine that dark!harry can do better. Intuitively it seems like all he'd have to do is create doubt in the non-believers and his true believers could carry it.

0Alsadius9yThere's a lot of people in the room - several dozen, certainly. Three or four believers would not be sufficient - Harry's belief wasn't enough to outweigh a single half-dead crazy girl, so a 10:1 or 20:1 against ratio seems guaranteed to be ineffective.
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 11

the risk of revealing what he did in Azkaban (at least to MoR!Dumbledore).

Harry doesn't know of this risk. If we're modelling harry we should discount it.

2lavalamp9yHarry knew another patronus was seeking his own patronus, so I think he should at least know there's a risk that someone might be able to identify him.
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 11

True, but it doesn't have to actually communicate anything to its peers at azkaban. People just need to believe it did. It's obviously threatened in the middle of a court room, then starts flying to azkaban. Most people are going to presume that after something like that the dementors would leave Hermione alone. If they are consensus!dementors, not some-motive!dementors they'll still leave her alone, because people will believe they will leave her alone.

if they're some-motive!dementors, they'll leave her alone because they don't want to die. Either way he wins.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 11

Even if the hypothesis that they don't really think, just behave in a way that people think they will, is true; it's phrased in such a way as to cause doubt in the purple-robes (the use of "just say yes or no" to make them think there's more information then they're getting) and belief in albus. If it just answers "yes" to the first question, it's still plausible within the purple robes belief sets, but hopefully makes harry seem mysterious enough that they believe the next question can also be a yes. Then albus, who's a true believer, pushes the consensus reality over to a yes with his understanding that harry has the power to destroy them.

1Desrtopa9yMy suspicion is that if Harry tried to get all high and commanding on a dementor, he wouldn't get a yes or no, but something like "Wretched child, I will come to know you when your soul fills my gullet." I don't think he has any reason to believe that a dementor would have any inclination to be cooperative with him.
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 11

Dementor, do you know who I am? Just say yes or no.

Do you know what I'm capable of? Once again, yes or no.

Leave Hermione be. Do not approach her or tread upon her thoughts during her time in azkaban. Run along and tell your compatriots at azkaban. Now.

Hopefully albus's belief would be enough to bolster them even if they don't have a mind if their own. If they do have a mind of their own they can be threatened, and have been in the past.

0Desrtopa9yHarry suggested himself that dementors don't really think. It might not be able to give a meaningful response, and even if it can, there's nothing to suggest that they can learn from the experience of other dementors or instinctively recognize Harry as anathema.
DIY Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation. Who wants to go first?

I've got several prototype devices for doing this. I'm having someone else sort through promising abstracts. If anyone has any experiments to try or any other questions let me know. I don't have the facilities to do proper studies of any sort, nor do I have an licensing or legal authority to conduct any studies. But I'll gladly answer things from a guy-in-his-basement perspective.

Epilogue: Atonement (8/8)

I'm not suggesting that any emotion should be attached to the lack of a great truth or true indisputable morals; I'm simply stating the obvious,

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

Harry with the ability to invent potions would be powerful enough to wreck the story.

Harry with time travel would be enough to wreak the story. Harry with an invisibility cloak would be enough to wreak the story, Hell, harry with rationality would be enough to wreak the story.

That is, unless the other obstacles were ramped up to deal with it. Give Harry a time turner and enemies clever enough to know how to check on him. Give harry an invisibility cloak but add spells that can detect the presence of a deathly hallow. Give Harry mastery of potions but make creating them slow or just plain difficult.

0tadrinth9yIf potion invention is slow, Harry must have gotten the light potion from a book, since I don't think there's enough time between battles to do serious potion research safely between classes and homework, even for Harry's 30 hours a day. If he can invent potions that fast, he potentially has a huge number of instant win conditions available (that's what I really meant, that rapid potion invention would be a huge pain in the ass to write around). I think at this point it's clear that Harry probably does know enough to invent potions, but not without probably months or years of experimentation per new recipe. If he didn't know enough to be dangerous he wouldn't have freaked out Flitwick.
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 10

"even stopper death"

What I got from that was snape claiming to be able to temporarily store or stop death. To extend someones life. Not a great interpretation in hindsight, but I was ~ten the last time I heard that line so I'll forgive myself.

Epilogue: Atonement (8/8)

Morals are axioms. They're ultimately arbitrary. Relying on arguments with logic and reason for deciding the axioms of your morals is silly, go with what feels right. Then use logic and reason to best actualize on those beliefs. Try to trace morality too far down and you'll realize it's all ultimately pointless, or at least there's no single truth to the matter.

2wnoise9yMorals are modeled as axioms in certain formulations.
4TheOtherDave9yMorals can be axioms, I suppose, but IME what many of us have as object-level "morals" are instead the sorts of cached results that could in principle be derived from axioms. Often, those morals are inconsistent with one another; in those cases using logic and reason to actualize them leads at best to tradeoffs, more often to self-defeating cycles as I switch from one so-called "axiom" to another, sometimes to utter paralysis as these "axioms" come into conflict. An alternative to that is to analyze my own morality and edit it (insofar as possible) for consistency. You're welcome to treat your moral instincts as ineluctable primitives if you wish, of course, but it's not clear to me that I ought to.
6Incorrect9yWhy care? It all adds up to normalcy. If there is a physical law preventing me from caring about things once I realize they are arbitrary in certain conceptual frameworks please enlighten me on it.
Epilogue: Atonement (8/8)

The had blinders as far as lying goes. Their species was simply incapable of it.