Svyatoslav Usachev


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... or don't, it's a post, not a cop. I empathise with its message though.

If we look at 17!Austin and 27!Austin as two different people, then I don't see why 27!Austin would have any obligation to do anything for 17!Austin if 27!Austin doesn't want to do it.

But that's not true! Even if I don't feel obliged to 100% comply with what other people want, I certainly am affected by their desires and want to compromise. Yes, maybe it's not quite an "obligation", but I rarely experience those towards whoever anyway.

But how is it different from real life?

Apologies, I realise I might've misunderstood your comment. Do you actually mean that you shouldn't worry about being a BB because it is sort of inconsequential, not that you are sure you are not one because you've got the "next observer-moment"?

I agree with the former, but was arguing against the latter.

I wish it could work, but it doesn't. You only experience the single moment (which includes memories of the past and expectations of the future), and at this present moment you can't tell from your observations whether you are located in a proper casually-affected body, or in a BB. What's more, assuming you're a real human, your consciousness actually is not continuous, as you imply, but has intermittent gaps from 10s to 100s of ms (can't find a good citation), which you don't notice in the same way as you don't notice FWIW, you could be losing consciousness every other quantum of time, and still not notice it (and you probably do, we just can't measure it).

You obviously shouldn't care, but because it doesn't make sense to care, not due to observation.

PS Maybe you'd want to read by Greg Egan -- he takes the idea of simulation and discontinuity of consciousness to a lovely extreme.

I really appreciate you showing the problems with Type 1 arguments, but what I don't understand is how Type 2 arguments can seem convincing to you.

Type 2 arguments fully rely on priors, which is what you are supposed to have before any observations, in this case, before anything that happened to you in this life. The first problem is that these true priors are unchangeable, because they already existed on the first second of your life. But more importantly, I feel that arguing what the priors should be is the complete misuse of the concept. The whole point of Bayesian reasoning is that it eventually converges, regardless of the priors, and without observations you cannot possibly prefer one prior to another. If I "change my priors" after reading this post, these are not true priors anymore -- it is me updating on the evidence/observation. And so we are back to Type I.

It is as if, recognizing that you can't argue for something from observation, you are trying to find the support from outside of observation, but it doesn't really work in this case. What would you base the argument on, if everything, including your thoughts and intuitions, is either based on observation or isn't based on anything at all?

What does? On the surface it seems that plants don't have sexual selection as they don't seem to be able to affect the choice of their "partner", so they don't have the advantage of proper sexual species. But maybe I don't know enough about plants.

Because it is probably hard to isolate the applications for each behaviour from each other. "Compete with A and mate with B as much as you can" is much easier to encode than "Compete with everyone, but then maybe at some point switch to mating with however you are fighting (but be careful that they don't take advantage of it)". You get the prisoner's dilemma at the very minimum.

PS If you think about it, even in humans, who do have sexual differentiation and are capable of very complex behaviour, those behaviours are not perfectly isolated, and external aggressiveness often leaks into the family. For me it is almost out of the question that such careful delineation could exist among primitive hermaphrodites.

But in your scenario the offspring has only one "successful" parent. The best outcome for hermaphrodites would be for the "winners" to mate with each other, but then it might be unstable to switch between mating and competing behaviour between the same two creatures.

I'm surprised that the major role of sexual selection seems to be overlooked. Sexual species can speed up evolution by magnitudes of order, because the selection can happen culturally, "in the minds" (only a metaphor!). In theory, any adaptive change can happen in a single generation at once, provided that the selective behaviour is able to change unanimously. Hermaphrodites wouldn't work that well, because there is no clear distinction between the group that you are competing with and the group you are competing for, which would probably make any behavioral strategy unstable.

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