All of Svyatoslav Usachev's Comments + Replies

... 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.

No in both cases. Here I am thinking about my self as objected which has some thickness in 4-th dimensions, like Ebborians in EY post. I am simultaneously located in all places there my copies are located. It is opposite to the view that "I am randomly selected from all my copies" as there is no selection part. I am all my copies. In that case, loosing some of the copies is not a big deal. If I am selected from my copies, and turns out that I am BB, it means that I will disappear in the next moment – it means that I will dies next moment and it is unpleasant idea. Therefore, being inconsequential is bad.

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 (read more)

I read it of course. What i said is related to a single observer-moment.

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... (read more)

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.

Hmm, I guess I don't really see why that'd be unstable?

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.

1Yair Halberstadt10mo
Then why does it work well for plants?
Why can't hermaphrodites just compete on a single axis, with the winners of that competition being the ones who get to impregnate others? (Perhaps the benefits of winning that competition are so large that some will specialise in winning rather than child-bearing, and thereby become males. But not if the competitive criteria are strongly correlated with hermaphrodism - e.g. the single axis being "how healthy your existing offspring are" or similar.)
Isn't sexual differentiation older and more widespread than sexual selection?

Well, the reason usually is "I fear it will make me look bad in the eyes of others".  What next?

In this case, sharing it with people who don't know her and will likely never encounter her will do minimal harm, so you might suggest that as an exception to the secret keeping.

Your friend's case seems to be very clear cut, and the root issue is not some vague manipulation or secrecy, but the actual abuse that, I assume, continued through their interaction.

While Aella's post is very vivid in describing the horror of abuse, I don't necessarily see it in your post. You don't seem to be in a vulnerable/dependent position with respect to Carla and Dave, they don't humiliate you, don't make you doubt your own experience, don't seem to discard your feelings, and so on.

That's why if you said to me "I reserve the right to do X, if I find that you are manipulating me", I wouldn't be sure what you mean. (Even on the objective, God's eye, level, let's forget the question of how we make sure that it has indeed happened for a second).

I wonder if the qualifier (if you are X) is even needed. Whether the dilemma is created by someone manipulating things or just conflicting values (e.g., confidentiality/one's word and discovered wrong correctable by disclosure) who wants to be on the horns. Why not simply take the stance that I will always reserve judgment on what confidences I will protect and when you telling me something means you are deferring to my judgement, not binding me to your position?

I don't get a clear idea of what you mean by "manipulation" from your post, and I would be uncomfortable using this word as self-evident. "Making someone do something without their informed consent" seems like a reasonable attempt at a definition to me.

A concrete example: I had a friend of a friend in an abusive relationship. They eventually got out of it, but later resumed contact with their abuser, who explicitly asked them for secrecy about the contact out of concern for their privacy. This prevented the victim's friends from intervening, to the victim's detriment. [Obviously this is a pretty personal story. The victim has blessed the general case of sharing information like this, and I don't care about the abuser]
Describing "the thing I mean by manipulation" correctly is unfortunately really tricky, specifically because manipulators use a bunch of tricks to make it hard to pin down. (This can be done intentionally or unintentionally) I think Aella's recent post on Frame Control [] attempts to give one explanation, but I have some disagreements with the exact ontology there. (i.e. I think 'frame control' makes most sense to be a somewhat general term for controlling frames in any fashion, whether harmful or not, whether a big deal or not. Frame control is one of the primary tools that go into manipulation, but not the only one) I think there is a third category worth subtly distinguishing from frame control and manipulation, which is "a particular kind of psychological damage, which is often related to frame control / manipulation". I do acknowledge that there's a bunch more writing/clarification around manipulation-and-related-topics before I feel like I really understand it or that I'd advocate other people use the concept if they didn't already have a strong sense that it was useful. But I know enough people who've experience some flavor of manipulation that I think we can roughly point at the cluster while talking about related concepts.

So the main issue, it seems, is that respecting confidentiality of some shared information may actually require a lot of effort, if it comes into conflict with the drive to behave morally. And manipulation in such cases then is bestowing this burden on a person without their informed consent, right?

That's one version of the problem. One related problems is that consent is tricky – Dave explicitly asked for consent, but if I had been older/wiser I'd have been more hesitant to say "yes", or given them the "I reserve right to carefully share the information if I feel like Dave is manipulating me" schpiel. I just hadn't realized some of consequences to consenting. (You could call this "getting informed consent" is difficult, but that still feels slightly off.)

Well, think about it, one-in-five is an extremely high probability! We only need 5 people to try what the OP tried, for one of them to be this successful and to write this post, and we won't hear about most of those who failed.

Yes, similarity to Pascal's wager and other religious thought is not a coincidence at all. Our existence is marked by the ultimately irreconcilable conflict: on the one hand, if you view people as ML systems, being alive is both the fundamental goal of our decision-making and the precondition for all of our world-modeling; on the other hand, we are faced with the fact that all people die.

Even if we recognize our mortality rationally, our whole subconscious is built/trained around the ever-existing subjectivity. That's why we are so often intuiting that the... (read more)

What if you grab nothing from the stage but do grab the audience?

I think, if you truly grab nothing from the stage, then the audience is impersonal. My "experiencer" is exactly the same as your "experiencer", the only difference is that mine is experiencing "me", i.e., my thoughts, memories, emotions, etc.

Does it not make sense if you have a memory disease like alzheimers or concussion and somebody points as a picture and says "that is you" and you have no recollection of that, would they be wrong about it? Does it really flip on whether you feel a sense o

... (read more)

Even before I "experience anything" when the "tabula rasa" condition is in effect the word "I" refers. Even among empty shells that have no personality or that have identical personalities "I" picks out a unique instance.

I don't think that's how psychology works. The word "I" is a concept learned with language, not something essential on its own.

To make the view extreme if you spent your life in car one could claim that "you can't leave the car" because human outside of car and an empty car is a world differently structured than human living in a car. Sure

... (read more)
In programming you have keywords like this and self which refer to the instance of the class. Being able to verbalise or conceptulise selfhood might require conceptual machinery. But that introspective ostension doesn't require you to know anything about what kind of thing you are. What if I am undecided whether the car part is an essential part of the "me-system"? I would get that if a "claw" and grabs empty air form the car and then has "liberated" you from the car that nothing has happened. But what if there is clearly something in the claw? For example somebody could object if their skull is left in the car but their brain is brought along. Or maybe their connectome is extracted but their brain is left behind. What if you grab nothing from the stage but do grab the audience? Does it not make sense if you have a memory disease like alzheimers or concussion and somebody points as a picture and says "that is you" and you have no recollection of that, would they be wrong about it? Does it really flip on whether you feel a sense of connection to your old self? Or before the disease strikes would you be wrong to worry about that person-to-be as your own welfare? Does it mean that because there is total oblivion inbetween that it doesn't happen to you?

I think, I am not getting my point across very well. The crux here is this: what is "you" but the footprint of your experience? That would include your memories, intuitions, reactions, associations, and patterns of thinking. I argue there is nothing else. If you remove that, then how "me" entering the simulation is different from "you" entering the simulation? The truly original face is devoid of any self-ness.

Fine the thing that you are pointing at does emcompass a lot. But to me it seems more of a identity or personality "Me the entity that has these and these properties". Even before I "experience anything" when the "tabula rasa" condition is in effect the word "I" refers. Even amongs empty shells that have no personality or that have identical personalities "I" picks out a unique instance. To have that first footprint there must be something for it to press on. (Section of evangelion movies rattles in my brain) To make the view extreme if you spent your life in car one could claim that "you can't leave the car" because human outside of car and an empty car is a world differently structured than human living in a car. Sure identifying with a radically transformed self might be difficult but most people think they are their future selfs (that is it is not somebody else that wakes up in their bed). I do remember there are parts in Mr Robot that refer to this kind of stuff.

Let's imagine that you've spent your whole life from birth inside an MMORPG. Who is then "you", separate from the MMORPG world, who could leave it? All your dreams, hopes, desires, thoughts, intuitions, personality, and all of your sense of "self" is formed by your experience within the MMORPG. What does that leave to the "original" you? Just the structure of the neural network with which you've been born? That doesn't sound like anything essential to me. Certainly it is not something I can even be consciously aware of, how could I call it "me"? OP says "t... (read more)

Even if I didn't believe I had a brain sitting in front of a computer doesn't mean don't have one. That I don't experience my brain doesn't make me not be it. MMORPG are usually infiinte games but one could imagine what would happen to the psychology that has only grown up in the MMOPRG if faced with a "game over" screen and the game would not continue. One could imagine being in a movie theather and after the film is over being confused and experiencing novelty about simply walking around a building. And I would guess that being so immersed in a film so deeply that you don't at that time remember walking into the theather ever happened. You might identify with the point of view charater of the film ("the protagonist"). The instruction to remember your original face would be "no that I, that shoots the aliens, but the me that walked into a theather". The face is "original" because it was around before the starting credits started to roll. The koan could be interpreted that silicon servers and biobrains are what exists and the whatever equivalent of Middle Earth the game takes in is illusionary and has always been. It is by virtue of sharing a material plane that the wetware and the hardware unite. Your primary role has always been the player, no matter what game or avatar you slip into. The avatar is you but it is also fictious. Your point is more that the choice of a "protagonist" is weak and doesn't make that much sense. If you pay attention to the side characters you might identify with them and it can be "their" story. Or maybe you watch it as not identifying as anybody, "the story happens". Its all thoughts in the viewers head so they share an ontological type, there is no data type difference between "people" and "cities" on that level ("Rob was wild" and "King's Landing was wild" are made from the same wood). But then there is the party that is totally unmoved even if the movie ends in a nuclear armageddon (or Fourth Impact). Even if all the character decr

The whole idea of a simulation you could "leave" is incoherent. It supposes that there is some part of you, which is separate from the physical/simulated world, e.g., a soul. I think there is nothing to me but the world I am experiencing, so there is no one who could leave.

Logging off from a MMORPG certainly makes sense. The crux is whether the apprarent laws are enough to replicate parties in full. Suppose youre playing an MMORPG but forget that you are doing so. Most of the world is perfectly understanble by the game coordinate system or scripts and such. But then there are player characters which scripts seem very advanced and nobody has been able to understand them in full. Off course in the outer reality brains are as mundane machine as everything but compared to the computations going on only on the server it might appear as supernatural or using nature different than the "usual" reality. If you were to identify with your character instead of the human you could be wrong about destruction of the avatar destroying you. Off-course the concepts neccesary can seem like irrelevant meta-physics.

A thousand times this! I haven't seen anyone pointing out what's wrong with this ritual more clearly. Exactly, we turn the celebration of individual courage into a celebration of unity/conformity, what an irony.

As a comparison, the human brain is estimated to have hundreds of trillions of synapses connecting its 100 billion neurons. In terms of numbers, Google's algorithms may soon match the human brain.

It reminds me how people first compared the amount of memory the computers had, and then their performance, as measured in FLOPS,  to those of the human brain.  And my intuition tells me that it is similarly misleading.

If we are talking about any sort of "optimality", we can't expect even individual humans to have these "optimal" values, much less so en masse. Of course it is futile to dream that our deus ex machina will impose those fantastic values on the world if 99% of us de facto disagree with them.

Both definitions have their issues.

"able to act on its desires unimpededly" has 2 problems. First, it is clearly describing the "agent's" (also not a well-defined category, but let's leave it at that) experience, e.g. desires, not something objective from an outside view. Second, "unimpededly" is also intrinsically vague. Is my desire to fly impeded? Is an addict's desire to quit? (If the answer is "no" to both, what would even count as impediment?) But, I guess, it is fine if we agree that "compatibilist free will" is just a feature of subjective experien... (read more)

All definitions have issues. We can decide issues of compatibilist free will, up to a point, because it's the same thing as acting under your own volition in the legal sense. That would depend on the nature of choice. If the ability to make choices isn't common , then widespread indeterminism would not lead to widespread undetermined choices.

You'd have to draw the line somewhere so it would have any meaning at all. What's the point in the concept if anything can be interpreted as such. What do you mean when you say "free choice" or "choice"?

I define freedom in he libertarian sense, freedom in the compatibilist sense, and so on, separately, rather than trying to find a single true definition. An agent with desires could be said to lack or have compatibilist free will inasmuch as it is able to act on its desires unimpededly. That could include an AI. An agent with the ability to make undetermined choices could because to have libertarian free will. That could include an AI, too. So I dont see the probelm with a "complicated contrivance" having free will.

I don't think it can be meaningfully defined. How could you define free choice so that a human would have it, but a complicated mechanical contraption of stones wouldn't?

Why would you want to?

I don't think computers have any more free will [free choice] than stones. Do you?

How are you defining free will?

Not necessarily. Non-determinism (that future is not completely defined by the past) doesn't have anything to do with choice. A stone doesn't make choices even if future is intrinsically unpredictable. The question here is why would anyone think that humans are qualitatively different from stones.

Is a computer qualitatively different from a stone? Computers can make choices, in some sense.

Not necessarily. Determinism doesn't have anything to do with choice. The stone doesn't make choices regardless of determinism. The question here is why would anyone think that humans are qualitatively different from stones.

Yes! It's interesting how the concepts of agency and choice seem so natural and ingrained for us, humans, that we are often tempted to think that they describe reality deeper than they really do. We seem to see agents, preferences, goals, and utilities everywhere, but what if these concepts are not particularly relevant for the actual mechanism of decision-making even from the first-person view?

What if much of the feeling of choice and agency is actually a social adaptation, a storytelling and explanatory device that allows us to communicate and cooperate ... (read more)

1[comment deleted]1y

My anecdotal experience of being a creature shows that I am very happy when I don't feel like an agent, coherent or not. The need for being an [efficient] agent only arises in the context of an adverse situation, e.g. related to survival, but agency and coherence are costly, in so many aspects. I am truly blessed when I am indifferent enough not to care about my agency or coherence.

It seems that homunculus concept is unnecessary here. You can easily talk about the experience itself, e.g. "seeing", or you can still use "I see" as a language construct while realising that you are only referring to the happening phenomenon of "seeing".

There is a difference between knowing something and experiencing it in a particular way, and the former may only very slightly nudge the latter if at all.

I can know a chair is red, but if I close my eyes, I don't see it.

I can know a chair is red, but if I put on coloured glasses, I will not see it as red.

I... (read more)

What you are describing is data (A/B, 1/2) such that parts of the data are independent from the secret X/Y, but the whole data is not independent from the secret. That's an issue that is sort of unusual for any statistical approach, because it should be clear that only the whole leaked data should be considered.

The problem with Pearson correlation criterion is that it does not measure independence at all (even for parts of the data), but measures correlation which is just a single statistic of the two variables. It's as if you compared two distributions by... (read more)

An important point (somewhat overlooked in the comments) is that it is not necessary to sell the humane eggs at the same price as factory eggs for this to work. You can start issuing certificates straight away, not changing anything in the distribution process!

It is even better, because it will provide incentive for competition between humane eggs producers. And also, having humane eggs still labeled as "humane", it will help them to drive factory eggs out of the market, by allowing them to have a lower profit margin. In a sense, it is similar to tax reliefs for an industry we want to stimulate, just organized in a perfectly libertarian way.

No, that's not what's wrong with Pearson's approach. Your example suffers from a different issue.

Can you give an example to explain? It's the best example I could give based on the description in the OP.