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Conceptual engineering: the revolution in philosophy you've never heard of

I didn't think your comments were very relevant to the paper as I can see little about politics in it.

Yet in actuality, this is an extremely dangerous goal. If you set out to use your power and ability to force everyone to agree with you, then it seems far more likely that you’ll end up with a dictatorship where people hide their true beliefs out of fear, than a situation where everyone is truly convinced.

And what power or force is that? Actually autocratic leaders have weapons, a monopoly on physical force. Chalmers is using words. "Weaponised terminology" is still terminology, not weapons -- despite the misleading impression the (engineered) term creates.

"....homonymous engineering can also be extremely difficult to implement, unless one is very powerful or very lucky, or in a small community..."

So Chalmers doesn't see himself as a dictator who can impose his will. And why should be? Other people can use the same "weapons" to oppose him. He doesn't have a monopoly on power.

Chalmers, or whoever else wants to re engineer a concept has to win out in the marketplace of ideas , and that's the exact opposite of authoritarianism.

Chalmers is able to decide for us what definitions are better than the ones we are already using, the only real problem is that he can’t make us use his definitions.

Everyone thinks their stuff is best, and tries to push it. That's what youve been doing.

A whirlwind tour of Ethereum finance

I remember Peter Thiel saying that buying Google stock is about betting against innovations in search.

They're big enough to buy out innovators a la microsoft.

Conceptual engineering: the revolution in philosophy you've never heard of

Do you think Foucault would disapprove of gay marriage? I can see him disapproving of marriage....

He recognizes that “words have power” and argues that words should be redefined to use that power to “make for a more just world"

And there's still a problem if they do?

Loaded language is used when something is decided by direct popular vote, as gay marriage was in Ireland, and when it is decided by the courts, and when it is decided by the government...because loaded language is ubiquitous. Putting the "marriage" in scare quotes loads the question one way, so leaving them off loads it the other the way. There is no neutral option.

Before you condemn something as egregious, in the sense of "bad", you have to ensure its egregious in the sense of "unusual".

You're trying to persuade me, with language... that's loaded ... and I'm trying to persuade you ... with language... that's loaded.

You used the phrase "weaponised language" , which is an example of itself.

I'm still mystified by the Born rule

SI doesn’t put all its mass on the single machine that predicts the universe, it allocates mass to all machines that have not yet erred in proportion to their simplicity,

If your SI can't make predictions ITFP, that's rather beside the point. "Not erring" only has a straightforward implementation if you are expecting the predictions to be deterministic. How could an SI compare a deterministic theory to a probablistic one?

I'm still mystified by the Born rule

To be clear, the process that I’m talking about for turning a quantum state into a hypothesis is not intended to be a physical process (such as a measurement), it’s intended to be a Turing machine (that produces output suitable for use by Solomonoff induction).

Then you run into the basic problem of using SI to investigate MW: SI's are supposed to output a series of definite observations. They are inherently "single world"

If the program running the SWE outputs information about all worlds on a single output tape, they are going to have to be concatenated or interleaved somehow. Which means that to make use of the information, you have to identify the subset if bits relating to your world. That's extra complexity which isn't accounted for because it's being done by hand, as it were.

In particular, if you just model the wave function, the only results you will get represent every possible outcome. In order to match observation , you will have to keep discarding unobserved outcomes and renormalising as you do in every interpretation. It's just that that extra stage is performed manually, not by the programme.

To get an output that matches one observers measurements, you would need to simulate collapse somehow. You could simulate collapse with a PRNG, but it won’t give you the right random numbers.

Or you would need to keep feeding your observations back in so that the simulator can perform projection and renormalisation itself. That would work, but that's a departure from how SI's are supposed to work.

Meta: trying to mechanise epistemology doesn't solve much , because mechanisms still have assumptions built into them.

I'm still mystified by the Born rule

I agree that there’s a difference between “put a delta-spike on the single classical state you sampled” and “zero out amplitude on all states not consistent with the observation you got from your sample”. I disagree that using the latter to generate a sensory stream from a quantum state yields reasonable predictions—eg, taken literally I think you’re still zeroing out all but a measure-zero subset of the position basis

You have been assuming that all measurements are in the position basis, which is wrong. In particular, spin is its own basis.

If you make a sharp measurement in one basis, you have uncertainty or lack of information about the others. That does not mean the "momentum is randomised" in some catastrophic sense. The original position measurement was not deterministic, for one thing.

It is true that delta functions can be badly behaved. It's also true that they can be used in practice ... if you are careful. They are not an argument against discarding-and-renormalising , because if you don't do that at all, you get much wronger results than the results you get by rounding off small values to zero, ie. using a delta to represent a sharp gaussian.

taken literally I think you’re still zeroing out all but a measure-zero subset of the position basis taken literally I think you’re still zeroing out all but a measure-zero subset of the position basis

That might be the case if you were making an infinitely sharp measurement of an observable with a real valued spectrum, but there are no infinitely sharp measurements, and not every observable is real-valued.

I'm still mystified by the Born rule

The only reason that sort of discarding works is because of decoherence

Maybe, but decoherence doesn't imply MW.

I'm still mystified by the Born rule

To state the obvious, a sensory stream generated by just re-sampling predicts that you’re constantly teleporting through the multiverse, and a sensory stream generated by putting a delta spike on the last state you sampled and then evolving that forward for a tick will… not yield good predictions (roughly, it will randomize all momenta).

You need to separate treating (1) something literally as a delta function, (2) treating something you have observed as having probability 1.0 for the purpose of further probability calculation.

If you are measuring something discrete like spin-up versus spin-down, it is completely standard to set the unobserved state to 0, effectively discarding it. The discarding (projection) is just as necessary a part of the procedure as the absolute-squaring (Born's rule per se).

It's not that no-one knows how to predict a series of observations with correct probabilities using QM, it is that the time-honoured method looks like Copenhagen.

Are the Born probabilities really that mysterious?
Answer by TAGMar 02, 20213

In Eliezer’s Quantum Mechanics sequence, he presents the Born probabilities as still being mysterious in our understanding. In particular, the fact that it’s the only non-linear phenomenon in quantum mechanics is considered quite strange

The non-linear phenomenon is wave function collapse, considered as an objective phenomenon.

Multiple Worlds, One Universal Wave Function

Yeah… to paraphrase Deutsch, that just sounds like multiple worlds in a state of chronic denial

Motl's point was the opposite..that MWI is Copenhagen in denial because you keep having to get out your eraser and discard what you did not observe. (Which is relevant to the claim that MWI is simple: in terms of the minimal amount of calculation you need to do to get results, it is not simpler).

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