Vladimir_Nesov

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Common knowledge facts about Leverage Research 1.0

you're the one with the new account made only to defend Leverage

The social pressure against defending Leverage is in the air, so anonymity shouldn't be held against someone who does that, it's already bad enough that there is a reason for anonymity.

Common knowledge facts about Leverage Research 1.0

The content of comment guidelines is not a reason to follow them.

Common knowledge facts about Leverage Research 1.0

If you hover over the karma counter, you can see that the comment is sitting at -2 with 12 votes, which means that there is a significant disagreement on how to judge it, not agreement that it should go away.

(It makes some sense to oppose somewhat useful things that aren't as useful as they should be, or as safe as they should be, I think that is the reason for this reaction. And then there is the harmful urge to punish people who don't punish others, or might even dare suggest talking to them.)

"Rational Agents Win"

This variant is known as Transparent Newcomb's Problem (cousin_it alluded to this in his comment). It illustrates different things, such as the need to reason so that the counterfactuals show the outcomes you want them to show because of your counterfactual behavior (or as I like to look at this, taking the possibility of being in a counterfactual seriously), and also the need to notice that Omega can be wrong in certain counterfactuals despite the stipulation of Omega always being right holding strong, with there being a question of which counterfactuals it should still be right in. Perhaps it's not useful for illustrating some things the original variant is good at illustrating, but that doesn't make it uninteresting in its own right.

Beware Superficial Plausibility

The harm should make it more valuable/appealing to argue about a claim, lending value of information to it, but shouldn't make it easier for arguments to hold. The fallacy of appeal to consequences facilitates arguing against a claim because of the harm it does, so appealing to ease of argument because or the harm is appealing to use of appeal to consequences.

(You are certainly not doing any of that, I'm just curious about the reasons behind my own reaction to that statement, where it perplexingly was viscerally painful to read.)

Beware Superficial Plausibility

easy target [...] They’re not just wrong: they’re harming people.

This emphasis feels painful, like implied endorsement of an error: harm of a claim should only make it easier to argue against it via appeal to consequences.

The Trolley Problem

Looking to accurate answers as the purpose of such questions is bad methodology, that's not how you make them useful. Thought experiments, just like scientific experiments, should aid with isolating a particular consideration from other confusing things, should strive to make use only of well-understood principles to look into what's going on with one consideration under study, not settle a complex balance of everything potentially relevant.

Common knowledge facts about Leverage Research 1.0

abundance of specific reasons to take up various activities [...] "are people going to keep working on this"?

With some transitivity of preference and a world that's not perpetually chaotically unsettled, people or organizations should be able to find something to work on for which they have no clearly better alternatives. My point is that this is good and worth doing well even when there is no reason to see what they are currently doing as clearly better than the other things they might've been doing instead. And if not enough people work on something, it won't get done, which is OK if there is no reason to prefer it to other things people are actually working on (assuming that neglectedness is not forgotten as a reason to prefer something).

Common knowledge facts about Leverage Research 1.0

When a civilization gets curious, each individual only gets to work on a few observations, and most of these observations are not going to be foreknowably more important than others, or useful in isolation from others that are not even anticipated at the time, yet the whole activity is worthwhile. So absence of a reason to pursue a particular activity compared to other activities is no reason for not taking it seriously. It's only presence of a reason to take up a different activity that warrants change.

Common knowledge facts about Leverage Research 1.0

my main point is just that this is a stance many people take [...] putting effort into accommodating this stance, rather than unraveling it

Formulating what might be going on gives something specific to talk about. But then what's the point to settling on an emotional valence? Discussing the error seems interesting, regardless of what attitude that props up. The patch I proposed actually preserves the positive qualities, isn't a demonstration of their absence.

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