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This <i>is</i> fascinating. JW plays C in the last round, even though AA just played D in the next-to-last round. What explains that? Maybe JW's belief in his own heroic story is strong enough to make him sacrifice his self-interest?

<i>Theoretically, of course, utility functions are invariant up t...(read more)

<p>Robin, what is your favorite piece of academic philosophy that argues about values?</p>

<p>Nicholas, our own universe may have an infinite volume, and it's only the speed of light that limits the size of the observable universe. Given that infinite universes are not considered implausible, and s...(read more)

Nicholas, suppose Eliezer's fictional universe contains a total of 2^(10^20) star systems, and each starline connects two randomly selected star systems. With a 20 hour doubling speed, the Superhappies, starting with one ship, can explore 2^(t*365*24/20) random star systems after t years. Let's say ...(read more)

<i>But the tech in the story massively favors the defense, to the point that a defender who is already prepared to fracture his starline network if attacked is almost impossible to conquer (you’d need to advance faster than the defender can send warnings of your attack while maintaining perfect cont...(read more)

So, what about the fact that all of humanity now knows about the supernova weapon? How is it going to survive the next few months?

<p>In case it wasn't clear, the premise of my ending is that the Ship's Confessor really was a violent thief and drug dealer from the 21th century, but his "rescue" was only partially successful. He became more rational, but only pretended to accept what became the dominant human morality of this fu...(read more)

<p>The Ship's Confessor uses the distraction to anesthetizes everyone <i>except the pilot</i>. He needs the pilot to take command of the starship and to pilot it. The ship stays to observe which star the Superhappy ship came from, then takes off for the nearest Babyeater world. They let the Babyeate...(read more)

<p>Eliezer, I see from this example that the Axiom of Independence is related to the notion of dynamic consistency. But, the logical implication goes only one way. That is, the Axiom of Independence implies dynamic consistency, but not vice versa. If we were to replace the Axiom of Independence with...(read more)

To expand on my categorization of values a bit more, it seems clear to me that at least some human value do not deserved to be forever etched into the utility function of a singleton. Those caused by idiosyncratic environmental characteristics like taste for salt and sugar, for example. To me, these...(read more)

Tim and Tyrrell, do you know the axiomatic derivation of expected utility theory? If you haven't read http://cepa.newschool.edu/het/essays/uncert/vnmaxioms.htm or something equivalent, please read it first.

Yes, if you change the spaces of states and choices, maybe you can encode every possible age...(read more)