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Eliezer_Yudkowsky comments on Recommended reading for new rationalists - Less Wrong

27 Post author: XFrequentist 09 July 2009 07:47PM

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Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 15 May 2011 08:33:18PM 7 points [-]

"And it concerns me that neither the evidentialist camp nor the causalist camp seem to see a need to rebut or comment on Drescher's ideas."

Doesn't concern me in even the tiniest, most infinitesimal amount. Remind me to post on the rationalist virtue of zs'hanh at some point.

Difference between PD and one-shot Newcomb: Agree the incentives are different; agree that the logical structure of the problem is potentially more complicated because of that; suggest that the decision to expend cognitive resources searching for a way to defect could be treated as a defection or a probabilistic defection itself.

Drescher on subjunctives - I agree, this strikes me more as Drescher trying to make partial progress toward a solution than presenting something well-defined in a logical sense. I'm not sure Drescher would disagree with that.

I've spoken to Drescher at length and I think he's trying to derive way too much "ought" from TDT, to the point of thinking TDT yields morality itself.

That said, "Good and Real" is still the reductionist book for now.

Comment author: Wei_Dai 16 May 2011 02:04:01AM 3 points [-]

Doesn't concern me in even the tiniest, most infinitesimal amount. Remind me to post on the rationalist virtue of zs'hanh at some point.

According to the provided link, zs'hanh means "contemptuous indifference to the activity of others". I'm not sure how that's supposed to apply here, since the entire subject of discussion is the activity of others (namely, Gary Drescher's writings).

If what you mean is that I should have tried to evaluate his ideas on the object level instead of depending on the opinion of others, I did say that I was unable to make sense of his subjunctive relation. Given that, it doesn't seem wrong to check if anyone else could make sense of it and be concerned that no one apparently could.

Drescher on subjunctives - I agree, this strikes me more as Drescher trying to make partial progress toward a solution than presenting something well-defined in a logical sense. I'm not sure Drescher would disagree with that.

He has told me that he now regards the decision theory approach in "Good and Real" (as well as the newer "meta-circular" approach) as inadequate and has recently been "rebooting" his thinking in order to try to find the right approach from a fresh perspective. (He seems to think that UDT is more promising but may not be the right approach either.)

Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 16 May 2011 02:27:36AM 0 points [-]

According to the provided link, zs'hanh means "contemptuous indifference to the activity of others". I'm not sure how that's supposed to apply here, since the entire subject of discussion is the activity of others (namely, Gary Drescher's writings).

Not those others.

Comment author: Wei_Dai 17 May 2011 09:53:35AM 7 points [-]

You'll have to write that post and explain what heuristics you use to decide who to pay attention to. I think I'm actually relatively good at this (for example I've been following your career ever since "Staring into the Singularity" :) but I wasn't particularly impressed with Drescher until I met him in person.