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Steve_Rayhawk comments on Cached Selves - Less Wrong

174 Post author: AnnaSalamon 22 March 2009 07:34PM

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Comment author: Steve_Rayhawk 23 March 2009 09:29:23AM *  24 points [-]

We left out one strategy because we didn't have scientific support for it. But introspectively:

3. Change or weaken your brain’s notion of “consistent”. Your brain has to be using prediction and classification methods in order to generate “consistent” behavior, and these can be hacked.

  • 3f. Your brain remembers which "simple" predictor best described your decision, so change the pool of predictors for describing your decisions that your brain counts as "simple".
    • 3fi. Learn to judge yourself, not by the best inference or decision you could have made in hindsight, but by the best inference or decision you could realistically have made at the time. This way, poorly-informed or impaired past decisions are evidence of your past poor information or impairment, and are not evidence that it is hopeless to try to make a better decision now that you have better information or are less impaired. To help your brain count this standard of judgment as "simple", you may wish to make a habit of judging everyone this way.
    • 3fii. Your brain learns to predict other peoples' judgments by learning which systems of predictive categories other people count as "natural". If you have to predict other peoples' judgments a lot, your brain starts to count their predictive categories as "natural". The effect can be viral (especially with categories whose social definitions tacitly refer to Schelling focal points, pooling equilibria, or punishment of non-punishers, with a penalty for disagreeing about the boundary), and it can change how you think about yourself. Try to control social access to your brain's pool of "simple", "natural" predictive categories, and try to unpack category definitions so that when they are not simple, your brain sees how. (Or try to live so that your most intense experiences of thinking only make predictions of physical consequences, and not predictions of other peoples' judgments.)

On this subject: Autistic spectrum conditions and obtuse concrete literalism are sometimes a good temporary defense against other peoples' unnatural category systems, but you should have a backup plan.