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MinibearRex comments on The Power of Agency - Less Wrong

61 Post author: lukeprog 07 May 2011 01:38AM

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Comment author: MinibearRex 07 May 2011 05:03:54AM *  4 points [-]

It's funny that here, the use of reason has become synonymous with "winning"

I don't think anyone's arguing that "reason" is synonymous with winning. There are a lot of people, however, arguing that "rationality" is systematized winning. I'm not particularly interested in detaching from life and moderating my emotional response to failure. I have important goals that I want to achieve, and failing is not an acceptable option to me. So I study rationality. Honestly, EY said it best:

There is a meme which says that a certain ritual of cognition is the paragon of reasonableness and so defines what the reasonable people do. But alas, the reasonable people often get their butts handed to them by the unreasonable ones, because the universe isn't always reasonable. Reason is just a way of doing things, not necessarily the most formidable; it is how professors talk to each other in debate halls, which sometimes works, and sometimes doesn't. If a hoard of barbarians attacks the debate hall, the truly prudent and flexible agent will abandon reasonableness.

No. If the "irrational" agent is outcompeting you on a systematic and predictable basis, then it is time to reconsider what you think is "rational"