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John_Maxwell_IV comments on SIAI - An Examination - Less Wrong

143 Post author: BrandonReinhart 02 May 2011 07:08AM

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Comment author: John_Maxwell_IV 04 May 2011 08:17:17AM *  1 point [-]

So in the language of BATNA, my point was that if a high powered software development career was not Eliezer's BATNA, citing it in a negotiation would be a dark arts move, just like putting a sign in a grocery store next to a display of tomato cans that said "limit 12 per customer" would be a dark arts move (exploiting anchoring and adjustment).

My current model for negotiations is that the only two numbers that really matter are the maximum price the buyer will pay and the minimum price the seller will sell at. Figuring out what number actually gets chosen (which will be somewhere in between those two) is where the dark art of negotiating comes in. You could cite your BATNA as evidence that indicates your walkaway point was some high or low value, in an attempt to reveal information about your preferences, but if you cited a BATNA that you didn't actually have that'd be a dark arts tactic.

I'd define dark arts as "attempting to influence the actions of others in ways other than helping them arrive at more correct beliefs or resolve inconsistent preferences". I'm not entirely certain about the "resolve inconsistent preferences" bit though--this is kind of a weird zone, in my thinking--what part of me decides how to resolve inconsistencies in my preferences? Is it my preferences themselves?

I hate to be this deep in this discussion because I don't mean to dis Eliezer, but I'd love to improve my thinking about negotiations if it's wrong.