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Wei_Dai comments on Purchase Fuzzies and Utilons Separately - Less Wrong

75 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 01 April 2009 09:51AM

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Comment author: Wei_Dai 10 January 2010 06:52:01AM 0 points [-]

"Utilons" isn't quite the right word: utilons are all I purchase.

I think Eliezer is using "utilon" to refer to the unit of value in utilitarianism (i.e., the theory of aggregating value linearly across individuals) whereas what you're talking about is probably the unit of value in expected utility maximization (i.e., the theory of aggregating value linearly across possible worlds). To avoid confusion, I propose that we call the latter "utils" (which as dreeves pointed out is already standard for this usage). In other words, let's use "utilons" when talking about utilitarianism, and "utils" when talking about expected utility maximization.

Comment author: ciphergoth 10 January 2010 10:33:21AM 1 point [-]

Would you agree that we're all (in this thread) drawing the same distinction and just labelling it differently?

I agree that we should switch to the standard term "utils" here, but I think I wouldn't go for also using "utilons" in the way you propose; enough people would continue to use the words in a different way that we wouldn't succeed in ironing out the confusion. I'd prefer something like "global utils" and "fuzzy utils/fuzzies" which can't be taken to mean something else.