Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

Desrtopa comments on Purchase Fuzzies and Utilons Separately - Less Wrong

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

You are viewing a comment permalink. View the original post to see all comments and the full post content.

Comments (85)

You are viewing a single comment's thread. Show more comments above.

Comment author: Desrtopa 16 April 2013 11:09:55PM 3 points [-]

I know this is an old comment, but...

I think holding open doors for old ladies is not only defensible, but entirely practical for utilitarians.

First, there's plenty of research suggesting that little actions like this can have significant spillover effects on our attitudes for some time after . Second, how exactly are you going to convert that handful of seconds into a higher utility payoff? Are you going to stay at work for an extra hour so that, if you run into some people in need of assistance after you leave, you can not help them? Are you going to stand there on the other side of the door and think about important AI problems while the old lady struggles to open it?

Time is a great deal less fungible than money.