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orthonormal comments on Rationality is Systematized Winning - Less Wrong

48 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 03 April 2009 02:41PM

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Comment author: orthonormal 03 April 2009 06:39:02PM 6 points [-]

I always thought that the majority of exposition in your Newcomb example went towards, not "Rationalists should WIN", but a weaker claim which seems to be a smaller inferential distance from most would-be rationalists:

Rationalists should not systematically lose; whatever systematically loses is not rationality.

(Of course, one needs the logical caveat that we're not dealing with a pure irrationalist-rewarder; but such things don't seem to exist in this universe at the moment.)

Comment author: timtyler 04 April 2009 08:10:19AM 0 points [-]

Re: Rationalists should not systematically lose; whatever systematically loses is not rationality.

Even if you are playing go with a 9-stone handicap against a shodan?

Comment author: orthonormal 05 April 2009 04:43:18AM 2 points [-]

Well, I don't think I'd fare better by thinking less rationally; and if I really needed to find a way to win, rationality at least shouldn't hurt me me in the process.

I was hoping to be pithy by neglecting a few implicit assumptions. For one, I mean that (in the absence of direct rewards for different cognitive processes) good rationalists shouldn't systematically lose when they can see a strategy that systematically wins. Of course there are Kobayashi Maru scenarios where all the rationality in the world can't win, but that's not what we're talking about.

Comment author: Nick_Tarleton 04 April 2009 08:14:07AM 3 points [-]

"Lose" = "perform worse than another (usable) strategy, all preferences considered".

Comment author: timtyler 04 April 2009 08:17:46AM -1 points [-]

Nick, show me a dictionary with this in and we can talk. Otherwise, it seems as though you are redefining a perfectly common and ordinary english word to mean something esoteric and counter-intuitive.