# Michaelos comments on Newcomblike problem: Counterfactual Informant - Less Wrong

0 12 April 2012 08:25PM

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Comment author: 13 April 2012 03:39:24PM *  3 points [-]

I have what might be a better idea for maximizing our paperclips, which I'll run by you for accuracy.

Pay Clipmega exactly 1 million paperclips, immediately. Politely tax the entire population of the world a fraction of one paperclip each to make up your personal loss,or alternatively, tax paperclip manufacturers only this cost. (You are an Alpha, you can apparently do either of these.)

The overall burden of "Paperclips paid to Clipmega" is lessened , and by immediately paying Clipmega, you increase the chance of the 10^24 paperclip bonus getting through. If you attempt to do the other plan, there is a slim chance that it will for some reason not get up to 1 million paperclips (which would be a HORRIBLE failure), and a significantly higher chance that it will overpay Clipmega paperclips, which while not a horrible failure, seems somewhat pointless. (I don't think we care about Clipmega's paperclips, we just care about our paperclips, right?)

The random people that aren't Alpha's should approve of this plan, because they get a paperclip cost than the proposed plan. Even limiting it to just paper clip manufacturers should still have an overall lower burden, because relying on payment from a statistical variance would mean it would be likely that Clipmega would be somewhat overpaid for safety so that it would expect the 1 million. You even point this out yourself when you say

It is expected that this will result in more than 1,000,000 paperclips being given to Clipmega.

That seems inefficient if those paperclips have positive utility to us.

What I'm curious is, what does this answer translate into in the isomorphic situation?

Edit: Random832 puts together what I think is a better point about the distribution mechanics below.