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Steve_Omohundro comments on Pascal's Mugging: Tiny Probabilities of Vast Utilities - Less Wrong

39 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 19 October 2007 11:37PM

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Comment author: Steve_Omohundro 20 October 2007 12:50:42AM 5 points [-]

Very interesting thought experiment!

One place where it might fall down is that our disutility for causing deaths is probably not linear in the number of deaths, just as our utility for money flattens out as the amount gets large. In fact, I could imagine that its value is connected to our ability to intuitively grasp the numbers involved. The disutility might flatten out *really quickly* so that the disutility of causing the death of 3^^^^3 people, while large, is still small enough that the small probabilities from the induction are not overwhelmed by it.

Comment author: DanielLC 17 October 2010 07:29:07PM *  1 point [-]

That just means you have to change the experiment. Suppose he just said he'll cause a certain amount of net disutility, without specifying how.

This works unless you assume a maximum possible disutility.

Comment author: Ulysses 22 January 2011 02:44:19AM 2 points [-]

You are not entitled to assume a maximum disutility, even if you think you see a proof for it (see Confidence Levels Inside and Outside an Argument).

Comment author: themusicgod1 12 September 2013 02:31:08PM 1 point [-]

link for the lazy