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

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

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

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

Comments (335)

Sort By: Old

You are viewing a single comment's thread.

Comment author: Nick_Tarleton 20 October 2007 01:43:27AM 3 points [-]

Sorry, the first link was supposed to be to Absence of Evidence is Evidence of Absence.

Mitchell, I don't see how you can Pascal-mug yourself. Tom is right that the possibility that typing QWERTYUIOP will destroy the universe can be safely ignored; there is no evidence either way, so the probability equals the prior, and the Solomonoff prior that typing QWERTYUIOP will save the universe is, as far as we know, exactly the same. But the mugger's threat is a shred of Bayesian evidence that you have to take into account, and when you do, it massively tips the expected utility balance. Your suggested solution does seem right but utterly intractable.

Comment author: DSimon 10 July 2010 02:32:06PM 9 points [-]

I don't think the QWERTYUIOP thing is literally zero Bayesian evidence either. Suppose the thought of that particular possibility was manually inserted into your mind by the simulation operator.