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manuelg comments on Something to Protect - Less Wrong

52 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 30 January 2008 05:52PM

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Comment author: manuelg 30 January 2008 08:04:00PM 3 points [-]

I get an uncomfortable feeling, Eliezer, that this work is to ultimately lead to a mechanism to attract:

* people of libertarian bent

* people interested in practically unbounded longevity of consistent, continual consciousness

and also lead to a mechanism to tar people disinclined to those two goals; tar them with the label "sentimentally irrational".

Rationality to me is simply a tool. I would have absolutely no confidence in it without the ongoing experiences of applying it iteratively, successfully to specific goals.

> And of course, no matter how much you profess your love of mere usefulness, you should never actually end up deliberately believing a useful false statement.

I haven't yet needed to "deliberately believe a useful false statement" (to my knowledge), but I wouldn't be particularly disturbed if I tried to, and found it repeatedly successful. Another tool for my tool belt.

Right now I am having some success with modeling the world over the conditions I care about with:

* scientific laws (including information theory)

* mathematics

* groups of causality graphs, for the same phenomena, in competition

* specific causality graphs

* naive Bayesian

* straightforward use of Bayes' theorem

* frequentist probability and statistics

* discrete probability

* logic

(causality graphs considered can include relations defined by simulation, and all other tools listed. Whatever it is, shove it into a causality graph. I haven't found it useful to restrict the use of anything in a causality graph, particularly if they are forced to compete over the ability to be consistent with past data and predict future results.)

(The list above is somewhat ordered over more applicable to specific situations, to less applicable to specific situations. I attach the lowest confidence to any specific causality graph, more confidence with the graphs in aggregate in competition. I attach more confidence in frequentist analysis over good data, over Bayesian, but Bayesian is applicable in more circumstances.)

I have to deal with finite resource allocation in a manufacturing plant. Where else to use these tools? Possibly an the opportunity from celebrating the differences in all the people working in the plant.

I am often confused by your writing, because I don't see where you have "skin in the game". Where are you exercising your tools of rationality?

Is it all just to make the world slightly more hospitable to libertarians interested in life extension? (No negative judgment if that is the case.)

(Sorry to beg your indulgence of a long post)