# FAWS comments on Newcomb's Problem and Regret of Rationality - Less Wrong

50 31 January 2008 07:36PM

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Comment author: 29 August 2011 04:38:01PM 0 points [-]

While I disagree that one-boxing still wins, I'm most interested in seeing the "no future peeking" and the actual Omega success rate being defined as givens. It's important that I can rely on the 99.9% value, rather than wondering whether it is perhaps inferred from their past 100 correct predictions (which could, with a non-negligible probability, have been a fluke).

Comment author: 29 August 2011 05:07:36PM 0 points [-]

Why is it important to you that the success rate be a frequentialist probability rather than just a bayesian one?

Comment author: 31 August 2011 12:14:24AM 0 points [-]

I'm not sure I understand correctly, but let me phrase the question differently: what sort of confidence do we have in "99.9%" being an accurate value for Omega's success rate?

From your previous comment I gather the confidence is absolute. This removes one complication while leaving the core of the paradox intact. I'm just pointing out that this isn't very clear in the original specification of the paradox, and that clearing it up is useful.

To explain why it's important, let me indeed think of an AI like hairyfigment suggested. Suppose someone says they have let 100 previous AIs flip a fair coin 100 times each and it came out heads every single time, because they have magic powers that make it so. This someone presents me video evidence of this feat.

If faced with this in the real world, an AI coded by me would still bet close to 50% on tails if offered to flip its own fair coin against this person, because I have strong evidence that this someone is a cheat, and their video evidence is fake. Just something I know from a huge amount of background information that was not explicitly part of this scenario.

However, when discussing such scenarios, it is sometimes useful to assume hypothetical scenarios unlike the real world. For example, we could state that this someone has actually performed the feat, and that there is absolutely no doubt about that. That's impossible in our real world, but it's useful for the sake of discussing bayesianism. Surely any bayesianist's AI would expect heads with high probability in this hypothetical universe.

So, are we looking at "Omega in the real world where someone I don't even know tells me they are really damn good at predicting the future", or "Omega in some hypothetical world where they are actually known with absolute certainty to be really good at predicting the future"?

Comment author: 31 August 2011 02:02:07AM 0 points [-]

Omega has been correct on each of 100 observed occasions so far - everyone who took both boxes has found box B empty and received only a thousand dollars; everyone who took only box B has found B containing a million dollars.

Seems to me the language of this rules out faked video. And to explain it as a newsletter scam would, I think, require postulating 2^100 civilizations that have contact with Omega but not each other. Note that we already have some reason to believe that a powerful and rational observer could predict our actions early on.

So you tell me what we should expect here.

Comment author: 31 August 2011 03:17:55PM 0 points [-]

I've reviewed the language of the original statement and it seems that the puzzle is set in essentially the real world with two major givens, i.e. facts in which you have 100% confidence.

Given #1: Omega was correct on the last 100 occurrences.