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

Richard_Hollerith2 comments on Taboo Your Words - Less Wrong

72 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 15 February 2008 10:53PM

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

Comments (128)

Sort By: Old

You are viewing a single comment's thread.

Comment author: Richard_Hollerith2 18 February 2008 07:48:18PM 0 points [-]

Taboo utility--and I find myself clueless.

Consider the following optimization target: the future that would have come to pass if the optimization process did not come into existence -- which we will call the "naive future" -- modified in the following way.

The optimization process extrapolates the naive future until it can extrapolate no more or that future leads to the loss of Earth-originating civilization or a Republican presidential administration. In the latter case (loss of civilization or Republican win) rewind the extrapolation to the latest moment in which (according to the optimization process's best model of physical law) a binary event (such as for example an Everett branching) occurred such that if the event goes the other way, civilization will not be lost and the Republicans never win the White House, and take as the target the naive future with the revised binary event.

In the description of this target, although the humans have great influence on the future, the concept of the subjective utility of a human does not occur.

Comment author: Normal_Anomaly 27 November 2011 11:08:44PM 1 point [-]

Is the bit about Republican presidents intended to stand in for humanity's CEV's utilty function, or is it just a distracting bit of politics?

Comment author: Ben_Welchner 29 November 2011 02:42:53AM *  2 points [-]

I recall another article about optimization processes or probability pumps being used to rig elections; I would imagine it's a lighthearted reference to that, but I can't turn it up by searching. I'm not even sure if it came before this comment.

(Richard_Hollerith2 hasn't commented for over 2.5 years, so you're not likely to get a response from him)

Comment author: Normal_Anomaly 29 November 2011 03:01:11AM 0 points [-]

(Richard_Hollerith2 hasn't commented for over 2.5 years, so you're not likely to get a response from him)

I noticed this right after I commented. Oops.

Comment author: rhollerith_dot_com 15 December 2011 09:02:19PM 2 points [-]

sorry my reference to the Republicans distracted you. when I wrote it, I thought it so obvious that Republican's winning is just a humorous placeholder for "whatever outcome one wants to avoid" that it would not be distracting.

Humor is hard when expressing myself in text. I think I will just give up on it altogether.

Comment author: thomblake 15 December 2011 09:19:00PM 1 point [-]

It was funny at the time. You had to be there.

Comment author: Vaniver 15 December 2011 09:35:28PM 2 points [-]

You had to be a Democrat.

Fixed? :P