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Tim_Tyler comments on Harmful Options - Less Wrong

23 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 25 December 2008 02:26AM

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Comment author: Tim_Tyler 25 December 2008 09:31:31PM -1 points [-]

Re: Barry Schwartz's The Paradox of Choice [...] talks about how offering people more choices can make them less happy. A simple intuition says this shouldn't ought to happen to rational agents: If your current choice is X, and you're offered an alternative Y that's worse than X, and you know it, you can always just go on doing X. So a rational agent shouldn't do worse by having more options. The more available actions you have, the more powerful you become - that's how it should ought to work.

This makes no sense to me. A blind choice between lady and tiger is preferable to a blind choice between a lady and two tigers. Problems arise when you don't know that the other choices are worse. So having more choices can be really bad - in a way that has nothing to do with the extra cycles burned in evaluating them.