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Mike_Blume comments on Harmful Options - Less Wrong

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

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Comment author: Mike_Blume 26 December 2008 12:51:49AM 4 points [-]

Is it possible that Eliezer has indirectly answered Robin's question about gifting from a few days ago? That is, is it possible that I gain more benefit from a copy of Tropic Thunder given to me by my brothers than from one I purchase myself? By giving it to me as a gift, they have removed from me the necessity of comparing it to other films I could purchase, as well as the thought that I could have spent the money in a more "responsible" fashion.

Comment author: taryneast 07 June 2011 05:21:48PM 0 points [-]

Hmm, I guess that's why it's always nice to get non-sensible gifts.

Comment author: pnrjulius 06 June 2012 08:43:23PM 0 points [-]

It also depends how good your brothers are at evaluating your taste in films. But they are probably better than most of your other sources (especially advertising).

Though that part about escaping "responsible" spending doesn't actually do much, since you could always sell the DVD on eBay and use the money to buy something else. It's easy to get caught up in sunk cost fallacy and endowment effect though---thinking you should keep it just because you have it. (I guess the resale value is probably a bit less than the original value, so there does exist a narrow region of utility where the movie is worth owning if you already have it but not worth buying yourself. But as I said, this is narrow---on the order of $5---and hence improbable.)