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Vladimir_Nesov comments on Free to Optimize - Less Wrong

25 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 02 January 2009 01:41AM

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Comment author: Vladimir_Nesov 02 January 2009 04:21:19AM 0 points [-]

It's interesting - raises a question of definition of counterfactual truth to a new level. The problem is that determining counterfactual truth is its own game, you can't do that just by taking reality, changing it, and running it forward. You need to rebuild reality back from the combination of actual reality and the concept of reality existing in a mind. Counterfactuals of present set the past as well as the future, which makes facts inconsistent. Whose mind should the concepts of reality and of counterfactual change be taken from, how should their weight be evaluated against facts in actual reality?

It seems that singleton needs to optimize all of the counterfactual timelines evaluated according to cognitive algorithms running in people's minds (with a nontrivial variety of counterfactual outcomes). This is also a way the strength of external help could be determined by the strength that people have in themselves.