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sdmitch16 comments on The Baby-Eating Aliens (1/8) - Less Wrong

42 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 30 January 2009 12:07PM

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Comment author: sdmitch16 12 December 2011 06:59:56AM 1 point [-]

This isn't the prisoners dilemma since the there are three options: continue with deflectors down, put defectors up, or attack. More importantly, putting up one's defectors does not hurt the opponent like it would in the prisoners dilemma. Also, the humans putting their deflectors has the same effect on their safety as attacking since they can destroy the other ship or block their attacks. More importantly, about the aliens, just because a large group made the mistake doesn't mean it was reasonable. Look at the Nazis, the Russian Communist under Stalin, the Romans and their killings, the Aztecs, and the Salem Witch trials. There are plenty of times when large groups do things that could easily be figured out to be wrong. Cultist and prostitutes working for pimps are some strong examples IMO. Instead of allowing others to live because they were part of a group their ideas should be considered and if their logic was sound enough, they should be allowed to live.

Comment author: kilobug 12 December 2011 11:31:08AM *  1 point [-]

Well, it's not as simple. The humans can still destroy the baby-eaters even they have deflectors up, while the baby-eaters can't destroy the humans if they have deflectors up. So it's not true that "putting up one's defectors does not hurt the opponent". Putting up the deflectors breaks the symmetry, and makes the humans in a position of dominance, while not putting them up is a token of trust and maintains the situation as symmetrical.