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turchin comments on The Doomsday argument in anthropic decision theory - Less Wrong Discussion

5 Post author: Stuart_Armstrong 31 August 2017 01:44PM

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Comment author: turchin 03 September 2017 12:25:37PM *  0 points [-]

I agree with this: "yes. You are both. And you currently control the actions of both. It is not meaningful to ask 'which' one you are."

But have the following problem: what if the best course of action for me depends on am I Boltzmann brain or real person? It looks like I still have to update according to which group is larger: real me of Boltzmann brain me.

It also looks like we use "all decision computation processes like mine process" as something like what I called before "natural reference class". And in case of DA it is all beings who thinks about DA.

Comment author: Stuart_Armstrong 03 September 2017 01:44:33PM 0 points [-]

I'll deal with the non-selfish case, which is much easier.

In that case, Earth you and Boltzmann brain you have the same objectives. And most of the time, these objectives make "Boltzmann brain you" irrelevant, as their actions have so consequences (one exception could be "ensure everyone has a life that is on average happy, in which case Earth you should try and always be happy, for the sake of the Boltzmann brain yous). So most of the time, you can just ignore Boltzmann brains in ADT.

Yes, that is a natural reference class in ADT (note that it's a reference class of agents-moments making decisions, not of agents in general; it's possible that someone else is in your reference class for one decision, but not for another).

But "all beings who think about DA" is not a natural reference class, as you can see when you start questioning it ("to what extent do they think about DA? Under what name? Does it matter what conclusions they draw?...)