In response to comment by on Pascal's Mugging Solved
Comment author: 27 May 2014 11:38:18PM *  2 points [-]

But after a point of increasing threat, increasing it further should decrease your expectation.

OK, so after a certain point, the mugger increasing his threat will cause you to decrease your belief faster. After a certain point, the mugger increasing his threat will cause (threat badness * probability) to go decrease.

That implies that if he threatens you with a super-exponentially bad outcome, you will assign a super-exponentially small probability to his threat.

But super-exponentially small probabilities are a tricky thing. Once you've assigned a super-exponentially small probability to an event, no amount of evidence in the visible universe can make you change your mind. It doesn't matter if the mugger grows wings of fire or turns passers by into goats; no amount of evidence your eyes and ears are capable of receiving can sway a super-exponentially small probability. If the city around you melts into lava, should you believe the mugger then? How do you quantify whether you should or should not?

In response to comment by on Pascal's Mugging Solved
Comment author: 09 June 2014 01:12:07PM 0 points [-]

Once you've assigned a super-exponentially small probability to an event, no amount of evidence in the visible universe can make you change your mind.

I don't see why this is necessarily a problem.

The claim that the mugger will torture 3^^^3 people, unless you give them \$100, is so implausible that there should be no possible evidence that will convince you of it.

Any possible evidence is more plausibly explained by possibilities such as you being in a computer game, and the mugger being a player who's just being a dick because they find it funny.

Comment author: 08 January 2012 11:30:46PM *  2 points [-]

I think if you value net-happiness it's still not a shame, although it may be a shame if you value median-preference-satisfaction.

Comment author: 10 January 2012 06:40:57PM -1 points [-]

There are arguments that valuing net-happiness IN OUR CURRENT WORLD means you'd want to increase the human population.

However, in an arbitrary world, where wealth-production correlates with human population, there's no reason to assume that net-happiness would also correlate with wealth-production.

IOW: his conclusion (it's not a shame) has a truth value that depends on value system, but his reasoning is true only if you have one, very specific, value system (you value near-future-wealth-production as your terminal value)

Comment author: 08 January 2012 08:49:16PM 5 points [-]

Increasing the population is not a shame if the average human is wealth producing. Which they are.

Comment author: 08 January 2012 09:21:17PM 4 points [-]

This is true IFF you value wealth above all other measures.

If you value net-happiness for example, it's not true.

Comment author: 11 December 2011 12:25:08PM *  4 points [-]

I would normally agree, but in this case, the "libertarian website" is actually an encyclopedia article by Robert Heilbroner. Also, the above definition seems to be in agreement with alternative sources.

a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.

any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods

A system of social and economic organization that would substitute state monopoly for private ownership of the sources of production and means of distribution, and would concentrate under the control of the secular governing authority the chief activities of human life.

Comment author: 13 December 2011 07:47:17PM 0 points [-]

The Oxford Dictionary definition you supply is the one I generally see in use:

a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.

Comment author: 13 December 2011 04:25:49PM 2 points [-]

Incidentally, the symptoms you describe as brain-ache are something I suffered rather severely during the first couple of months after my stroke, and in my case seemed to correlate pretty closely to dips in my blood pressure. (I was taking a whole lot of medication at the time to lower my blood pressure, often to the point of greying out.)

Comment author: 13 December 2011 06:16:15PM -1 points [-]

Thanks for the information, I might ask my GP about that possibility, and whether there are any options for finding out whether I'm having low-blood-pressure issues.

Comment author: 13 December 2011 04:07:48PM 0 points [-]

I suffer from a form of depression, which comes along with a symptom I call "brain-ache": it essentially consists of a sharp pain that feels as though it's internal to my brain (unlike headaches, which I also commonly get, which are focused in my skull).

Brain-ache is worsened by deliberate conscious thinking, and trying to focus on things, and it is generally accompanied by a "mental fog" which makes it hard for me to see my own thoughts, and therefore hard to think about anything complex.

I have a few other pecularities [photic sneeze reflex, I used to cough instead of crying (that was a conditioned reflex due to abuse) and occasional verbal tics] but most are relatively minor.

Oh, yes, I can have full conversations in my sleep, that I don't remember in the morning. This includes answering the phone. This is a recent symptom, probably due to my current medication.

Comment author: 06 December 2011 02:39:43PM 0 points [-]

It's not that meaningful to assign a single number, true. I gave my speed for "normal" text--comments, blogs, newspaper articles, "light" books (business/best-sellers), fiction (if I have to/feel like reading it quickly). When I read scientific papers, the speed drops considerably until I am used to the terms used in the field.

Thanks a lot for that comment though, I have less incentive to try training it further now... I am pretty surprised that anything could decrease significantly from trying to train it though. I would suspect other effects at work (like now she is reading a different kind of text, or had previously never measured herself, or the training was nonsense, etc). Any idea what caused the decrease?

Comment author: 13 December 2011 04:00:53PM -1 points [-]

One possible explanation is simply awareness.

If you naturally develop a technique, you may not be consciously aware of it at all. But take some training, and all of a sudden your conscious brain is butting in going "this is the way to do it".

And, well, your CPU is going to be less efficient than a well-optimised RPU (Reading Processing Unit)

Comment author: 13 October 2011 09:46:12AM *  0 points [-]

You're seen as having low standards, and therefore the fact you're interested in someone no longer puts them in an exclusive group.

Why would this apply to romantic forays but not other types of social overture? It seems like it(becoming known as a person who tries to chat up random people) would happen no matter what you actually talked about.

Comment author: 13 October 2011 12:41:19PM *  3 points [-]

Why would this apply to romantic forays but not other types of social overture?

The fact that chatting to random people merely means you're willing to let anyone be one of your acquaintances

In general, being someone's acquaintance cannot be considered an exclusive group to begin with, so there was no exclusivity to be lost.

It seems like it(becoming known as a person who tries to chat up random people) would happen no matter what you actually talked about.

If you only rarely* make a sexual or romantic pass it is unlikely that people would view you in such a way. Especially if you approach people who are not of your preferred gender, etc..

*[when you find someone who is actually particularly attractive to you, after you've gotten to know them a bit]

Comment author: 13 October 2011 05:32:55AM *  2 points [-]

How did you manage to do this without garnering a reputation as that weird person who always starts conversations with random strangers, who you shouldn't bother responding to because the only reason he's talking to you is because you happened to be there when he was?

Comment author: 13 October 2011 08:32:06AM *  5 points [-]

I live in Manchester, England.

There are 2.6 million people in this city. I didn't need to actively avoid becoming known, it would have been extremely difficult to become known.

Also: had I gained a reputation for talking to random strangers, why would that have been a bad thing? The person I approach knows I approach random strangers; they are one.

Being known as a person who tries to chat up random people may be a problem*. Being known as a person who tries to chat to random people isn't. In fact, if anything, I've earned status for it.@

*You're seen as having low standards, and therefore the fact you're interested in someone no longer puts them in an exclusive group. Oh, and you may end up viewed as a slut.

@I have friends with low social skills, who find it too scary to approach people they don't know. The fact I do so gives me a certain amount of esteem in their eyes.

Comment author: 10 October 2011 05:20:21PM 5 points [-]

How did the subject come up? I have never ever heard this subject discussed outside of two contexts:

The question under discussion is "What can't we say?"; or

One of the interlocutors feels it's important to take civil rights away from people.

Well, since this is the first reference in this thread to "What can't we say?", which of the commenters would you say "feels it's important to take civil rights away from people"?

But seriously, you should get out of the habit of assuming sinister motives of people who disagree with you.

Comment author: 12 October 2011 09:22:58PM *  1 point [-]

Ummm, Eliezer Yudkowsky's post, on which this discussion is based, is about "What can't we say?" ie. why can't we say there are racial differences in IQ.

So this thread doesn't seem to be evidence against Nisan's statement.

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