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Comment author: Tom_McCabe2 23 September 2008 05:57:05PM 2 points [-]

"Eliezer2000 lives by the rule that you should always be ready to have your thoughts broadcast to the whole world at any time, without embarrassment."

I can understand most of the paths you followed during your youth, but I don't really get this. Even if it's a good idea for Eliezer_2000 to broadcast everything, wouldn't it be stupid for Eliezer_1200, who just discovered scientific materialism, to broadcast everything?

"If everyone were to live for others all the time, life would be like a procession of ants following each other around in a circle."

For a more mathematical version of this, see http://www.acceleratingfuture.com/tom/?p=99.

"It does not seem a very intuitive belief (except for very religious types and Eliezer1997 was not one of those), so what was its justification?"

WARNING: Eliezer-1999 content.


"Even so, if you don't try, or don't try hard enough, you don't get a chance to sit down at the high-stakes table - never mind the ability ante."

Are you referring to external exclusion of people who don't try, or self-exclusion?

Comment author: PetjaY 03 December 2016 11:15:34AM 0 points [-]

"I can understand most of the paths you followed during your youth, but I don't really get this. Even if it's a good idea for Eliezer2000 to broadcast everything, wouldn't it be stupid for Eliezer1200, who just discovered scientific materialism, to broadcast everything?"

Usually when you broadcast your ignorance you get advice from people who know more. Being silent about your lack of knowledge helps you appear more knowledged for that moment, but slows down learning a lot, so in long run it is not a good idea.

Comment author: steven 17 September 2008 01:11:33PM 0 points [-]

One disturbing thing about the Petrov issue that I don't think anyone mentioned last time, is that by praising nuclear non-retaliators we could be making future nuclear attacks more likely by undermining MAD.

Comment author: PetjaY 20 November 2016 07:29:49PM 3 points [-]

Petrov wasn´t (probably) a non-retaliator, he just wanted to be more sure there was something to retaliate. That is is something we want to praise.

Comment author: MTGandP 08 November 2012 05:09:45AM 1 point [-]

That's another thing. Precise grammar used to indicate education, but now it mostly signals pedantism.

I've noticed that different groups correct grammar to different degrees. Many people (e.g. almost everyone on reddit) will correct you if you mix up they're/there/their or use an apostrophe incorrectly, but not very many people will say anything if you dangle a modifier or split an infinitive. And the same people who readily correct well-known errors (they're/there/their) don't like it if you correct a more obscure error.

Comment author: PetjaY 17 October 2016 07:58:16PM 0 points [-]

There´s a difference there though. Less & fewer mean same thing, so writer using those abnormally isn´t really an error, it´s just something people don´t usually do. They´re , there, their mean different things so correcting those really makes the world better.

Comment author: Nicholas2 07 February 2009 02:19:59AM 16 points [-]

I enjoyed reading this story, but I would like to point out what I see as a grim possible future for humanity even after shutdown Huygens starline. As I understand, the super happies have a very accelerated reproduction rate among other things, which in certain circumstances could be as low as a 20 hour doubling time, ship crew and all; It's hard to pinpoint what the doubling time for solar system/starline colonization though it is likely related to the reproduction doubling time, but with the conservative estimate that they super happies have colonized/explored at least 8 systems in the 20 years (as the stars count time) they have been in space that would give them about a 6 year doubling time. There are about 400 billion stars in the galaxy while this may be a lot; It is only a mere 39 doubling cycles to full colonization, and an additional 39 (78 total) to full colonization of the next 400 billion galaxies. We have a range of somewhere between 780 hours (based on the 20 hour doubling speed) or about 32 and a half days to a more respectable yet still short 234 years (based on the conservative 6 year doubling time estimate) until the whole galaxy has been explored by the super happies, and only double that time if we are speaking of an area much much larger then the observable universe. It is safe to say that this is a strong upper bound on the amount of time it would take the super happies to rediscover humanity, and that time decreases significantly due to anything that would increase the chance of discovery from pure random chance, such as better understanding of starline topography, better inter-starline scanning, and additional novas that humanity chooses to investigate. So, I think the sad fact of the matter is that this victory is just one of little time, and considering the advancements in immortality I think the vast majority of humans would be around to see the return of the super happies to bestow upon them their gift.

Comment author: PetjaY 09 October 2016 09:57:32AM 0 points [-]

True, but on the other hand humanity has been left alone for millions of years, so odds of some species conquering universe just after humans accidentally happen to meet them (while they are still very limited in size) seem low. If there would be nothing stopping such expansions, i would´ve expected seeing some species conquering universe millions or billions of years ago.

Comment author: Pavitra 22 November 2009 08:55:41AM 14 points [-]

I don't think this future society was intended to be perfect or utopian or a recommendation for how we should develop. I don't think that EY is seriously (or non-seriously) suggesting that society would be better with decriminalized rape.

Rather, this is most likely an expression of the principle that the future will contain things that we would consider a moral outrage, just as every century in recorded history so far has contained things that the people of one or two centuries previous to them would have considered a moral outrage.

There's a lot of discussion in this comment thread already looking at the question from different angles, and I recommend you take the time to look through it.

I agree, though, that the logical implications are not well-thought-out. Can I delay or prevent someone from getting from point A to point B by accosting them in the hallway for sex? What if three people all decide they want sex with the same person at once? Twelve people? A hundred? At a certain point, sexual intercourse is an unavoidably rivalrous good this side of forking uploads.

Comment author: PetjaY 08 October 2016 04:35:37PM 1 point [-]

Legal does not mean "accepted". For us you could replace it with hugging: "Can I delay or prevent someone from getting from point A to point B by hugging them in the hallway? What if three people all decide they want to hug same person at once? Twelve people? A hundred?"

Most interaction between people is controlled by people losing social status when behaving wrong, and some mild violence (mostly pushing away) for more extreme misbehavior. Laws are only needed for really extreme cases.

Comment author: Wei_Dai 24 July 2012 11:43:22PM 21 points [-]

It occurs to me that in Evil Plutocrat, you can get what you want in a simpler way, by just going to the majority party and saying "unless you make the bill pass, I will donate a large amount of money to the other party" which shows that what makes the evil plutocrat powerful is not his clever use of game theory, but again his unique ability to make credible precommitments.

In Hostile Takeover, although you're right, doesn't that just pass the problem on to whoever you sell it to? At some point the shareholders either have to decide not to sell the company (thus passing up the deal to get $101 for their stock) or sell the company to one of the two bidders.

You can keep the shares and its associated stream of future dividends, which presumably is worth $100 in present value. (If the 50% owner intentionally does something to reduce the value of future dividends, he would be violating minority shareholder rights, which is why I asked whether we're assuming that such rights don't exist.)

You're right; these seem to be more parables on what happens if one side has strong ability to coordinate among itself and keep precommitments and the other side does not.

My problem is that these examples seem designed (but perhaps not consciously) to oversell the power of game theoretic thinking, by obfuscating the fact that the side that appears to be winning through clever use of game theory is also given other strong and unrealistic advantages. Unless maybe the author intended them to be puzzles, where we're supposed to figure out what element hidden in the setup is responsible for the counterintuitive/unrealistic outcomes?

Comment author: PetjaY 27 August 2016 05:43:19PM 0 points [-]

Also hidden in hostile takeover is that on those assumptions (other buyer only buys if he gets all shares, your shares are worth less than 90$ if neither buys them) you could just buy 1 share for 102$, and get rest for 90$, no need for that complexity there either.

Comment author: ChristianKl 08 February 2015 08:48:03PM 2 points [-]

Some of the books also contain statements that, as far as you can tell, are outright nonsense. One suggests that the only reason you or Fred have any problems is that you weren’t praised enough as children. You try on that perspective as well, but it feels yucky and nothing new clicks into place, and so you move along to the next part.

I don't think the problem with that statement is that it's outright nonsense. The problem is rather that it isn't actionable and doesn't tell you something you can do about the situation.

Comment author: PetjaY 22 August 2016 05:54:40PM 1 point [-]

Well not in current situation, but if you believe it then you that would teach you to avoid dealing with people who were not praised enough as children.

In response to Devil's Offers
Comment author: [deleted] 26 October 2013 07:16:32AM 1 point [-]

I know someone who drives across the country on long trips, rather than flying. Air travel scares him. Statistics, naturally, show that flying a given distance is much safer than driving it. But some people fear too much the loss of control that comes from not having their own hands on the steering wheel. It's a common complaint.

If that's their true rejection, they should be scared of getting into a car driven by someone else too.

In response to comment by [deleted] on Devil's Offers
Comment author: PetjaY 01 December 2015 08:50:14PM 0 points [-]

When comparing travel safety you shouldn´t compare those statistics directly, if when traveling by car you don´t accept any pilots that are suicidal, on drugs (including alcohol), falling asleep, or wannabe racing drivers, your chance of accidents goes to ~10% of the chance that is used in those statistics.

In response to comment by JGWeissman on Devil's Offers
Comment author: pnrjulius 06 June 2012 08:57:29PM 1 point [-]

There's a rather serious problems with that philosophy: It makes you a liar, which is often morally a bad thing to be. If you really eliminate all your discomfort with lying, you have converted yourself into a sociopath and probably become a scam artist to boot. You'll be like the guy selling "healing crystals" who knows full well that the crystals are bunk, but is making too much money to care.

My own solution is to think of disapproval as a relatively mild pain. We evolved to think that disapproval is one of the worst things in the universe, because back on the savannah it was: getting shunned meant getting killed.

But in a modern liberal society, you can be an atheist, a Singularitarian, a lesbian, a furry, and be disapproved of... and not actually die from this. In fact, usually it hurts about as much as a papercut. And since there may in fact be benefits to telling people you are these things---a more secular and pro-Singularity society for the former, more tolerance for your fellow lesbians and furries on the other---then speaking the disapproved belief is often precisely the right thing to do.

In some rare circumstances you can still die from disapproved beliefs---e.g. in Iran you can be hanged for being an atheist---in which case I honestly have no qualms about lying. I'll lie to torturers and murderers all day long if I have to.

It's a bit harder in intermediate cases, where the disapproval has real consequences but not fatal ones. But even then, one can escape most of the feelings of moral guilt by reminding oneself: I wouldn't be lying if they weren't bigots.

In response to comment by pnrjulius on Devil's Offers
Comment author: PetjaY 01 December 2015 08:31:36PM 0 points [-]

Atleast in my social surroundings, lying has never been asked for when i have an non-acceptable opinion, just keeping my mouth shut about them would be enough.

In response to comment by pnrjulius on Free to Optimize
Comment author: pnrjulius 06 June 2012 08:32:01PM *  1 point [-]

I mean, think about it; what's the best possible tax code? It takes about a page:

  • A list of tax-brackets, linked to the GDP deflator, and their (progressive) rates; e.g. "Under $5k: no tax; $5k-$1k: 10%; $10k-$20k: 15%; $20k-$40k: 20%; $40k-$80k: 25%; $80k-$160k: 30%; $160k-$320k: 35%; over $320k: 40%"

  • A list of important deductions, such as charitable donation and capital loss

And... that's about it frankly. This would raise revenue in a simple and fair way, and effectively eliminate the tax-filing and tax-compliance industry. And we could do it tomorrow by an act of Congress. But we won't.

In response to comment by pnrjulius on Free to Optimize
Comment author: PetjaY 08 November 2015 09:22:37AM 0 points [-]

I hope you mean taxing additional income that much, otherwise earning 40k$ instead of 1$ less would make you pay 40k$(25%-20%)=2000$ more in taxes, which means people would have to start checking how much they´ve earned when closing to yearend, and sometimes working less (or asking for less pay) to not go to the next bracket. Why not just use a function? Like, tax rate=lesser of: 0.25earnings,40% or something like that. My personal favourite is basic income+flat tax rate though.

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