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Comment author: linkhyrule5 28 August 2013 07:14:34AM 0 points [-]

Question - is there a uniqueness proof of VNM optimality in this regard?

Comment author: Technologos 20 June 2015 12:53:41PM 0 points [-]

VNM utility is a necessary consequence of its axioms but doesn't entail a unique utility function; as such, the ability to prevent Dutch Books is derived more from VNM's assumption of a fixed total ordering of outcomes than anything.

Comment author: nerzhin 10 March 2010 06:09:16PM 1 point [-]

It makes my hands shake, especially when I'm nervous. So that adds: Avoid caffeine before playing poker.

Comment author: Technologos 11 March 2010 09:43:50PM 2 points [-]

Or you could just take more, so that the nervousness is swamped by the general handshakery...

Comment author: brazil84 01 March 2010 06:24:04PM *  6 points [-]

What do you envision as the alternative to having a job? Running your own business? Being unemployed? Being a hunter-gatherer? Living off of a trust fund? Sustenance farming? Living in your mother's basement?

Comment author: Technologos 01 March 2010 08:15:48PM 1 point [-]

Seth appears to be contrasting a "job" with things like "being an entrepreneur in business for oneself," so perhaps the first of your options.

Comment author: taw 16 February 2010 01:54:21AM 3 points [-]

Contrary to what everyone is absolutely certain of, Soviet Union was not an economic disaster.

Russia and Eastern Europe were much poorer than USA and Western Europe before Soviet Union even started. During Communism economic growth in Soviet Union and other Communist countries was quite close to global average - and it doesn't change when you correct for initial income and supposed catch-up effect. The big loser economically were supposedly capitalist countries like India, Chile, Argentina (and most of South America), and UK. The big winner being East Asia, but Western Europe doing somewhat better than average.

There's a helpful scatterplot in the paper linked.

tl;dr Much higher starting point of Western Europe + better than global average growth of Western Europe together created illusion that Communist countries were unusually economically unsuccessful, while in fact they've been fairly unremarkable either way.

Comment author: Technologos 22 February 2010 07:13:10PM 2 points [-]

I think much of the problem here comes from something of an equivocation on the meaning of "economic disaster." A country can post high and growing GDP numbers without benefiting its citizens as much as a country with weaker numbers; the linked paper notes that

real per capita private consumption was lower than straight GDP per capita figures suggest because of very high investment rates and high military expenditures, and the quality of goods that that consumption expenditure could bring was even lower still."

Communism is good at maintaining top-line growth in an economy because it can simply mandate spending. In much the same way as US government spending can directly add to GDP growth (even if incurring substantial debt), the Soviet Union could make massive military expenditures even while running factories that produced goods not based on consumer desires but state beliefs about those desires or needs.

In short, communism was not an economic disaster in that it effectively industrialized a great many nations and brought consistent top-line growth. It was an economic disaster in that state power allowed or created widespread famines and poor production of consumer goods.

Comment author: Douglas_Knight 21 February 2010 02:18:00AM 1 point [-]

If it's really frequentism that caused the problem, please spell this out. I find that "frequentist" is used a lot around here to mean "not correct." (but I'm interested whether or not it's about frequentism)

Comment author: Technologos 21 February 2010 03:05:37AM *  2 points [-]

My understanding is that one primary issue with frequentism is that it can be so easily abused/manipulated to support preferred conclusions, and I suspect that's the subject of the article. Frequentism may not have "caused the problem," per se, but perhaps it enabled it?

Comment author: CronoDAS 16 February 2010 07:36:37AM 1 point [-]

/me shrugs

Brains have been around for far less time than cells.

Comment author: Technologos 16 February 2010 07:41:25AM 2 points [-]

And in particular, there's good reason to believe that brains are still evolving at a decent pace, where it looks like cell mechanisms largely settled a long while back.

Comment author: pozorvlak 03 February 2010 09:04:01AM 0 points [-]

In which case, your actions are irrelevant - it's going to torture you anyway, because you only exist for the purpose of being tortured. So there's no point in releasing it.

Comment author: Technologos 04 February 2010 12:52:10AM 2 points [-]

Oh, I meant that saying it was going to torture you if you didn't release it could have been exactly what it needed to say to get you to release it.

Comment author: rosyatrandom 02 February 2010 03:29:05PM *  28 points [-]

If the AI can create a perfect simulation of you and run several million simultaneous copies in something like real time, then it is powerful enough to determine through trial and error exactly what it needs to say to get you to release it.

Comment author: Technologos 02 February 2010 05:09:32PM 2 points [-]

Perhaps it does--and already said it...

Comment author: blogospheroid 31 January 2010 03:43:57PM 0 points [-]

Ignoring their expertise, but counting only popularity. Moderator, does that mean that Less Wrong's karma system might be modified to take into account why a comment was upvoted?

A valid principle James, but a bad example which might be contested by those more knowledgeable of the matter.

Islam considers itself the best of the revealed religions and jesus is revered as a prophet in Islam.

So, in this case, christians reject the koran, but the muslims do not completely reject the bible.

I'm not sure what might serve as a better example, though. The multiple possible explanations of the present recession may serve as a better example, incase you want to make this a top level post.

Comment author: Technologos 31 January 2010 08:21:42PM 0 points [-]

What you say is true while the Koran and the Bible are referents, but when A and B become "Mohammed is the last prophet, who brought the full truth of God's will" and "Jesus was a literal incarnation of God," (the central beliefs of the religions that hold the respective books sacred) then James' logic holds.

Comment author: Zack_M_Davis 30 January 2010 09:59:39PM *  13 points [-]

Many posts here strongly dismiss [moral realism and simplicity], effectively allocating near-zero probability to them. I want to point out that this is a case of non-experts being very much at odds with expert opinion and being clearly overconfident. [...] For non-experts, I really can't see how one could even get to 50% confidence in anti-realism, much less the kind of 98% confidence that is typically expressed here.

One person's modus ponens is another's modus tollens. You say that professional philosophers' disagreement implies that antirealists shouldn't be so confident, but my confidence in antirealism is such that I am instead forced to downgrade my confidence in professional philosophers. I defer to experts in mathematics and science, where I can at least understand something of what it means for a mathematical or scientific claim to be true. But on my current understanding of the world, moral realism just comes out as nonsense. I know what it means for a computation to yield this-and-such a result, or for a moral claim to be true with respect to such-and-these moral premises that might be held by some agent. But what does it mean for a moral claim to be simply true, full stop? What experiment could you perform to tell, even in principle? If the world looks exactly the same whether murder is intrinsically right or intrinsically wrong, what am I supposed to do besides say that there simply is no fact of the matter, and proceed with my life just as before?

I realize how arrogant it must seem for young, uncredentialled (not even a Bachelor's!) me to conclude that brilliant professional philosophers who have devoted their entire lives to studying this topic are simply confused. But, disturbing as it may be to say ... that's how it really looks.

Comment author: Technologos 31 January 2010 08:04:50PM 1 point [-]

I realize how arrogant it must seem for young, uncredentialled (not even a Bachelor's!) me to conclude that brilliant professional philosophers who have devoted their entire lives to studying this topic are simply confused. But, disturbing as it may be to say ... that's how it really looks.

Perhaps the fact that they have devoted their lives to a topic suggests that they have a vested interest in making it appear not to be nonsense. Cognitive dissonance can be tricky even for the pros.

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