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Comment author: [deleted] 15 July 2014 04:46:15PM *  1 point [-]

There's an intent behind Occam's razor. When Einstein improved on Newton's gravity, gravity itself didn't change. Rather, our understanding of gravity was improved by a better model. We could say though that Newton's model is not gravity because we have found instances where gravity does not behave the way Newton predicted.

Underlying Occam's razor is the simple idea that we should prefer simple ideas. Over time we have found ways to formalize this statement in ways that are universally applicable. These formalizations are getting closer and closer to what Occam's razor is.

In response to comment by [deleted] on Eliezer Yudkowsky Facts
Comment author: dlthomas 15 July 2014 06:30:18PM 0 points [-]

I'll accept that.

Comment author: [deleted] 15 July 2014 01:26:46PM 1 point [-]

The answer seems circular: because it works. The experience of people using Occam's razor (e.g. scientists) find MDL to be more likely to lead to correct answers than any other formulation.

In response to comment by [deleted] on Eliezer Yudkowsky Facts
Comment author: dlthomas 15 July 2014 03:34:56PM 1 point [-]

I don't see that that makes other formulations "not Occam's razor", it just makes them less useful attempts at formalizing Occam's razor. If an alternative formalization was found to work better, it would not be MDL - would MDL cease to be "Occam's razor"? Or would the new, better formalization "not be Occam's razor"? Of the latter, by what metric, since the new one "works better"?

For the record, I certainly agree that "space complexity alone" is a poor metric. I just don't see that it should clearly be excluded entirely. I'm generally happy to exclude it on the grounds of parsimony, but this whole subthread was "How could MWI not be the most reasonable choice...?"

Comment author: [deleted] 14 July 2014 10:25:07PM *  2 points [-]

Minimum description length.

The MWI requires fewer rules than Copenhagen, and therefore its description is smaller, and therefore it is the strictly simpler theory.

In response to comment by [deleted] on Eliezer Yudkowsky Facts
Comment author: dlthomas 15 July 2014 01:03:29PM 1 point [-]

Is there anything in particular that leads you to claim Minimum Description Length is the only legitimate claimaint to the title "Occam's razor"? It was introduced much later, and the wikipedia article claims it is "a forumlation of Occam's razor".

Certainly, William of Occam wasn't dealing in terms of information compression.

Comment author: [deleted] 09 July 2014 05:48:58AM 2 points [-]

That's would not be Occam's razor...

In response to comment by [deleted] on Eliezer Yudkowsky Facts
Comment author: dlthomas 14 July 2014 06:58:27PM -1 points [-]

What particular gold-standard "Occam's razor" are you adhering to, then? It seems to fit well with "entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity" and "pluralities must never be posited without necessity".

Note that I'm not saying there is no gold-standard "Occam's razor" to which we should be adhering (in terms of denotation of the term or more generally); I'm just unaware of an interpretaton that clearly lays out how "entities" or "assumptions" are counted, or how the complexity of a hypothesis is otherwise measured, which is clearly "the canonical Occam's razor" as opposed to having some other name. If there is one, by all means please make me aware!

Comment author: Document 10 June 2013 01:20:48AM 0 points [-]

There'd be no reason to expect it to torture people at less than the maximum rate its hardware was capable of.

Comment author: dlthomas 21 January 2014 06:11:37PM 0 points [-]

But good reason to expect it not to torture people at greater than the maximum rate its hardware was capable of, so if you can bound that there exist some positive values of belief that cannot be inflated into something meaningful by upping copies.

Comment author: ciphergoth 03 March 2013 07:47:01AM 1 point [-]

Your numbers are still wrong I'm afraid - guessing you mean ~70.98%...

Comment author: dlthomas 31 July 2013 04:32:53AM 0 points [-]

Yes, fixed.

Comment author: MixedNuts 09 October 2012 10:56:16PM 4 points [-]

Then the obvious strategy is to start feeling lots of loyalty toward Easily Affected Country, and donate lots to organizations in Powerful Country that effect change in Easily Affected Country. This diminishes your political bonus but the extra leverage compensates. Bot-swa-na! Bot-swa-na!

I actually think the apple pie reason is an unusually good one. There's nothing wrong with cheering for things.

Comment author: dlthomas 09 October 2012 11:32:39PM 2 points [-]

You're assuming that display of loyalty can radically increase your influence. My model was that your initial influence is determined situationally, and your disposition can decrease it more easily than increase it.

That said, let's run with your interpretation; Bot-swa-na! Bot-swa-na!

Comment author: MixedNuts 09 October 2012 06:58:01PM 4 points [-]

Why is it your messed-up country?

  • Because its laws treat you well, and you want to support that system out of gratitude?
  • Because you've lived there a while, and you're attached to things in it?
  • Because you were born there, and... that matters for some reason?
  • Because you have relative from there, and ditto?
  • Because you have relatives from elsewhere, and it sucked, so you cheer for the least-bad country?
  • Because bald eagles look awesome and apple pie is delicious, so you have positive emotional associations to the corresponding countries?
Comment author: dlthomas 09 October 2012 10:12:01PM 0 points [-]

Because states are still a powerful force for (or against) change in this world, you are limited in the number of them you can directly affect (determined largely by where you and relatives were born), and for political and psychological reasons that ability is diminished when you fail to display loyalty (of the appropriate sort, which varies by group) to those states.

Also, apple pie is delicious.

Comment author: Tuna-Fish 08 October 2012 09:17:25AM 4 points [-]

Prior to WW2, Germany was the biggest trading partner of France.

Comment author: dlthomas 09 October 2012 10:05:59PM 4 points [-]

Irrelevant. The quote is not "If goods do cross borders, armies won't."

Comment author: Eugine_Nier 14 August 2012 10:38:35PM -2 points [-]

Module A doesn't "draw an inference" from the state of module B, that would require module A to have a sub-module dedicated to drawing inferences from module B and evaluating their reliability. Module A simply treats the output of module B as an inference of similar weight to the one it itself makes.

Comment author: dlthomas 21 August 2012 05:25:57PM 1 point [-]

But one or more drawing-inferences-from-states-of-other-modules module could certainly exist, without invoking any separate homunculus. Whether they do and, if so, whether they are organized in a way that is relevant here are empirical questions that I lack the data to address.

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