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Comment author: RobQuesting 03 October 2017 06:35:47AM 0 points [-]

"Yes Minister" showed us all that the notion of an ideologue in politics is a fallacy. Whatever values a person has, those values are constantly compromised and neutered, because the way politics "really" works, is more about compromise based on career goals, not some sort of ideological purity.

Self interest kills idealistic goals.

Bureaucracy and the status quo render idealism untenable.

So, relying on politicians to create significant socioeconomic change in society, and the world, must rely on a person doing an impossible job. There is no point electing a different person to do the same job, if the job is actually impossible.

Economic power is political power. Wealth equates to political power. Democracy and Capitalism are incompatible concepts.

Princeton proved this in 2014. There is no democracy in the US, and there is no particular reason to think any other Western country is particularly different. For your consideration: https://scholar.princeton.edu/sites/default/files/mgilens/files/gilens_and_page_2014_-testing_theories_of_american_politics.doc.pdf

Comment author: g_pepper 03 October 2017 03:31:31PM 0 points [-]

There is no democracy in the US

No democracy, really? Or would it be more accurate to say that US democracy falls short of some sort theoretical ideal?

Comment author: Lumifer 02 October 2017 07:25:37PM 0 points [-]

Well... Bostrom says:

If the simulation-hypothesis is true, then we are living inside a computer, and whichever civilization built that computer is our "home" civilization by definition

and from this point of view the physics doesn't have to match.

Comment author: g_pepper 02 October 2017 09:10:19PM *  0 points [-]

Yep, I agree. The second sentence of this comment's grandparent was intended to support that conclusion, but my wording was sloppily ambiguous. I made a minor edit to it to (hopefully) remove the ambiguity.

Comment author: Lumifer 02 October 2017 06:29:46PM 0 points [-]

True. A bit more generally, this paper relies on the simulating universe having similar physics to the simulated universe which, as far as I can see, is an unfounded assumption made because otherwise there would be nothing to discuss.

Comment author: g_pepper 02 October 2017 06:57:42PM *  0 points [-]

Yep. This could be because Nick Bostrom's original simulation argument focuses on ancestor simulations, which pretty much implies that the simulating and simulated worlds are similar. However here, in question 11, Bostrom explains why he focused on ancestor simulations and states that the argument could be generalized to include simulations of worlds that are very different from the simulating world.

Comment author: Lumifer 02 October 2017 04:07:20PM *  1 point [-]
Comment author: g_pepper 02 October 2017 05:56:40PM *  0 points [-]

Interesting paper. But, contrary to the popular summary in the first link, it really only shows that simulations of certain quantum phenomena are impossible using classical computers (specifically, using the Quantum Monte Carlo method). But this is not really surprising - one area where quantum computers show much promise is in simulating quantum systems that are too difficult to simulate classically.

So, if the authors are right, we might still be living in a computer simulation, but it would have to be one running on a quantum computer.

Comment author: polymathwannabe 23 September 2017 01:52:53AM 1 point [-]

"Revival" is the text I wrote.

Comment author: g_pepper 23 September 2017 02:36:25AM 0 points [-]

Thanks - I enjoyed the story. It was short but prescient. The article that inspired it was interesting as well.

Comment author: Dagon 22 September 2017 01:02:11AM 1 point [-]

Actually, it would be interesting to break down the list of reasons people might have for two-boxing, even if we haven't polled for reasons, only decisions. From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newcomb%27s_paradox, the outcomes are:

  • a: Omega predicts two-box, player two-boxes, payout $1000
  • b: Omega predicts two-box, player one-boxes, payout $0
  • c: Omega predicts one-box, player two-boxes, payout $1001000
  • d: Omega predicts one-box, player one-boxes, payout $1000000

I claim that one-boxers do not believe b and c are possible because Omega is cheating or a perfect predictor (same thing), and reason that d > a. And further I think that two-boxers believe that all 4 are possible (b and c being "tricking Omega") and reason that c > d and a > b, so two-boxing dominates one-boxing.

Aside from "lizard man", what are the other reasons that lead to two-boxing?

Comment author: g_pepper 22 September 2017 01:47:30AM *  0 points [-]

I'm a two-boxer. My rationale is:

  1. As originally formulated by Nozick, Omega is not necessarily omniscient and does not necessarily have anything like divine foreknowledge. All that is said about this is that you have "enormous confidence" in Omega's power to predict your choices, and that this being has "often correctly predicted your choices in the past (and has never, as far as you know made an incorrect prediction about your choices)", and that the being has "often correctly predicted the choices of other people, many who are similar to you". So, all I really know about Omega is that it has a really good track record.

  2. So, nothing in Nozick rules out the possibility of the outcome "b" or "c" listed above.

  3. At the time that you make your choice, Omega has already irrevocably either put $1M in box 2 or put nothing in box 2

  4. If Omega has put $1M in box 2, your payoff will be $1M if you 1-box or 1.001M if you 2-box.

  5. If Omega has put nothing in box 2, your payoff will be $0 if you 1-box or $1K if you 2-box.

  6. So, whatever Omega has already done, you are better off 2-boxing. And, your choice now cannot change what Omega has already done.

  7. So, you are better off 2-boxing.

So, basically, I agree with your assessment that "two-boxers believe that all 4 are possible" (or at least I believe that all 4 are possible). Why do I believe that all 4 are possible? Because nothing in the problem statement says otherwise.


Also, I agree with your assessment that "one-boxers do not believe b and c are possible because Omega is cheating or a perfect predictor (same thing)". But, in thinking this way, one-boxers are reading something into the problem beyond what is actually stated or implied by Nozick.

Comment author: Elo 20 September 2017 09:41:05PM 1 point [-]

You might like to read, "maps of meaning" by Jordan Peterson. He proposes that meaning sometimes will come from the stories that we tell help to form the meaning that we make for ourselves. All stories help us with meaning.

Comment author: g_pepper 21 September 2017 01:56:55PM 0 points [-]


And, in the Maps of Meaning lecture series, Peterson gives a shout-out to Rowling's Harry Potter series as being an excellent example of a retelling of an archetypal myth. So, it was a good choice of material for Yudkowsky to use as he did.

Comment author: g_pepper 21 September 2017 01:36:29PM 0 points [-]

Using mythology to illustrate philosophical points has a lengthy tradition prior to Sartre. Achilles would have been a mythological figure by the time Zeno of Elea demonstrated the impossibility of motion by imagining a race between Achilles and a tortoise. And, in Phaedrus, Plato imagines a conversation between Thoth (from Egyptian mythology) and the Egyptian king Thamus to make a point about literacy.

Comment author: polymathwannabe 17 September 2017 04:43:28PM 1 point [-]

I missed the reason why LW no longer has bragging threads, so allow me to brag here about my first published story in English at Antimatter Magazine.

Comment author: g_pepper 18 September 2017 03:18:50AM 0 points [-]


Which story is yours? (The link just points to the home page.)

Comment author: pepe_prime 13 September 2017 01:20:21PM 10 points [-]

[Survey Taken Thread]

By ancient tradition, if you take the survey you may comment saying you have done so here, and people will upvote you and you will get karma.

Let's make these comments a reply to this post. That way we continue the tradition, but keep the discussion a bit cleaner.

Comment author: g_pepper 13 September 2017 10:30:36PM 21 points [-]

I have taken the survey.

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