Wei Dai wrote:
> Rolf Nelson wrote:
>> In the (3) I gave, you're indexed so that the thermal fluctuation
>> doesn't dissolve until November 1, so your actions still have
>> consequences.
> Still not a problem: the space-time region that I can affect in (3) is too 
> small (i.e., its measure is too small, complexity too large) for me to care 
> much about the consequences of my actions on it.
>> This is one of a larger class of problems related to volition, and the
>> coupling of my qualia to an external reality, that I don't currently
>> have an answer for. I want to live on in the current Universe, I don't
>> to die and have a duplicate of myself created in a different Universe.
>> I want to eat a real ice cream cone, I don't want you to stimulate my
>> neurons to make me imagine I'm eating an ice cream cone. I would argue
>> that a world where I can interact with real people is, in some sense,
>> better than a world where I interact with imaginary people who I
>> believe are real.
> To me, these examples show that we do not care just about qualia, but also 
> about attributes and features of the multiverse that can not be classified 
> as qualia, and therefore we should rule out decision theories that cannot 
> incorporate preferences over non-qualia.
>> You have a general model, which can encompass classical decision
>> theory, but can also encompass other models as well. It's not
>> immediately clear to me what benefit, if any, we get from such a
>> general model.
> Fair question. I'll summarize:
> 1. We are forced into considering such a general model because we don't have 
> a more specific one that doesn't lead to counterintuitive implications.
> 2. It shows us what probabilities really are. For someone whose preferences 
> over the multiverse can be expressed as a linear combination of preferences 
> over regions of the multiverse, a probability function can be interpreted as 
> a representation of how much he cares about each region. I would argue that 
> most of us in fact have preferences of this form, at least approximately, 
> which explains why probability theory has been useful for us.

This seems to just reverse the decision theoretic meaning of probability.  
Usually one cares more about probables outcome and ignores the very improbable 
ones. For example I prefer a region in which I'm rich, handsome, and loved by 
all beautiful women - but I don't assign much probability to it.

> 3. It gives us a useful framework for considering anthropic reasoning 
> problems such as the Doomsday Argument and the Simulation Argument. We can 
> now recast these questions into "Do we prefer a multiverse where people in 
> our situation act as if doom is near?" and "Do we prefer a multiverse where 
> people in our situation act as if they are in simulations?" I argue that its 
> easier for us to consider these questions in this form.

But it seems the answer might depend on whether the premise were true - which 
makes the problem harder.

Brent Meeker

> 4. For someone on a practical mission to write an AI that makes sensible 
> decisions, perhaps the model can serve as a starting point and as 
> illustration of how far away we still are from that goal.
> > 

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