On 20 Jan 2014, at 10:39, Russell Standish wrote:

On Mon, Jan 20, 2014 at 10:09:02PM +1300, LizR wrote:
On 20 January 2014 19:43, Russell Standish <li...@hpcoders.com.au> wrote:

On Sun, Jan 19, 2014 at 10:13:22PM -0800, meekerdb wrote:
On 1/19/2014 7:09 PM, Russell Standish wrote:
That's not the definition. A rational agent is someone who always
chooses the optimal course of action, not that there might be a reason
for it.

Isn't "being optimal" a reason?

Yes - a specific reason, not any old reason.

Obviously I wasn't meaning just "any old reason" !

(I said the reason was to optimise the utility function... I realise there
are caveats like not knowing how to, not having time, etc)


The point about acting randomly is that clearly you are not optimising
your utility. You a choosing something other than the optimum action,
so are behaving irrationally by definition.

Would that not mean that Solovay algorithm to find prime factors is irrational? Adding random oracle (and sometimes even just pseudo-random like in Solovay algorithm) can make a non tractable problem into a tractable one, with a low price (the result can be false with a low probability).



Yet, it could be a
beneficial strategy to do so, for all the reasons raised (fooling your
opponents, making a timely decision, and so on).

OK. But that shows that it was rational, after all. I think it is just means that you might have used a too much contrived notion of rationality.

IMO, the obsession of optimization is what makes life very hard, and non sensical. It might be part of the materialist delusion. Eventually it is only a minority of people who optimizes only their bank accounts, by *all* (dishonest) means. May be the economist definition of rationality will be useful to define irrationalism ...

Bruno




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Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
Principal, High Performance Coders
Visiting Professor of Mathematics      hpco...@hpcoders.com.au
University of New South Wales          http://www.hpcoders.com.au
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