So I thought of an interesting problem in decision theory and/or ethics. Maybe someone’s thought along these lines before, but if so I haven’t encountered it.
Suppose you have to make a decision between two options, A and B. Your credence that option A is the more ethical one is 60%, and your credence that option B is the more ethical one is 40%. Is it more ethical to.... 1. Automatically pick A because it has the higher credence. 2. Pick randomly between A and B with the probability of each one matching your credence. For example, generate a random number between 0 and 1 and pick B iff your number is over 0.6. If one subscribed to the MWI, the second option could even be phrased as “make sure 60% of your future selves pick A and 40% pick B”. The second option could be called the diverse-futures ethic, since it would lead to a more varied future if everyone consistently followed it, while option A could be called the winner-take-all ethic. One interesting fact is that it’s less costly (in terms of entropy and energy) for an agent to follow the diverse-futures ethic. This is because noise can be recycled from the environment to use to make the decision. However the difference in cost is very small (less than 1 bit of entropy in the above case, or less than kT ln 2 of energy). Maybe that should factor into the relative ethical merit of the two strategies, if only a tiny bit. The human brain seems to follow the diverse-futures ethic since it calculates probabilistically, using ambient noise to its advantage. -Mason -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. To post to this group, send email to email@example.com. Visit this group at https://groups.google.com/group/everything-list. For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.