One small step until Contingentative Capitocracy. 2020-11-23T21:34:36.312Z
Troy Macedon's Shortform 2020-11-23T21:34:36.241Z


Comment by troy-macedon on On the nature of purpose · 2021-01-25T17:34:55.627Z · LW · GW

A purpose can be understood as a type of self-fulfilling prophecy for future evolution. There will be people in the future who hold types of purposes, some of those future purposes exist today already in people who are already alive. On the other hand, some purposes today won't be around in the future due to natural selection. Such doomed purposes are objectively wrong, and you have to do research and prediction to find out if your purpose is doomed to avoid the case of holding the wrong purpose today. Being rational means being able to drop the wrong purpose and take up a correct one.

A good analogy is prices since they are both thought up by humans and also dictated by the world. And you can be adamant about a certain unfavorable price and you will become justified in the future when you turned out to be right, a type of self-fulfilled prophecy because you were so adamant and willful. And you can affect other people's prices with your actions and success.

Human purpose doesn't seem complicated to understand. The complexity comes in trying to discover which purposes will still be around in infinity years, because only those perpetual purposes can forever avoid the outcome of being proven wrong. 

Comment by troy-macedon on Troy Macedon's Shortform · 2021-01-25T14:58:39.833Z · LW · GW

>So if you had 10,000 dollars, you would buy all 10,000 lottery tickets to win the grand prize of $9,900?

No. That's not what I said. But thanks for replying though :)

Comment by troy-macedon on Troy Macedon's Shortform · 2021-01-25T02:40:22.293Z · LW · GW

That's a common point which everyone recites and is easily countered by a daily lottery that takes a 1% cut of ticket sales where there's 10,000 tickets sold, a dollar a piece, so the prize is 9,900.00 dollars which you can expect to win once every 30 years. While the return per dollar is only 99 cents, putting that daily dollar into an investment 5% apy will only double your investment over 30 years, from 10k to 20k. But if you play this lottery and invest the daily dollar only after you win the 10k jackpot and also invest said jackpot, then there's a 50% chance that you will end the 30 years with 30k instead of 20k. Even though the lottery takes a cut, it's actually irrational NOT to play it due to the time value of money. 

Comment by troy-macedon on Exercise: Taboo "Should" · 2021-01-24T19:47:37.194Z · LW · GW

>An appeal to choice only works if the choice decreased the amount of suffering that there is in the world.

Actually, increasing the number of choices is good, even if the total amount of suffering went up. For example, doubling the population will roughly double the amount of suffering in the world, but that's irrelevant since the number of choices increased. Possibility space is what determines moral status, not emotions. Chicken suffering has virtually zero effect on the possibility space of the world, so it's morally irrelevant. Extinction would eradicate all suffering, but would be objectively immoral since the world's possibility space would collapse. There wouldn't be any morality in such a world, a world devoid of moral agents. Frankly, it's animalistic and ignorant to use feelings to decide what is/isn't moral. Using logic and science is the correct method.

Comment by troy-macedon on Troy Macedon's Shortform · 2021-01-24T18:53:50.504Z · LW · GW

Social Entropy as a measure of a society's moral status.

A society with a high social entropy is where indistinguishability is high. As in, no matter what you can do, things remain the same. You can be physically or mentally limited from doing the things that will cause a difference. For example, a tribe ten thousand years ago, or an isolated poor community today.

A society with a low social entropy is where distinguishability is high. As in, you have the physical and mental capability to cause a difference. For example, a university where methods are found and practiced, or a bustling city with many risk-hungry investors looking for someone like you.

What's great is that this method is quantitative. We can actually measure whether a new policy or person has increased or decreased the number of possibilities there are. We can measure Social Entropy. It's good to lower Social Entropy.

Comment by troy-macedon on Exercise: Taboo "Should" · 2021-01-24T18:39:22.685Z · LW · GW

Making factory farmed eggs available to customers is objectively ethical. An appeal to suffering only works if the suffering decreased the number of choices that there are in the world.

Since that appears to not be the case, then you need to find another angle. Maybe factory farmed eggs decrease the number of choices in the world because small-time farmers can no longer afford to be in the business of pasture-raised eggs? Even if that were the case, that's only a few decisions that were removed from the world that were outweighed by the decisions of big-time farmers. Moreover, small-time farmers can still explore other decisions. So you'd need to do show the data.

Basing morality off suffering in and of itself isn't viable. Just because something causes an emotional state does not magically make that thing moral or immoral. You also run into problems when basing morality off of emotions like the negative-utilitarians who want to destroy the world because there's technically more human suffering today than ever before. Basing morality off of feeling is a naturalistic fallacy and frankly animalistic.

Taking pain and suffering into account does matter though since emotional states affect the number of possibilities/choices there are in the world. For example, you can't solve a math problem if you're in agony. But that doesn't make the agony bad in and of itself, only bad instrumentally so, since it has caused a decrease in the number of possibilities.

Comment by troy-macedon on Troy Macedon's Shortform · 2021-01-24T18:24:39.246Z · LW · GW

It's both rational and moral to play the lottery a bit.

First, even if the payout is only a portion of the payin, the marginal value of the prize is still more than the ticket price times the number of tickets. Two dollars has virtually 0 marginal utility to almost anyone in America. Whereas the prize is a qualitative change to the winner's life. The total number of possibilities in society goes up since a loser doesn't lose any possibilities buy losing two dollars. The winner can also marshal the funds for projects that would go unfunded otherwise, so the lottery is actually moral to play since it benefits society as a whole.

Also consider time-preference. The value of the prize today is worth almost infinitely more than the ticket price slowly saved away and accumulated over centuries. Even if the prize is only a portion of the payin, by the time you take into account all the accrued interest and the marginal utility difference, the difference is absurd. In fact, the prize can be a mere 1% of the total payin and still be rational to play as long as the prize money is a qualitative difference. This means always go for the jackpot, and not the silly small prizes that won't change your life.

However there's a limit. Any prize amount above the amount that will make a qualitative difference is irrational to play since by the time you can expect to win it the interest accrued on just investing the two dollars a week will have become a vertical curve of capital gains. It seems that 200 years is the limit. If it takes longer than 200 years to win the lottery, then the qualitative benefit switches to interest accrual off the ticket prices. A qualitative jackpot that you can expect to win sometime in your life seems to be ideal since that's not enough time for interest off tickets to become qualitative.

Comment by troy-macedon on A Simple Ethics Model · 2021-01-24T16:41:05.226Z · LW · GW

Mathematically similar, but quite the opposite. Entropy is the measure of indistinguishability. Morality is the measure of distinguishability. For example, if you save a drowning victim, then it becomes harder to predict the world afterwords since that victim will go on to affect the world, and you yourself will have more power to change the world since you made a name for yourself and are now owed a favor from that victim. The world can now evolve into more differentiable states. Whereas if you allowed the victim to die, then the world's future won't have that source of distinguishability in it. It will be a bit easier to predict the world's evolution. So morality is about lowering "social entropy", not raising it.  

Comment by troy-macedon on On the nature of purpose · 2021-01-23T16:55:51.076Z · LW · GW

I'm confused about the "purposes don't affect the world" part. If I think my purpose is to eat an apple, then there will not be an apple in the world that would have otherwise still been there if my purpose wasn't to eat the apple. My purpose has actual effects on the world, so my purpose actually exists.

In regards to "the meaning of life is what we give it", that's like saying "the price of an apple is what we give it". While true, it doesn't tell the whole story. There's actual market forces that dictate apple prices, just like there are actual darwinian forces that dictate meaning and purpose.

Comment by troy-macedon on Exercise: Taboo "Should" · 2021-01-23T03:09:53.911Z · LW · GW

Even if you can avoid blame by not interacting with an ethics problem, that is an unethical decision to make since it's equivalent to not being ethical. And if you are not being ethical (as in tackling ethical problems), then that's simply being unethical. Run towards ethical problems, not away from them. One method of measuring society is how many decisions a member of said society can make. The more decisions available to members, the more ethical that society is. As in, every member gets to participate in more ethical dilemmas. 

Comment by troy-macedon on Help your rivals when they are numerous · 2021-01-23T02:59:34.388Z · LW · GW

I play Catan with friends and family and we add a few extra mechanics: development has to begin on the outer edge of the island and roads are required to move further inwards, soldier cards can be used (up) to take over an adjacent player's village/city that you're connected to and fewer soldier cards can be used to defend as well with frequency limits based on how many road tiles the soldiers need to travel, political trading where paying another player to not develop certain areas in exchange for profit-free trade agreements, using each other's ports, payment, etc. Largest Army and Longest Road trophies can be traded away or lost. Robber takes over the resource spot until moved providing a resource income to the robber player. These mechanisms make Catan very deep and more fluid for every player.

We also play Monopoly with a "laborhours" mechanism along with money. It costs laborhours to build those properties based on the printed monetary value of that property/house/hotel, and players can use their own laborhours, or purchase laborhours from other players to build your property. But you only get a set amount of laborhours until you pass Go where at that point they reset back, rather than add up even more. You can also increase your reset point of laborhours by using them up for "training". We used to use cards to keep track of how many laborhours everyone got, but now we use little analog clocks for each player and move their hands to keep track. Properties degrade over time though and need to be worked on every cycle to upkeep them and maintain their high rents. We use rice grains to keep track of degradation. The rice grains are also used to keep track of how much food each player has. Every time a player passed Go, they lose some of their food, which needs to be bought. If the player runs out of food, they lose. Players are also free to enter into their own co-ops together or buy membership into corporations, to share their properties and development/upkeep costs. It's fun seeing players devolve into drama arguing about which player should spend their laborhours on upkeep lol. 

Comment by troy-macedon on A Simple Ethics Model · 2021-01-22T13:36:08.481Z · LW · GW

Good habits, rules, and virtues cause good consequences. Finding out what they are is not mystical, but science. 

A good rule of thumb when faced with a dilemma is to just maximize your possibility space. It's actually illogical to justify any decision other than the one that maximizes future possibilities since that'd be akin to saying "I choose to lose choices". Any proposed method of decision-making must output that very same method in order for it to retain logical consistency. This means build a future for yourself; exercise, diet, learn, and accrue wealth and relationships. In cases where all your choices only lead to no choices for you ever again (end of life decisions), then maximize possibility space in general. This means build a future for others like your kids and friends; give them wealth, resources, and knowledge.

Similar with values, it's illogical to value something that would diminish your ability to value. Your ability to appreciate things and sacrifice for them must always increase. Don't value things that will leave you as a husk of a person.

Comment by troy-macedon on Ontological Crisis in Humans · 2021-01-21T21:15:33.738Z · LW · GW

There are possible oughts, impossible oughts, and necessary oughts. Possible oughts are up in the air so it's easier to deal with impossible oughts and necessary oughts. TLDR: growing your possibility space is valid, decreasing your possibility space is invalid. 

One example of a necessary ought is "an agent ought to ought". As in, at the very first moment that you begin to decide what you should do, you have already fallen into the trap of "deciding to decide" as a necessary imperative. From that point on, you may never justifiably leave your identity as an agent, other than for the sake of agency in the world. Of course, you can still physically destroy agency, but never in a manner that wouldn't violate any conceivable logically consistent moral framework. It's simply a logical contradiction for a decision-making system to output the destruction of all decision-making systems. So oughts that perpetuate and grow the set of decisions that agents can make are necessary and need to be included in any moral framework. 

An example of an impossible ought is "a living agent should play Russian Roulette a trillion times." That is impossible since it would take multiple lives to play just a thousand times. So such oughts can be excluded from the set of all oughts

Comment by troy-macedon on Actually possible: thoughts on Utopia · 2021-01-21T18:18:28.974Z · LW · GW

The issue with Omelas is not the lone child being sad forever, to make it possible. Even as a kid, I would gladly risk being the sacrifice to get membership there.

A Utopia is where anything is possible in finite time. Just calculate your possibility space. If it goes up, good. If it goes down, bad. So I actually do live in a Utopia.

Comment by troy-macedon on Aaro Salosensaari's Shortform · 2021-01-12T23:50:01.096Z · LW · GW

>For being with culture, there's a lot of value in existing during a growth phase

For being with culture, there's a lot of **Measure** in existing during a growth phase.

Out of all possible epochs, why else are you born in this unprecedented one?

Comment by troy-macedon on Aaro Salosensaari's Shortform · 2021-01-10T12:44:24.223Z · LW · GW

Are you a Malthusian? The thing that elevates humans to the status of people is our immunity to Malthusian Dynamics (but I will admit that most demographics of humans don't actually qualify). If the population went 10x, the extinction risk wouldn't go up 10x. Actually, it wouldn't even go up at all. It would go down, in fact. We're not hunter gatherers who need to maintain a low tribe population to ensure the caribou herd doesn't dwindle from over hunting. Mankind is past the point where we can over-consume resources. By the time we get even close, we already find new resources.

The reason you have a preference for "scenario B" is because your evolutionary past is one filled with scarcity and tribes that didn't manage their number would over-hunt their territory and starve to death. But luckily, evolution is rewarding people who realize this and weeding out the people who don't. The people who can't adapt to the end of scarcity don't have a place in the future. 

Comment by troy-macedon on Book Review: The Secret Of Our Success · 2021-01-09T07:45:04.509Z · LW · GW

Your comment is a really good example of what the OP is talking about. 

Comment by troy-macedon on Book Review: The Secret Of Our Success · 2021-01-09T07:40:52.749Z · LW · GW

This explains why people at the lower levels of their community's hierarchy have their Reasoning abilities "unlocked". Yes, Reasoning skyrockets a person/tribe's risk, but that risk is tolerable if it's relegated to the bottom-tier members of the tribe. The tribe will go on just fine if those few end up as casualties, in fact it may even be better off so might as well use them as experimental subjects. This is also why signalling your reasoning abilities to women is the best way to not get laid. The implication is that you're at a low level of the hierarchy and not good mating material. I can confirm this from my own life because my best mating successes are when I am purposefully being dumb and not listening to anyone's reason no matter how valid those arguments actually are. Immunity to others' Reason is a very good way to signal high social status, and consequently high mating potential.

Comment by troy-macedon on My attempt to explain Looking, insight meditation, and enlightenment in non-mysterious terms · 2021-01-09T06:36:32.322Z · LW · GW

The reason pain is bad is because it narrows your set of possibilities. For example, it's impossible to solve a mathematical problem while you're in pain. Even though pain is just a feeling, it has actual effects on your possibility space.

Even if "I" isn't independent from the world in its construction, it is still independent in its ontology. For example: an apple is constructed by the tree, but it's still its own thing.

Comment by troy-macedon on Troy Macedon's Shortform · 2021-01-09T06:17:00.045Z · LW · GW

Maybe students should be required to make children before they can graduate?

Comment by troy-macedon on Troy Macedon's Shortform · 2021-01-08T17:39:38.535Z · LW · GW

Regret is Cartesian Suicide. If the past changes, then you wouldn't be the observer-state that you are today.

Comment by troy-macedon on Bets, Bonds, and Kindergarteners · 2021-01-08T06:28:45.658Z · LW · GW

Disputes over the betting verdict can be resolved by getting both parties to invest in future bettings such that today's loss is outweighed by the promise of future wins. Example: you bet on whether or not there will be bees in the park, and it turns out that there aren't any except for some toy bees being sold by the park vendor, so the better who bet that there would be bees cites the toy bees as proof that there were bees in the park, violating the spirit of the bet but not the explicit terms, so during the dispute the spirit-consistent better offers to double-down with a new additional bet to the terms-consistent better: that there **won't** be a dispute the next time they bet. The terms-consistent better will think it's guaranteed for a dispute to arise again, and so accepts the bet at high odds. The next time the two bet, the spirit-consistent better just needs to accept whatever betting verdict the terms-consistent better decides upon, and thereby win the previous doubled bet, profiting in the end. A few rounds of this, and the two will reach an equilibrium.

Comment by troy-macedon on Review of 'But exactly how complex and fragile?' · 2021-01-08T06:04:36.606Z · LW · GW

As long as we grow the possibility space of values and humans today, then we can figure out the rest tomorrow. 

Comment by troy-macedon on Troy Macedon's Shortform · 2021-01-08T05:51:59.384Z · LW · GW

I'm trying to find a source for a quote. Who said that there are vastly more ways to die tomorrow than there are ways to die today, so your randomly-chosen death is most likely not the one with today's date?

Comment by troy-macedon on G Gordon Worley III's Shortform · 2021-01-08T05:48:59.581Z · LW · GW

But it could've gone another way if you were slightly different in one area, like you willpower. 

But I do agree that regret is wrong because I don't view myself as anything other than the entity that caused the worse outcome. I'm not the entity that has more willpower. I'm the entity that made the mistake and is now experiencing the following consequences. To change the past is to commit cartesian su*cide.

Comment by troy-macedon on The Born Probabilities · 2020-12-27T07:22:52.758Z · LW · GW

The fact that we find ourselves in the near least feasible number of past decoherence events, actually does seem to hold. Our lightcone is finite, both in size and in age. The number of past decoherence events is absurdly small!

Comment by troy-macedon on The Fermi Paradox has not been dissolved - James Fodor · 2020-12-18T19:25:07.746Z · LW · GW

You're confused about survivorship bias. If abiogenesis didn't occur as early as it did on Earth, then the odds of us being here would go down by orders of magnitude since there wouldn't be enough time left to get through all the other steps before the Sun gets hotter and cooks the Earth.

To reply to your claim that what happened wasn't necessary, even that is wrong. The things that happened, had to happen. Even if they didn't happen this time, there would eventually be another chance for them to happen. So they will happen eventually somewhere, necessarily.

Comment by troy-macedon on The Fermi Paradox has not been dissolved - James Fodor · 2020-12-14T20:22:10.308Z · LW · GW

A sample of one can still be used if other distributions cancel each other out. For ex: If Hubble Volumes have a Power Distribution, then we should expect to find ourselves in the smallest Hubble Volume that can house a civilization. We're almost guaranteed to be alone in this Universe.

Comment by troy-macedon on The Fermi Paradox has not been dissolved - James Fodor · 2020-12-14T20:14:12.187Z · LW · GW

Your starting parameters are way too optimistic. Even at the scale of simple Proteins, the combinatorial space of possible foldings is somewhere around 10^250 possible configurations. We can expect many lifetimes of the universe to pass before the right foldings occur that can eventually lead to observers. And abiogenesis being so early on Earth is 100% survivorship bias. What's funny is that even if the natural rate of civilizations was around 1 per Galaxy, we should still expect to be in a very quiet corner of the Universe, because, again, survivorship bias.

Comment by troy-macedon on Pseudorandomness contest, Round 1 · 2020-12-14T19:47:53.840Z · LW · GW

I pressed 1 and 0 as simultaneously as I could and just deleted the lagging bit. This feels like cheating though. A situation where I'm strapped down and I can only say "1" or "0" 150 times in 10mins would be absurdly more difficult. 

Comment by troy-macedon on Troy Macedon's Shortform · 2020-12-14T18:52:13.162Z · LW · GW

Posterior Probability doesn't take SIA into account. So the theories would be equally likely before applying SIA. Then, applying SIA, theory that predicts 2Y observers would become twice as likely. But then applying a type of "Universe Indication Assumption", where universes with twice as many observers are intrinsically a third less likely, the theory that predicts Y number of observers becomes more likely.

Comment by troy-macedon on jp's Shortform · 2020-12-10T21:20:49.856Z · LW · GW

There's a thing called a "Cartesian Soul" but that doesn't really apply to your context of bettering your "workflow" or "thoughtflow". Your strategy seems consequentialist since it clearly has affected how much stress you're under, which itself has elevated your performance.

Comment by troy-macedon on Mati_Roy's Shortform · 2020-12-09T17:58:01.151Z · LW · GW

Easy. If they can recognize that you're not an expert, then they are one.

Comment by troy-macedon on Troy Macedon's Shortform · 2020-12-09T00:01:54.183Z · LW · GW

I don't like Pessimism. Pessimism can be a reaction to Nihilism/Suffering. You can accept the reality of Nihilism and Suffering without having a pessimistic reaction to them. In fact, the pessimistic reaction is animalistic and illogical; it's unjustified and self-defeating, respectively. It also reveals the Slave-type mindset of the Pessimist. When faced with the naked truth that your state of existence isn't the result of any higher-power's intent (and is thus taken as a meaningless existence), and your reaction is negative, than that makes me view you as a self-professed Slave who finds out his Master doesn't exist. Should the Slave then become a Pessimist?

Comment by troy-macedon on Troy Macedon's Shortform · 2020-12-08T23:55:13.407Z · LW · GW

Actually, they're entirely irrelevant. And it applies to all civilizations that passed filter Y and are now facing filter X that has a 10% pass-rate. Let me know if you're still a little confused.

Comment by troy-macedon on Troy Macedon's Shortform · 2020-12-08T15:05:09.019Z · LW · GW

I keep seeing people say that the Self-Indication Assumption implies that given two possible theories with equal posterior probability of being true, SIA says the one that implies more observers is by default more likely to be true. But this would only be true if possible-universes were equally distributed by observer count. But they're not. Universes, even the set of possible universes, fall under either a Normal Distribution, or a Power Distribution. Either distribution implies that universes with more observers are less likely even though each one has more observers. For ex: there would be N number of universes with Y number of observers, but only N/3 number of universe with 2*Y number of observers. So SIA would say you're more likely to find yourself in the former universe with Y number of observers.

Comment by troy-macedon on Troy Macedon's Shortform · 2020-12-08T14:35:47.161Z · LW · GW

The raw number of civilizations and their dissimilarity to us, are both irrelevant here. 

Comment by troy-macedon on Troy Macedon's Shortform · 2020-12-08T01:42:08.017Z · LW · GW

Let's say we passed filter Y and filter X is next. Of all the civilizations that have passed filter Y, only 10% of them will pass filter X. Our civilization has passed filter Y so does this mean we have a 10% chance of passing filter X? I don't think so. Even if all the civilizations facing filter X have a history of successes, and the traits that caused those successes, our civilization still has an advantage. Said advantage isn't concrete or explainable. It's just simply based on the fact that, of all the possible civilizations I could have been born in, something caused me to be born in this civilization. This civilization has an unbalanced Measure relative to all other possible civilizations.

Comment by troy-macedon on Troy Macedon's Shortform · 2020-12-07T18:58:35.018Z · LW · GW

A lot of Doomsday Arguments rest on the calculus of comparing how many civilizations make it through some filter vs how many don't, then simply use that ratio to give an expectation of making it through said filter.

I don't think it actually works like that. If 1 out of 10 civilizations make it through the filter, your credence in your belief that your civilization will pass, shouldn't just be 10%. It should be way higher. Why?

Honestly, I'm not exactly/comprehensively sure. My gut tells me that the successful civilization has more "Measure" by default. You are just intrinsically more likely to be part of the successful civilization, than the doomed one. Same in regards to the individual.

If anyone can explain why I'm wrong or right, please.

Comment by troy-macedon on [Linkpost] AlphaFold: a solution to a 50-year-old grand challenge in biology · 2020-11-30T19:32:18.144Z · LW · GW

A nice way to see how hard protein folding is:

Comment by troy-macedon on Prize: Interesting Examples of Evaluations · 2020-11-29T23:51:37.070Z · LW · GW

A few methods:

The exact evaluation method you will be using to determine the winner here must be good, right? Pick that one, so this one.

Alternatively, pick whatever evaluation method picks itself. So this one.

Even more alternatively, pick whatever evaluation method all the submitted evaluation methods would pick.

Or, use the participants themselves to determine the winner by rewarding the participants who early on backed the eventual winner. So pay out some amount from that prize to everyone who voted for the eventually winner. I'm even willing to lose the prize to each voter who votes for this evaluation method.

Last one. Evaluate the submitted items based on their effect on the company's stock price. 

Comment by troy-macedon on Troy Macedon's Shortform · 2020-11-29T23:19:48.861Z · LW · GW

Everett's daughter's suicide is actually kind of a tragedy if you think about it.

And we're all to blame for it. Or maybe just me, because I don't know about you. I don't know how much her suicide has an effect on others, but it did affect me. Specifically, it affected my precommitments. Why is this important? Because my precommitments have an actual affect on the Measure of different versions of me. And since I'm the version of me with the greatest Measure, this implies that my precommitments are to thank for that. So I'm guilty. Specifically, I'm guilty of being a man who would have taken greater risks (and henceforth had lower Measure) if the daughter of the father of Multiverse and Quantum Immortality didn't kill herself. In fact, I wouldn't have even typed this post, and you wouldn't have read it. I am inadvertently implicating you. I'm sorry.

Comment by troy-macedon on Troy Macedon's Shortform · 2020-11-29T20:30:41.721Z · LW · GW

Common talking point:
"The Mind is substrate independent since information and computation are substrate independent."

That's like saying:
"An apple is substrate independent since structure and working energy are substrate independent."

Comment by troy-macedon on Troy Macedon's Shortform · 2020-11-29T20:19:23.730Z · LW · GW

is the fear of someone else completely understanding/defining you, rational?

a trivial example is an implication of the simulation argument: if you can't be understood, then you can't be simulated, which counterfactually makes you less likely to be simulated in the first place.

to go even further, trying to come up with a definition to perfectly encapsulate the epistemology of your enemies will make you more likely to be the simulator, and them the simulatee, in the interaction. does this mean that forums like lesswrong are actually honeypots by future Omega-level villains? 

Comment by troy-macedon on Snyder-Beattie, Sandberg, Drexler & Bonsall (2020): The Timing of Evolutionary Transitions Suggests Intelligent Life Is Rare · 2020-11-28T13:49:55.796Z · LW · GW

So we need to kill all other civilizations that we encounter in the future. AND we need to do it before they reach their version of 2020AD with technology? It doesn't help us if we kill them off after this. But we don't actually need to wipe them out entirely, just force their development to stop at some pre-technological point. Given that we are already past this point, we don't need to fear another version of ourselves. We'd even be able to update this imposed hard stop after a while. 

Comment by troy-macedon on Troy Macedon's Shortform · 2020-11-28T00:01:16.933Z · LW · GW

What are the odds that an immortal is experiencing youthhood?

There's a temporal self-location issue with being immortal. Since an immortal lives for an infinite amount of time, almost all of his experiences are in the year infinity AD. This implies that you're not an immortal since your age is around 30yo, not infinity. The odds of you having your experience right now, as a relatively youthful man, is basically 0 if almost all of your experiences are in the infinite future. It seems like an immortal should always be at some unknown age; his boyhood so far into the past that it's been washed away by the fabric of reality itself. 


So does this really mean you're not immortal? I don't think so. There are still ways to "save" immortality even though your experience right now is such a unique one. The most basic way is to just treat the cause of this issue: your infinite future experiences. If you ever have only a finite number of experiences, then the odds of your experience of youth right now jumps from infinitesimal all the way up to finitesimal. You could do this by passive or active memory loss, or suspend your brain's state periodically such that even after an infinite amount of time, you will only ever be awake for a finite amount of time. For ex: in 10Gyr, enter suspension for 10Gyr, then have 5Gyr of experiences, then suspend for 10Gyr, then have 2.5Gyr of experiences, then suspend for 10Gyr.... This will ensure that you never exceed 20Gyr of experiences, a finite number.

But that's still a lot and still makes an experience of youthhood so unlikely (one out of a billion basically). Are there more ways to raise your chances of experiencing your youthhood even further? I have a gut feeling that precommitting techniques might be key. Or methods to extend experiences into year long durations. So not just "I am typing this post right now" (a 10mins long experience), but an experience of "I am playing on a forum" (~10year long experience).

Comment by troy-macedon on You are (mostly) a simulation. · 2020-11-27T23:35:04.319Z · LW · GW

Are you me? Because that is almost exactly how my first "vertiginous" moment was. I was around 6 or 7, lying in bed with my grandmother and I remember looking at the turned-off TV and having a moment of "this is weird, I'm like alive or something?" But when I tried to ask my babushka I couldn't even put the experience into words. She just ended up thinking I was saying I could see through walls or something lol

Comment by troy-macedon on Measure's Shortform · 2020-11-27T19:16:29.956Z · LW · GW

You're describing the state of Flow.

Comment by troy-macedon on Troy Macedon's Shortform · 2020-11-24T10:02:57.772Z · LW · GW

Librarians are allowed to talk. To correct your analogy: it would be as if no one was talking and then a patron suddenly told another patron in the library "No talking in the library," out loud, by talking.

When you introduce different reference classes like that, you have to be careful because of implicit assertions. For ex: a robot vegan cafe where there's a sign "No meat allowed," and a human walks in who is composed of meat, without breaking the rules.

Comment by troy-macedon on It’s not economically inefficient for a UBI to reduce recipient’s employment · 2020-11-23T20:30:06.107Z · LW · GW

How much will it be then, if not 0? Note that any asking price you state, I will just list an asking price a bit lower than that since my production cost is 0. Even if my customers don't pay me any cash, they still have value to me.