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From: Nick Bostrom <bostrom.domain.name.hidden>

Date: Mon, 6 Apr 1998 23:38:08 +0000

Wei Dai wrote:

*> This operationalization allows you to make explanations, but not
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*> predictions.
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*> At time 1, it doesn't help me to know that "If I'm at time 2 and I
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*> remember observing coin landing heads at time 1, then the probability of
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*> observing x is p." I mean it is not helpful in the sense of helping me
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*> make decisions at time 1, because the probability is conditional on my
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*> state of knowledge at time 2. According to decision theory, I can only use
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*> probabilities that are conditional on my current state of knowledge.
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When you make your decision at time 1 you don't need any

probabilities, since you already know with certainty what's going to

happen given that you take a certain proposed action (and provided

you have the conputational ability to derive this). You know that if

you take such and such an action, then there will be n copies of

yourself at some later time. In my opinion there is no further fact

as to which one of these copies you will "really" turn out to be;

you'll be all of them.

*> It is helpful to me at time 2, but only in the sense that it explains why
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*> I am observing x, namely that I remember observing heads at time 1 and
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*> therefore now have a probability p of observing x.
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Also, it helps you make predictions at time 2, provided that you

haven't yet opened your eyes and seen how the coin landed. (If you

already know how it landed, then the issue is of course settled

and the probability is 1 or 0).

_____________________________________________________

Nick Bostrom

Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method

London School of Economics

n.bostrom.domain.name.hidden

http://www.hedweb.com/nickb

Received on Mon Apr 06 1998 - 15:45:41 PDT

Date: Mon, 6 Apr 1998 23:38:08 +0000

Wei Dai wrote:

When you make your decision at time 1 you don't need any

probabilities, since you already know with certainty what's going to

happen given that you take a certain proposed action (and provided

you have the conputational ability to derive this). You know that if

you take such and such an action, then there will be n copies of

yourself at some later time. In my opinion there is no further fact

as to which one of these copies you will "really" turn out to be;

you'll be all of them.

Also, it helps you make predictions at time 2, provided that you

haven't yet opened your eyes and seen how the coin landed. (If you

already know how it landed, then the issue is of course settled

and the probability is 1 or 0).

_____________________________________________________

Nick Bostrom

Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method

London School of Economics

n.bostrom.domain.name.hidden

http://www.hedweb.com/nickb

Received on Mon Apr 06 1998 - 15:45:41 PDT

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