Re: Decision theory

From: Wei Dai <>
Date: Sat, 9 Jan 1999 02:12:00 -0800

On Wed, Jan 06, 1999 at 02:05:20PM -0500, Jacques M Mallah wrote:
> To say that I affect the outcome is to say that my mental
> processes, or computation, determines the result, which is still true.
> And the utility function, for my decision making, must be calculated by me
> with different scenarios for each possible decision-outcome, because I do
> not know what my own computation is.

Ok, I think I understand what you're saying now. But of course you have to
use an approximation instead of the actual theory to do this calculation.
So the question is what approximation do you use, or more fundamentally
how do you tell whether an approximation is a good one? The major problem
I see is that the approximation has to handle counter-factual scenarios.
What is to prevent it from giving arbitrary predictions in those
scenarios, since you can't compare those predictions with the actual

> Would such a theory be unique? If so, and I doubt it but would
> like it to be true, it would make sense to speak of information content as
> a well defined quantity.
> Then we would have a mathematical theory of information content,
> as well a theory of physics. The theory of physics, however, would have
> zero information content, as defined by the other theory.

See the new thread I started with subject "information content of
Received on Sat Jan 09 1999 - 02:13:14 PST

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