SERVING THE QUANTITATIVE FINANCE COMMUNITY

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winthroptsmith
Posts: 72
Joined: March 14th, 2008, 7:50 pm
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Man in Black: You guessed wrong. Vizzini: You only think I guessed wrong! That's what's so funny! I switched glasses when your back was turned! Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is "never get involved in a land war in Asia" - but only slightly less well-known is this: "Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line"! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha...Vizzini: [Vizzini stops suddenly, his smile frozen on his face and falls to the ground dead]

winthroptsmith
Posts: 72
Joined: March 14th, 2008, 7:50 pm
Contact:

Assuming you play the game once, it's like a single Prisoner's Dilemma game. The supreme being has already made his choice. What is the downside to taking both boxes?

Posts: 23951
Joined: September 20th, 2002, 8:30 pm

1. This seems like a variant on the adaptive learning algorithms that can beat humans at paper-rock-scissors. A smart human, knowing they face an algorithm that can predict how humans play paper-rock-scissors can prevent the algorithm from winning by getting out a set of dice or a coin and randomizing their choice. In this case, if the being knows you will flip a coin, then won't they fill the box with 50% probability?2. Tell the being: "An even more highly superior being from another part of the universe presents a highly superior being from another part of the galaxy with two boxes, one open and one closed. In the open box there is a thousand-dollar bill. In the closed box there is either one million dollars or there is nothing. The being from another part of the galaxy must choose between taking both boxes or taking the closed box only. But there's a catch. The even more highly superior being from another part of the universe claims that he is able to predict what any highly superior being from another part of the galaxy being will decide to do. If he predicted the being would take only the closed box, then he placed a million dollars in it. But if he predicted the being would take both boxes, he left the closed box empty. Furthermore, he has run this experiment with 999 highly superior being from another part of the galaxy before, and has been right every time. What do highly superior beings from another part of the galaxy do?3. Hello Godel! Perhaps those two accepted principles of decision theory are inconsistent.

Posts: 23951
Joined: September 20th, 2002, 8:30 pm