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winthroptsmith
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Newcomb's paradox

August 15th, 2015, 8:35 pm

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]
 
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winthroptsmith
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Newcomb's paradox

August 15th, 2015, 8:37 pm

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?
 
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Traden4Alpha
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Newcomb's paradox

August 15th, 2015, 10:16 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.
 
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Traden4Alpha
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Newcomb's paradox

August 16th, 2015, 10:55 am

One issue is that we only have the alien's word on: the structure of the game, that the value of the closed box is non-negative, and the alien's prediction record. In particular, the contents of the closed box could be quite dangerous.At some level, this game structure is identical to the classic Nigerian email scam (and the same strategy employed by ant poisons): offer a visible benefit to the victim (e.g., $1000, share of the deceased Nigerian uncle's loot, or tasty morsel) as well as a hidden item (the closed box, parking money in a bank account, other chemicals in the bait). Moreover, the crafty alien has contrived the game to make the human think that taking the second box is a given and misdirected the human's cognitive processes on deciding about also taking the first box or not. That's a classic scam tactic!The optimal response is take the first box and leave the second one!
 
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winthroptsmith
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Newcomb's paradox

August 16th, 2015, 4:35 pm

The quote was from the Princess Bride, in the contest of wits over poisoned wine. The Man in Black is Westley, who has taken the identity of the Dread Pirate Roberts.
 
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Traden4Alpha
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Newcomb's paradox

August 16th, 2015, 7:05 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: outrunT4A, someone told me that "the alien" is your future self!Hey, I'm just trying to channel my inner Paul Wilmott on this one.Besides, I'm running experiments in predicting the behavior of aliens who are running experiments in predicting the behavior of humans. We shall see what happens in the next 998 aliens.
 
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Traden4Alpha
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Newcomb's paradox

August 17th, 2015, 1:54 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: outrunQuoteOriginally posted by: Traden4AlphaQuoteOriginally posted by: outrunT4A, someone told me that "the alien" is your future self!Hey, I'm just trying to channel my inner Paul Wilmott on this one.Besides, I'm running experiments in predicting the behavior of aliens who are running experiments in predicting the behavior of humans. We shall see what happens in the next 998 aliens.Yes, one of the aliens predicted that you would do those experiments. I think the problems will sort themselves out because of the dark energy, soon the aliens will be at a safe distance beyond our event horizon!Then those aliens will have fallen into a trap! Beyond our event horizon lies the third closed box containing the opposite of the payoff of the first two boxes.
 
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Alan
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Newcomb's paradox

August 17th, 2015, 6:18 pm

I would trust the alien; he has placed the closed box contents and his prediction into a quantum state, which will resolve to either a million dollars or empty (and the correct prediction), depending upon your choice.With that, your choice is clear. edited to fix a flaw.
Last edited by Alan on August 16th, 2015, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Traden4Alpha
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Newcomb's paradox

August 18th, 2015, 2:08 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: outrunQuoteOriginally posted by: AlanI would trust the alien; he has placed the closed box contents and his prediction into a quantum state, which will resolve to either a million dollars or empty (and the correct prediction), depending upon your choice.With that, your choice is clear. edited to fix a flaw.Nice idea to entangle the events!It's not clear that the $1000 in the first box will be sufficient to cover the funeral of the radioactive dead cat in the second box.Take the first box and run!
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