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Newcomb's Problem

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Erik Mesoy, May 11, 2008.

?

Read the thread.

  1. I take both boxes. BOTH.

    28.3%
  2. I take box B. BEE.

    71.7%
  1. Erik Mesoy

    Erik Mesoy Core Tester / Intern

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    "The following may well be the most controversial dilemma in the history of decision theory."
    http://pastie.caboo.se/195189.txt

    Assume that you're playing the game in the above situation and that the rules have been explained to you, then vote in the poll.

    The usual positions in the argument are as follows.

    TWO-BOXER:
    Spoiler :


    ONE-BOXER:
    Spoiler :


    One-boxers are usually confident that their opinion is correct and that picking two boxes is silly. Two-boxers are usually confident that their opinion is correct and that picking one box is silly. Nonetheless, people tend to be about evenly split on the issue.

    Let the arguing begin. Which do you pick, and why?

    Addendum: "iff" in the starting quote means "if and only if".
     
  2. amadeus

    amadeus Bring back the Civ2 theme!

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    B.

    A thousand dollars isn't enough to interest me; I'm a high stakes gambler.
     
  3. Defiant47

    Defiant47 Peace Sentinel

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    This is still tricky :)
     
  4. Virote_Considon

    Virote_Considon The Great Dictator

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    1234567890
     
  5. philippe

    philippe FYI, I chase trains.

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    I'm with virote, then again I misclicked :sad:
    <@philippe> goddamnit
    <@philippe> I misvoted
    <+Psweet> how do you misvote?
    * dutchfire rants about the stupidity of belgians
    <+Psweet> the options are even spelled out phonetically!
     
  6. amadeus

    amadeus Bring back the Civ2 theme!

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    Looks a little heavy in favor of BEEEES at the moment. Will it level off?
     
  7. nihilistic

    nihilistic Intergalatic Delivery Boy

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    Both. If I end up with 1000 there is an understanding. If I end up with 1001000 I would have screwed the pathetic 'super-intelligent' being.

    Unless the 'super-intelligent' being has published probabilities of false negatives and it favored choosing the other.
     
  8. Defiant47

    Defiant47 Peace Sentinel

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    I guess this is simply a matter of how much do we trust its predictions, given 100/100 data.
     
  9. Kozmos

    Kozmos Jew Detective

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    Well if it states EVERYONE who has taken only box B has found a million dollars, I dont quite see the dilemma here.
     
  10. Phlegmak

    Phlegmak Deity

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    B.

    $1000 extra to me isn't much.

    $1M extra to me is a lot.

    The deciding factor was that Omega was 100% correct in all his predictions in where he'd put the money. It's 99% probable he'd be right with me, and so I'll just take box B.
     
  11. Perfection

    Perfection The Great Head.

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    Here's the Perfection way.

    1. I ask Omega if the device is optimized for hits to misses ratio. If he disagrees, I go box B, otherwise I continue
    2. I wait until the boxes are down and contents settled
    3. I use a source of quantum randomness that produces a number randomly from a large field
    4. I pick a subfield of the numbers that has a slightly less then 50% of coming up
    5. If a number in that subfield comes up I take both, if not I take box b.

    The result is a slightly more then 50% chance of getting a million dollars, a slightly less than 50% chance of getting a million one thousand dollars and the glory of having outsmarted Omega.

    :smug:
     
  12. Erik Mesoy

    Erik Mesoy Core Tester / Intern

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    The alien has flown away after dropping the boxes. You don't get to ask it questions.
     
  13. Catharsis

    Catharsis catch u on the flip scythe

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    Both. Here's the reasoning:

    If you take both boxes, then you have $1000 and two boxes. So you can buy $1000 worth of stuff, and two boxes is an adequate amount of space to hold $1000 worth of stuff.

    If you take box B, then you have either $0, in which case you have a box but nothing to put in it (waste of a box), or $1000000, which means you can buy $1000000 worth of stuff, but you only have one box in which to put it - and as we've seen, one box can only be reasonably expected to hold $500 worth of stuff, so $999500 worth of your stuff will have no box and will therefore get wet in the rain.

    QED.
     
  14. Perfection

    Perfection The Great Head.

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    In that case I make the assumption.
     
  15. nivi

    nivi Call me Ishmael

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    Box B, of course. I mean really, a 100/100 chance is good enough for me, the extra (or only) 1000 isn't worth it enough to make me risk 1m$. :rolleyes:
     
  16. dutchfire

    dutchfire Deity

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    Move away from rainy England and you remove that problem.
     
  17. dcbandicoot

    dcbandicoot the true corporate champ

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    Both. Regardless of what box I choose, there's $0 or $1m in the box. So why not take the free $1000?

    I don't understand why everyone believes 100 correct out of 100 is relevant, or why choosing just the opaque box is the right choice. The money's THERE or it's NOT regardless of what you choose, it's NOT guaranteed if you just take box B.
     
  18. Perfection

    Perfection The Great Head.

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    You know, something that hasn't been mentioned here is how much the boxes are worth. I mean, boxes made by superintelligent aliens could be worth a lot of scratch,
     
  19. Catharsis

    Catharsis catch u on the flip scythe

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    And how, pray tell, would I move $1000000 worth of stuff out of England with only one box? :rolleyes:
     
  20. Perfection

    Perfection The Great Head.

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    You could buy more boxes!
     

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