Re: Bounded population (was Re: Bounded utility)

From: Matt Mahoney (
Date: Sun Apr 13 2008 - 14:49:45 MDT

--- Vladimir Nesov <> wrote:

> On Sat, Apr 12, 2008 at 5:03 AM, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
> <> wrote:
> >
> > People sure are in a rush to hack the utility function all sorts of
> ways...
> > probably because they don't understand what this little mathy object
> > *means*; it's the set of things you really, actually care about.
> >
> But how do we figure it out? Why must utility be, say, additive by the
> number of people, as you suggested? Such rule sounds completely
> arbitrary. World-with-humans should be somehow observed and
> extrapolated, and principles of this extrapolation is an important
> problem to figure out, but before that is done it's not clear what the
> result should be.

Ethics and culture evolve memetically to increase the fitness of the tribe.
It explains things like scope insensitivity, i.e. the tribe whose members
behave altruistically toward other members while at the same time wiping out
whole competing tribes.

-- Matt Mahoney,

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