Newcomb's Paradox

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Newcomb's Paradox

Post28 Nov 2016

Said to be "the most controversial dilemma in the history of decision theory", Newcomb's Paradox appears to have direct reflection on surrender and adherence to the Brahma Kumaris "superintelligence" god spirit.

In Newcomb's Problem, the god who comes to Earth sets about playing a little game with prizes inside boxes. In BKism, the god who comes to Earth sets about playing a little game with people's entire lives. Their lives, your life, is the box ... which one do you choose, and how do you choose it?

In BKism,
    "Life A" is a normal life; love, marriage, business, education, family etc.
    "Life B" is the jam tomorrow* of a Golden Aged millionaire lifestyle.
and, true to Newcomb's puzzle, if you try and achieve both, you will lose everything they BKs tell you.

My brain is too old and my motivation too weak to wrestle with this issue, but apparently, Newcomb's problem is one of the most widely debated philosophical paradoxes of our times.

What I do see in it, and see in adherence to Brahma Kumarism, is that such problem basically 'short', or 'fuse', ordinary people's brains making it impossible for to make a rational decision, somewhat like the monkey who sticks their hand in a jar to grab a fruit only to find themselves trapped ... but their unwillingness to let go of their desire.
Newcomb's Problem and Regret of Rationality

A superintelligence from another galaxy, whom we shall call Omega, comes to Earth and sets about playing a strange little game. In this game, Omega selects a human being, sets down two boxes in front of them, and flies away.
    Box A is transparent and contains a thousand dollars.
    Box B is opaque, and contains either a million dollars, or nothing.
You can take both boxes, or take only box B.

And the twist is that Omega has put a million dollars in box B if Omega has predicted that you will take only box B.

Omega has been correct on each of 100 observed occasions so far - everyone who took both boxes has found box B empty and received only a thousand dollars; everyone who took only box B has found B containing a million dollars. (We assume that box A vanishes in a puff of smoke if you take only box B; no one else can take box A afterward.)

Before you make your choice, Omega has flown off and moved on to its next game. Box B is already empty or already full.

Omega drops two boxes on the ground in front of you and flies off.

Do you take both boxes, or only box B?

And the standard philosophical conversation runs thusly:

One-boxer: "I take only box B, of course. I'd rather have a million than a thousand."

Two-boxer: "Omega has already left. Either box B is already full or already empty. If box B is already empty, then taking both boxes nets me $1000, taking only box B nets me $0. If box B is already full, then taking both boxes nets $1,001,000, taking only box B nets $1,000,000. In either case I do better by taking both boxes, and worse by leaving a thousand dollars on the table - so I will be rational, and take both boxes."

One-boxer: "If you're so rational, why ain'cha rich?"

Two-boxer: "It's not my fault Omega chooses to reward only people with irrational dispositions, but it's already too late for me to do anything about that."

* The traditional saying "work today, and get jam tomorrow" is criticism of the inducement cults and others shysters use to exploit people ... work today for nothing, and tomorrow you will get jam they promise. The work is taken and the cultist or shyster benefits ... only for the jam never to be served. Ever.

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Pink Panther

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Re: Newcomb's Paradox

Post29 Nov 2016

Omega sounds untrustworthy

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