[ExI] Superrationality

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Wed May 7 07:56:16 UTC 2008

Eliezer writes

> Lee wrote:
>>  Precisely. I would, for example, cooperate only with a "close duplicate",
>>  since physically speaking what I do is what my close duplicate does to a
>>  high degree of fidelity.
>>  But I have stated the necessary and sufficient conditions above for
>>  superrationality to obtain, and so lacking "close physical duplicates",
>>  superrationality at the present time in human history is impossible.

To be clear, I wrote (for my condition)

     Unless the other player's behavior is highly correlated with yours
     ---for reasons that must be explained and must make sense---
     then to Cooperate is to defy the very definition of the two-player
     game [non-iterated prisoner's dilemma NIPD]

Hopefully, you were taking that as my condition. If so, then

> Your condition is sufficient but not necessary.  It suffices for the
> players to know each other's algorithms.

seems to me to fail.  First, for an algorithm to be of any use
here, it would have to terminate in a finite number of steps
and yield a "Y" or an "N". 

But your solution sounds reflexive: each player must use the
output of the other player's algorithm as input to his own.
How could it ever get started?

Even if you were to somehow explain that (good luck),
then the condition I stated is still necessary, to wit,
that the players realize somehow (can explain) that
their behaviors are highly correlated.


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