All of Coafos's Comments + Replies

Paper summary: A Paradox for Tiny Probabilities and Enormous Values (Nick Beckstead and Teruji Thomas)

Probability theoretic "better" is intransitive. See non-transitive dice

Imagine your life is a dice, and you have three options:

  • 4 4 4 4 4 1
    • You live a mostly peaceful life, but there is a small chance of doom.
  • 5 5 5 2 2 2
    • You go on a big adventure: either a trasure or a disappointment.
  • 6 3 3 3 3 3
    • You put all your cards in a lottery for epic win, but on fail, you will carry that with you.

If we compare them: peace < adventure < lottery < peace, so I would deny transitivity.

5Oscar Delaney9d
The intransitive dice work because we do not care about the margin of victory. In expected value calculations the same trick does not work, so these three lives are all equal, with expected value 7/2
St. Petersburg Demon – a thought experiment that makes me doubt Longtermism

You say the first throw has an expected value of 693,5 (=700•215/216 -700•1/216) QALY, but it is not precise. The first throw has has an expected value of 693,5 QALY if your policy is to stop after the first throw.

If you continue, then the QALY gained from these new people might decrease, because in the future there is a greater chance that this 10 new people disappear, therefore decreasing the value of creating them.