socialjusticemunchkin:

shieldfoss:

socialjusticemunchkin:

shieldfoss:

socialjusticemunchkin:

nostalgebraist:

cancer, and the pleasure of the weed

Okay, can someone ELI5 why I’m supposed to pick “the pleasure of the weed” here?

Like, this isn’t some abstract theoretical toy, this Smoking Lesion, or as it would be better called, Exercise Genetics problem is actually a thing in my IRL

It has probabilistic Azathoth instead of absolute Omega, and I may be able to peek into the boxes before selecting thanks to modern technology, but even then it would seem that me being the sort of clockwork thing that has the property “one-boxes” would make me likely to be the sort of a clockwork thing that has the property “gets a million dollars” and being the sort of a clockwork thing that has the property “one-boxes even if the box turns out to be empty when peeking into it” would make it extra-likely?

Thus, I should be the sort of a person who likes exercise so I’d have the genes that make one like exercise and live long, even if I turn out to not have such genes, because the sort of a person who has good genes would make such a choice?

Then again, turning it the other way around into the Psychosis Weed problem (people with early psychosis are more likely to self-medicate) doesn’t make me interested in impacting my choice on whether or not to choose “the pleasure of the weed” to avoid psychosis-related genes retroactively.

One could argue that the question is different because self-medicating is caused by symptoms and thus choosing to have symptoms or not (yeah, good luck with that) would be the thing that matters while the choice to exercise is directly controlled by the exact neurochemistry the Exercise Genes are about, and I think that one is probably “the” reason for it. So using that logic I’d determine my choice in the Smoking Lesion based on the mechanism of action of the lesion.

On the other hand, it could be that I’m supposed to choose not exercising and I just inherently enjoy exercise because I have the good genes that make me live long and prosper and thus my neurochemistry is motivated to interpret the Exercise Genetics that way?

Because it is pleasure. Why would you not pick pleasure.

If being the sort of a person who picks that specific pleasure means I’m the sort of a person who gets cancer, then I don’t want to be the sort of a person who picks that specific pleasure.

If you have the desire, you have the unfortunate gene, no matter whether you give in or not.

But the question is determining whether or not I have the desire, as it’s not unambiguous. As a neurochemical process, my choice to engage in exercise is not separable from the desire to engage in exercise but rather a manifestation of it, thus in the absence of obvious markers that would establish the causal connection I don’t know what exactly my genotype is; but if I act in accordance with the choices that would be made by someone with the favorable genes, I’d expect it to be a manifestation of better chances of having received the favorable genes in the first place, as I would be less likely to have made such a choice if my genes were unfavorable.

From the top, just in case somebody else is reading along:

HYPOTHETICALLY: Gene A (Hence: GA) has a large measure of control both over the pleasure you get from smoking cigarettes AND over you chance of lung cancer. The reason we thought smoking caused cancer (Before the discovery of GA) was simply that the same people smoked and got lung cancer, but now we know cigarettes and lung cancer are not causally connected except through GA.

If so:

  • Causal Decision Theory says that if you find smoking enjoyable, you should do it because smoking doesn’t cause lung cancer.
  • Evidential Decision Theory says that you shouldn’t smoke, because then you will be the kind of person who has GA and will get lung cancer.

Now you say:

But the question is determining whether or not I have the desire, as it’s not unambiguous. As a neurochemical process, my choice to engage in exercise is not separable from the desire to engage in exercise but rather a manifestation of it, thus in the absence of obvious markers that would establish the causal connection I don’t know what exactly my genotype is; but if I act in accordance with the choices that would be made by someone with the favorable genes, I’d expect it to be a manifestation of better chances of having received the favorable genes in the first place, as I would be less likely to have made such a choice if my genes were unfavorable.

Not so.

If you didn’t know about GA, you would be correct – if you don’t know about GA and yet decide to avoid cigarettes, you are  probably the kind of person who doesn’t enjoy cigarettes, therefore probably the kind of person who doesn’t have GA, therefore probably the kind of person who won’t get lung cancer.

But you know about GA. You’re not avoiding cigarettes because you are “the kind of person who doesn’t enjoy cigarettes.” You are “the kind of person who doesn’t want lung cancer” which has zero correlation with GA, so your decision to avoid cigarettes is not evidence against the presence of GA in your genes.

The general insight to get here is the classic LW mantra: Probability is in the mind – the map, not the territory. By smoking or not smoking, you cannot change the actual territory of your genes.

Imagine if you could:

  • Reporter: Minister, is it true that you’ve just banned cigarettes?
  1. Minister: Yes, absolutely. The filthy things cause lung cancer.
  • Reporter: There is literally a gene that causes lung cancer, you’re banning utility for no good reason. What say you in your defense?
  1. Minister: AH BUT You see: The two are correlated! By forcing people to avoid cigarettes, we are forcing them to be the kind of person who doesn’t have the cancer gene!
  • Reporter: U wat m8?

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