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Crazy Thought Experiment/Logic Problem

PostPosted: Thursday June 30th, 2016 6:48pm
by Gold Bearer
In the distant future somebody puts two boxes in front of you (you're on a gameshow if you like). Box A contains one thousand galactic credits, box B either contains one hundred or one million galactic credits. You have two choices, you can have both boxes or just box B, but there's a catch. An advanced behavioural prediction computer program that's never been wrong has worked out what option you're going to choose. If it worked out that you were going to take both boxes then box B contains one hundred galactic credits, if it worked out that you were only going to take ox B then box B contains one million galactic credits.

A = 1000
B = 100 or 1,000,000

Both or just B? Decide! :)

This cuts right to the heart of how you believe the universe works.

Re: Crazy Thought Experiment/Logic Problem

PostPosted: Thursday June 30th, 2016 9:56pm
by cynthialee
box B
the chance at 1,000,000 credits doesn't come every day

one could throw off the entire thing and toss a coin...?

This thought experiment does not mention what happens if the machine is wrong about your choice.

Re: Crazy Thought Experiment/Logic Problem

PostPosted: Thursday June 30th, 2016 10:54pm
by Goblin-King
Box B
Knowing the mechanic, why would I ever even consider to choose both?

Or you could assume I didn't actually know the mechanic, but then there's no point.
If being told "here are two boxes with credits; do you pick both or only one" no one would ever just pick one box.

I'm just not seeing the dilemma here.
Also cynthialee is right. The scenario is flawed in that not all human actions are the result of a conscious decision (coin toss).

Re: Crazy Thought Experiment/Logic Problem

PostPosted: Thursday June 30th, 2016 11:36pm
by Just_Will
Yeah knowing about the advanced behavioural prediction computer program on the front end really dampens this question.

Re: Crazy Thought Experiment/Logic Problem

PostPosted: Friday July 1st, 2016 2:18am
by Gold Bearer
cynthialee wrote:box B
the chance at 1,000,000 credits doesn't come every day
You have that chance either way.

cynthialee wrote:one could throw off the entire thing and toss a coin...?
No, you don't have a coin or any way to decide randomly. You have to pick one option, both or just box B.

cynthialee wrote:This thought experiment does not mention what happens if the machine is wrong about your choice.
Then it's wrong, it doesn't change what's in box B. Buts it's a highly advanced quantum computer program that's never been wrong.

Goblin-King wrote:Box B
Knowing the mechanic, why would I ever even consider to choose both?

Or you could assume I didn't actually know the mechanic, but then there's no point.
If being told "here are two boxes with credits; do you pick both or only one" no one would ever just pick one box.

I'm just not seeing the dilemma here.
Really? Think again. Two boxes, you can have one (just B) or both.

cynthialee wrote:Also cynthialee is right. The scenario is flawed in that not all human actions are the result of a conscious decision (coin toss).
This one is.

Just_Will wrote:Yeah knowing about the advanced behavioural prediction computer program on the front end really dampens this question.
No it's the whole point. Without knowing that you'd just choose both boxes.

Re: Crazy Thought Experiment/Logic Problem

PostPosted: Friday July 1st, 2016 3:12am
by Anderas
Considering that i know what that prediction program is doing, that i know what the prediction program is putting in the box, i have the choice between 1100 gold coins or 1 000 000. I would choose B without thinking twice.

What's the point? Why should i pick both if know that the prediction program would cut my revenues by 998 900 gold coins then?
Assuming i have the perfect pokerface i could possibly trick the prediction program, but the risk is too high and the gain too low, so i wouldn't try.

Problem is, if it is a supergalactic supercomputer he could have an entire Andreas Simulation (with all my surrounding persons) running inside. So even if i put my best pokerface, he still would know what i choose just by simulating every single neuronal cell of my brain. Second problem is, if we assume that this kind of supergalactic supercomputer is possible, then we also have to assume that we ARE this simulation. I mean, there will be billion times more simulations than real persons for marketing purposes alone. So what's the chance that exactly YOU are the real one? Moreover, what's the difference (there is none from your point of view) So i just assume that guy knows everything because i am a simulation running inside this computer. I pick B.

Re: Crazy Thought Experiment/Logic Problem

PostPosted: Friday July 1st, 2016 3:41am
by Gold Bearer
Why is nobody getting this? :)

Two boxes of money and nobody can see the logic of taking both? :shock:

Anderas wrote:Considering that i know what that prediction program is doing, that i know what the prediction program is putting in the box, i have the choice between 1100 gold coins...
Galactic space credits!

No you don't know what's in box B, that's the whole point.

Re: Crazy Thought Experiment/Logic Problem

PostPosted: Friday July 1st, 2016 3:58am
by Anderas
Ah ok, so you don't know before that the galactic supercomputer will cheat on you if you take both boxes. That changes everything. If you don't know, well, then...

Re: Crazy Thought Experiment/Logic Problem

PostPosted: Friday July 1st, 2016 6:30am
by Goblin-King
Gold Bearer wrote:Why is nobody getting this? :)

Two boxes of money and nobody can see the logic of taking both? :shock:

Maybe you are not explaining the scenario clearly enough.
So okay... I'm in the first episode of the gameshow ever.
The host is about to explain the audience and me the rules. What exactly does the host tell me?

To me it seems the only reason to take both boxes ever would be if you REALLY needed 1.001.000 British Pounds.
But really if I get 1,000,000 I don't really care if I could have had another 1,000 doubloons.

Re: Crazy Thought Experiment/Logic Problem

PostPosted: Friday July 1st, 2016 7:59am
by Count Mohawk
I just realized that Gold Bearer's question gives you the box with potentially one million galactic credits whether you take one box or two, whereas when I first read it I thought he meant you could take either just the box with 1,000 or both boxes.
Naturally, the choice between 1,000 or 1,100 / 1,001,000 is much more interesting than the choice between 1,000,000 or 1,100 / 1,001,000. In the first scenario, gaming the all-knowing computer by basing your action on something inherently unknowable (quantum coin flipping) is the only way to raise your expected value above 1,100, whereas only a greed-stricken fool would risk 999,900 of his credits for the sake of winning another 1,000.

Although, if you assume the omniscient computer is inherently malevolent, then the best choice will always be to take both boxes, as an omniscient computer that also hates you would never put 1,000,000 credits into the box beforehand.