Can you control the past?

I think that you can “control” events you have no causal interaction with, including events in the past, and that this is a wild and disorienting fact, with uncertain but possibly significant implications. This post attempts to impart such disorientation. My main example is a prisoner’s dilemma between perfect deterministic software twins, exposed to the… Continue reading Can you control the past?

In search of benevolence (or: what should you get Clippy for Christmas?)

Suppose that you aspire to promote the welfare of others in a roughly impartial way, at least in some parts of your life. This post examines a dilemma that such an aspiration creates, especially given subjectivism about meta-ethics. If you don’t use idealized preference-satisfaction as your theory of welfare, your “helping someone” often ends up… Continue reading In search of benevolence (or: what should you get Clippy for Christmas?)

On the limits of idealized values

On a popular view about meta-ethics, what you should value is determined by what an idealized version of you would value. Call this view “idealizing subjectivism.”  Idealizing subjectivism has been something like my best-guess meta-ethics. And lots of people I know take it for granted. But I also feel nagged by various problems with it… Continue reading On the limits of idealized values