Category: Thought Experiment Friday

Thought experiment friday: Newcomb’s problem


“To almost everyone, it is perfectly clear and obvious what should be done.  The difficulty is that these people seem to divide almost evenly on the problem, with large numbers thinking that the opposing half is just being silly.”

-Robert Nozick

Suzie wants to play a game.

You hate playing games with Suzie, because Suzie always wins.  In fact, the last thousand or so times Suzie played this game, not only did she beat you, but she beat everyone else she played (it has occurred to you that Suzie may not be human).

Despite your protestations, Suzie plops two boxes in front of you, one red, one blue, and runs away, cackling.  It’s too late.  You’re already playing Suzie’s game.