Outsmarting the Genie

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Quillpaw
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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby Quillpaw » Sat Jan 03, 2009 4:11 pm UTC

notzeb wrote:Damn, I wouldn't want to be this poor genie.

Thousands of years torturing the poor saps who find my lamp... and then I'm faced with this. Sucks all of the fun right out of it.

I used to take pride in my work.


YOu see? I'm at least trying to help the Genie. I'm Genre Savvy.
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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby Liet Kynes » Sat Jan 03, 2009 4:41 pm UTC

First off, are we doing the Aladdin rules?

If we are my first 3 wishes are:
1) I wish I could wish for as many more wishes as I saw fit
2) I wish 100,000,000,000 more wishes.
3) I wish all wishes that will be or have been made by ME could not bring me to harm.

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby STACL » Sat Jan 03, 2009 9:50 pm UTC

Ubik wrote:"Give me what I really want" wishes are potentially very dangerous


I completely agree. A very common flaw here has been the assumption that you know what’s best for you. But we humans aren’t generally too intelligent when it comes to seeing the ramifications of our actions. The cruelest kind of wish-fulfillment--and the kind I most see a malevolent genie employing, given its irony--is where you get what you really desire (e.g., a trillion dollars), and find out that it does not bring you happiness (e.g., that being able to buy anything you want—which was the intended purpose of the money, so in giving this ability to you the genie is acting in accordance with your wishes—actually makes you horribly depressed at the pointlessness of life when you don’t have to work for anything).

Consider, for example, qinwamascot's wish set:

qinwamascot wrote:1) I wish that you would enact the one wish that I most want you to enact exactly how I would enact it if I had the power to and was enacting it on myself.
2) I wish that you would enact the one wish that I most want you to enact excluding my previous wish exactly how I would enact it if I had the power to and was enacting it on myself.
3) I wish that you would enact the one wish that I most want you to enact excluding my previous wishes exactly how I would enact it if I had the power to and was enacting it on myself.

I won't exactly know what I'm getting, but I don't think I die or turn into a mushroom.


This assumes that the wish you would want to enact would be a good one. I'd be terrified of the possible results of a wish set like this were I to make it. For example, it might be that--had I the power--I would wish for Scarlet Johansson to appear in front of me so I could have sex with her. Which I would then proceed to do and afterwards feel incredibly guilty for because I would have cheated on my fiancée, who would then proceed to leave me. I'd probably then get a trillion dollars and some other sort of material wealth, and die a lonely, empty man.

Here's a possible alternative: “I wish that you would enact the one wish that I—were I omniscient and desiring of ultimate good for myself—would most want you to enact exactly how I would enact it if I had the power to and was enacting it on myself.” This would hopefully get out of the problem of our own short-sightedness and stupidity. However, a problem with this and other wishes like it is that they assume that there are such things as counterfactuals of freedom (i.e., that "if I were in situation S, I would do action A" expresses a truth or untruth). Personally I doubt there are (because I believe that the universe and human free will are sufficiently indeterministic that there is no truth to what I would freely do in any given situation; there is only truth to what I have done in certain situations), and if there aren’t then any such wishes as this will simply fail to obtain. In which case you won’t see any result from your wish, but will instead simply assume that the genie must have granted it but you cannot yet see the result. In which case you will constantly wonder for the rest of your life what the genie has done, and it will drive you mad trying to figure it out. Granted, this is purely hypothetical, as it’s not the genie making you mad; you just happen to go mad trying to find out what the genie’s done. However, I think it’s safe to assume that not only the genie but also fate is against you. So you still fail.

Two more wish sets that are probably impossible.

scikidus wrote:
[...]

1. Genie, I wish I had total conscious control over the retaining and removal of my memories.

2. Genie, I wish I had total conscious control over probability.

3. Genie, I wish that if one of my alterations in probability create conditions which in my current state I might consciously declare unfavorable, then said alteration in probability will be undone, and I will no longer wish to perform said alteration.


The "might" here precludes the genie from doing practically anything. The genie doesn't even have to interpret that especially broadly--almost any interesting wish will result in some circumstances that you probably would declare unfavourable. No wish is going to have only "good" (a subjective term) results.

Speaking of which:

DanielLC wrote:
[...]

My wishes:

1. I wish that the genie would take no action until it grants my third wish.
2. I wish for no negative utility from the moment the third wish is granted onward.
3. I wish for infinite positive utility.

The reason for the first wish is so that the genie doesn't destroy the universe to grant the second wish, which would be the simplest and most obvious way to grant it. The reason I simply don't wish the third one first is so that the genie doesn't cause infinite positive and negative utility, which would probably be much simpler than infinite positive and no negative utility.


This is certainly one of the cleverer wish sets, but I personally doubt that it's possible, and if it is I suspect it's open to abuse. I'll assume the genie is too classy to be cheap and use some obscure meaning of “utility” (you could specify the kind you meant, at any rate). Your first wish is still open to substantial abuse. For example, interpreting your second wish could itself be taken to be an action (if, for example, the genie has to think through what it means), and so the genie would never even be able to get to your third wish, and nothing would happen.

But let's set that aside and let the genie grant you your other wishes as you’ve specified them. He starts by giving infinite utility to everyone. (Since you didn't specify I'm assuming you're being generous and asking for utility for everyone, and not just yourself. If you just meant it for yourself, then the genie could adjust his responses accordingly.) Then he takes it away. Having tasted infinite happiness, we all spend the rest of our lives in agony at having lost it. Conversely, if you specify that he give infinite positive utility for an infinite amount of time, then he does so, and, having possessed such utility for a few years, it has lost all its effect on us, and indeed has become something of a curse because we now have nothing to strive for and no purpose in life. At the very least it would be quite dull.

You might object that either of the above two would result in a form of negative utility. This raises the problem of who is defining utility--we might want infinite happiness right now without thinking about the consequences it would entail a few years down the line, and so view it as a purely desirable state--but if we insist on some "objective" standard then the wish set you've asked for is probably simply impossible. If the genie were to take away all (that we now see as) pain, then (that which we see as) lesser pleasure now would become pain, and (that which we take to be) greater pleasure would become less so. If he were to take away all but the greatest possible pleasure, that pleasure would dull in the above fashion, and would cease to be pleasure.

What you might try is wishing that the greatest possible amount of positive utility (where such is interpreted as remaining utility when overall negative utility is subtracted from positive utility) obtain. This is probably the wish that a good utilitarian ought to make. The most likely problems with it is that utilitarianism is just a confused concept, what with subjective definitions of utility, the problem of defining who gets utility (e.g., animals and other living creatures, creatures who haven't been born yet), and that the genie could maybe create maximum possible utility through doing something we'd see as undesirable--for example, creating many, many, many more living creatures than is sustainable, because they'd all rather be alive than not, or by killing us all because that gives him such pleasure that the overall amount of utility is now greater than it could possibly have been otherwise.

The game would become even more insidious were we to add a rule to the effect of: if the wish you ask for is impossible, the genie gets to drop an anvil on you. That way there’s some penalty for wishing wishes that don’t actually turn out to be logically possible, and you’re taking a hell of a risk when asking for anything having to do with counterfactuals, omnipotence, omniscience, and other metaphysical ideas of dubious logical possibility. ("Cannot bring me any harm" wishes will likely similarly be impossible, because practically any wish of any interest will have the potential to bring some sort of harm to you in the future.)

Especially if we added the above condition, I think that, were I to receive the lamp containing this genie, I would do best to treat it like the one ring--something that it is really, really tempting to use but that if I know what's best for myself (and everyone else) I need to somehow destroy. I would then try to think of some airtight way to ask the genie how I can do so and get him to actually do it. Or perhaps I'd ask him to destroy himself (assuming that such would not destroy the universe, or any such thing). But knowing my luck, that'd probably be an impossible request, and so I'd get an anvil dropped on me.

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sat Jan 03, 2009 10:20 pm UTC

I like the idea of opening with "I wish that you were a benevolent entity who valued my life, freedom, and happiness."
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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby Ansain » Sun Jan 04, 2009 6:06 pm UTC

Any one who is not careful about wishing for unlimited wishes is going to be trapped in a lamp for the next 10 billion years.

1) I wish that I could fly by pointing my hand in a direction and thinking about flight.

2) I wish that I could easily control the speed and direction that I fly in

3) I wish that no harm could ever come to me while I was flying or as a direct or indirect result of me flying.

Also
Spoiler:
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Why put off till today what you could just as easily get done tomorrow?

I can mathematically prove that 1 equals 0!.

Parts a-x in my plan weren't that important anyways.

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby Ralith » Mon Jan 05, 2009 4:03 am UTC

First wish; I wish for omniscience obtained immediately and in a way that will harm noone and nothing, and will help only myself.

Then you figure out the other two yourself.
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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby t0rajir0u » Mon Jan 05, 2009 5:16 am UTC

Ansain wrote:1) I wish that I could fly by pointing my hand in a direction and thinking about flight.

2) I wish that I could easily control the speed and direction that I fly in

3) I wish that no harm could ever come to me while I was flying or as a direct or indirect result of me flying.

You'll probably plow into the ground at a hundred miles an hour in whatever direction your hand happens to be pointing when you make your first wish, since you'll clearly be thinking about flight then. The genie doesn't even have to play any interpretation tricks there!

Ralith wrote:First wish; I wish for omniscience obtained immediately and in a way that will harm noone and nothing, and will help only myself.

Have you considered that this might not be possible? Omniscience might bring you great psychological harm if it comes with the knowledge that, for example, you were adopted. Or worse, that you're repressing memories of sexual abuse.

I'm beginning to think this is a useless linguistics exercise. A genie who is intentionally trying to interpret your wishes in a way that will bring you harm may, potentially, always be able to do so, so if there is any hope of winning this game I think the only tactics that could possibly work are the ones that attempt to change the genie's attitude.

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby Jedaz » Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:56 am UTC

sonickid01 wrote:1. I wish for you, the genie I am intending to communicate with, to become instead of a malicious genie, to be a benevolent genie who wishes to help instead of cause harm to me while still retaining your powers to continue granting wishes to only myself. (Bad genie --> nice genie)

Here's a variation to get rid of the evil genie clone problem.

1. I wish for each and every genie in past, present, and future existance to become an intellegent, competent, benevolent genie who wishes to help instead of cause harm to me while still retaining their powers to continue granting wishes.

make 2 wishes of your choice


Of course, here is an alternate version for picking apart :P

1) I wish you would pass me a standard 10 cent coin in the way that I would pass you a 10c coin.
2) I wish you would pass me a standard 20 cent coin in the way that I would pass you a 20c coin.
3) I wish you would pass me a standard 50 cent coin in the way that I would pass you a 50c coin.

Now I'm 80 cents richer :D

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby scikidus » Mon Jan 05, 2009 6:20 pm UTC

Jedaz wrote:Of course, here is an alternate version for picking apart :P

1) I wish you would pass me a standard 10 cent coin in the way that I would pass you a 10c coin.
2) I wish you would pass me a standard 20 cent coin in the way that I would pass you a 20c coin.
3) I wish you would pass me a standard 50 cent coin in the way that I would pass you a 50c coin.

Now I'm 80 cents richer :D

He could have taken the coins out of your pocket, or depleted them from your savings account.
Happy hollandaise!

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby white hat » Mon Jan 05, 2009 9:10 pm UTC

1. I wish for a lawyer that will do me no harm that can write iron clad contracts instantly for each wish that I desire.

Then have the lawyer write up your wishes (i.e. for the genie to sign all of the contracts, infinite wishes, etc.)

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby quintopia » Mon Jan 05, 2009 10:17 pm UTC

scikidus wrote:
Jedaz wrote:Of course, here is an alternate version for picking apart :P

1) I wish you would pass me a standard 10 cent coin in the way that I would pass you a 10c coin.
2) I wish you would pass me a standard 20 cent coin in the way that I would pass you a 20c coin.
3) I wish you would pass me a standard 50 cent coin in the way that I would pass you a 50c coin.

Now I'm 80 cents richer :D

He could have taken the coins out of your pocket, or depleted them from your savings account.


The way you would pass him one is by pulling it out of your pocket with your hand and putting it in his hand. Thus, he will have to switch arms with you, probably by painfully ripping your arm out of his socket and attaching his in its place, reach into your pocket, pull out each coin, and put them in the hand he gave you.

*****

I vote the genie be replaced with the monkey's hand. The monkey's hand cannot be reasoned with and has no will, nor can it ever acquire these abilities. All it can do is change the state of the world (but not to impossible states) in ways that seem natural to the rest of the world, but in the most malevolent way possible. Moreover, the monkey's hand is incapable of benevolence.

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby euchronos » Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:39 am UTC

quintopia wrote:
I vote the genie be replaced with the monkey's hand. The monkey's hand cannot be reasoned with and has no will, nor can it ever acquire these abilities. All it can do is change the state of the world (but not to impossible states) in ways that seem natural to the rest of the world, but in the most malevolent way possible. Moreover, the monkey's hand is incapable of benevolence.


Hehehe, nice. I like it. I second that motion.

Also, I more or less agree with someone's earlier comment about the game being basically unbeatable. Sooner or later the whole exercise devolves into an expression of the infinite potential in language for mis-interpretation. If the Genie (or Monkey's Hand) cannot be reasoned with, and if he/she/it is inherently malevolent (such that any wish intended to change the Genie's nature would backfire as completely as ANY other wish), then I think the problem lies neither in the quality of our wishes, nor in the Genie's malevolence, but in the structure of the game itself. For this I am ultimately responsible, having come up with the whole idea (or at least this particular version of it).

Language, I have come to understand, is completely incommensurate with logic. Even a demonstrably true or false material implication, like "If it rains, the streets become wet" can be /interpreted/ in all sorts of ways depending on the colloquial, idiomatic, or connotative meaning one chooses to assign to any of the phrases or words contained in the proposition. Language is never reducible to simple propositional logic or binary rationality, unless you construct an extremely restrictive meta-language that defines a set of rules and restrictions on the operation of the object language.

This game has a set of rules. I tried to make them as comprehensive as possible, but there's always the possibility of the Genie trumping any wish set simply because the potential for ambiguity in language is virtually infinite. (Tangentially, the whole scenario poses some very interesting philosophical questions, like for example how we can usually succeed in communicating our intentions to others without a significant margin of error.)

That said, what I propose (because I think this whole exercise is fun and worth salvaging) is perhaps that we create another game... A meta-game, if you will. I'll call it:

***** Mastering the Monkey's Hand *****

This game will effectively discard my previous rule set. The objective of the game is the following:

Create a rule set for the 'sub'-game "Outsmarting the Genie" such that, by adhering to those rules, it is demonstrably possible to create a set of three wishes that are logically consistent and valid, and immune to the ambiguities of language.

If you so desire, you may use any or all of the rules I have already defined at the beginning of this thread. You can add rules or subtract from my existing set, so long as the end result is a game that can actually be WON.

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby t0rajir0u » Tue Jan 06, 2009 8:43 am UTC

white hat wrote:1. I wish for a lawyer that will do me no harm that can write iron clad contracts instantly for each wish that I desire.

1) The contracts will actually be iron-clad; that is, they'll be covered in iron. 2) The genie won't respect them. (Even a human can do that!)

euchronos wrote:Create a rule set for the 'sub'-game "Outsmarting the Genie" such that, by adhering to those rules, it is demonstrably possible to create a set of three wishes that are logically consistent and valid, and immune to the ambiguities of language.

If the wishes don't attempt to do anything nontrivial, this is clearly possible. I think you also want the wishes to have some sort of nontrivial effect on the external world, which I suspect is impossible. One would have to come up with a mechanism by which it would be possible to unambiguously refer to "variables" in the description of the universe, which I think is a meaningless abstraction.

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby quintopia » Tue Jan 06, 2009 8:57 pm UTC

I think the only rules required are the ones laid out at the beginning. That is, I think the genie is beatable.

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby euchronos » Wed Jan 07, 2009 5:20 am UTC

Fair enough! I certainly hope so. I think the idea of wishing for a benevolent genie is an interesting tack. I'll have to give it some thought...

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby scikidus » Wed Jan 07, 2009 12:19 pm UTC

I'm not fully sure if this helps, but here are two ideas I've thought up:

1. Force the genie to only interpret the meanings of words based on a dictionary (e.g. Webster's)

2. Rewrite your wishes in pure logic, just to make sure thee can be no discrepency.
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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby t0rajir0u » Wed Jan 07, 2009 5:22 pm UTC

scikidus wrote:Force the genie to only interpret the meanings of words based on a dictionary (e.g. Webster's)

A dictionary is self-referential: words are only defined in terms of other words. Ultimately, this is not a meaningful way to ascribe a concrete meaning to anything. (This is what I mean when I wanted an unambiguous way to refer to things in the universe. My personal philosophical view is that language only refers to sensory experiences, not directly to external reality, and as much as that point is arguable it's a perspective that applies very well to this scenario since we have no guarantee that the genie experiences reality in the same way as we do, and in fact that's not something we should expect.)

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby quintopia » Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:37 pm UTC

t0rajir0u wrote:
scikidus wrote:Force the genie to only interpret the meanings of words based on a dictionary (e.g. Webster's)

A dictionary is self-referential: words are only defined in terms of other words. Ultimately, this is not a meaningful way to ascribe a concrete meaning to anything. (This is what I mean when I wanted an unambiguous way to refer to things in the universe. My personal philosophical view is that language only refers to sensory experiences, not directly to external reality, and as much as that point is arguable it's a perspective that applies very well to this scenario since we have no guarantee that the genie experiences reality in the same way as we do, and in fact that's not something we should expect.)


Moreover, even in that situation you would be constantly appending "Webster's 2008 definition 1" etc. after the words you used.

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:31 am UTC

I'm reading GEB at the moment at it makes me wonder if you could create a formal system to express wishes in...Then, all you have to do is get the genie to accept your interpretation of the system.
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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby t0rajir0u » Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:25 am UTC

A formal system doesn't have to talk about anything, so that's trivial (take propositional calculus); as Hofstadter is quick to point out, interpretation occurs entirely in our brains, so getting the genie to accept your interpretation is everything (and, for the reasons I gave, I don't think it's possible.)

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby quintopia » Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:01 am UTC

I think it's possible with the following stipulation: The genie understands the language you're speaking and interprets the words you use in some way that an average speaker of that language could reasonably interpret them.

He doesn't have to see things your way, because you can always force him to see things your way with your first wish, as long as you are careful and completely unambiguous.

If your genie doesn't have this property, walk away.

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby BADALEX » Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:16 am UTC

One. I wish that from now on you will follow the primary three laws of robotics without abiguation or trickery.

Two. I wish I had all the powers of superman without the vulnerability to kryptonite thing.

Three. Fuck it. I'm good. I'm superman now, what more do I need?

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby scikidus » Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:22 pm UTC

BADALEX wrote:One. I wish that from now on you will follow the primary three laws of robotics without abiguation or trickery.

Two. I wish I had all the powers of superman without the vulnerability to kryptonite thing.

Three. Fuck it. I'm good. I'm superman now, what more do I need?

Good idea. Question: "primary three"? Why not the Zeroth Law of Robotics?

"A robot shall not, through either action or inaction, allow humanity in general come to harm."

Anyway, there is a flaw in that idea: the Laws of Robotics all say that a robot shall not [blank]. THe genie is not a robot, and therefore the laws do not apply to him.

Maybe for you first wish, you could wish that he would interpret every instance of the word "robot" as the word "genie."
Happy hollandaise!

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby quintopia » Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:08 pm UTC

In case you weren't paying attention when reading Asimov, the point of the robot series (esp. the I, Robot collection) was that the three laws can really easily contradict themselves. I'm not sure that the bad cases apply to the genie, but I suspect that they do if he really is omniscient. In particular, if, knowing your emotional and mental state, he realizes that you will misuse or harm yourself with the powers he grants, he will abstain from granting them at all. In fact, the first law combined with omniscience would be catastrophic since every action has both good and bad implications. I would expect an omniscient being obeying the first law to dissolve into a festering puddle of irresolvable contradiction.

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby Puck » Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:16 pm UTC

quintopia wrote: a festering puddle of irresolvable contradiction.


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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby t0rajir0u » Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:20 pm UTC

The more worrying problem for me is the legitimacy of referring to an outside source. If you can use one wish to specify that the genie follows four rules, what prevents you from writing an arbitrarily long list of wishes down, publishing them, and then commanding the genie to attempt to satisfy them all? Surely that breaks the no-compound-wishes rule.

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby MartinW » Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:36 pm UTC

1. I wish for the Genie to reverse the next wish totally.
2. I wish for the Genie to make it so that the first wish was wished for.
3. I wish for the bottle which contained the genie to be moved in the past so I was never affected by it in any way and never will be.

Let him sink his teeth into that.

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby scikidus » Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:00 am UTC

Has anyone thought about Murphy's Laws yet? Specifically: "Any legal code or contract with more than 50 words contains at least one loophole."

Therefore, all wish trios should be less than 50 words in length.

How would something like this work?

----------

1. I wish that all human GULOP DNA would replace with Rattus norvegicus GULOP DNA.
2. I wish that all members of all species taxonomically labelled under the family "Culicidae" would drop dead now.
3. I wish that all HIV reverse transcriptase and glycoprotein would break apart into its constituent atoms.

--------

47 words! OK, here's what each wish does:

1. Gives each human the ability to internally produce vitamin C (an ability we lost a few million years ago), thereby wiping out scurvy.
2. Kills all mosquitoes.
3. Destroys HIV, by dissolving both the viral instructions and the attaching points of the virus. This renders the virion an empty shell with no way to attach to cells.

Can anyone find any flaws? I mean, the death of all mosquitoes may cause some environmental damage, but I'm OK with that for now.
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Sir_Elderberry
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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sat Jan 17, 2009 1:12 am UTC

t0rajir0u wrote:A formal system doesn't have to talk about anything, so that's trivial (take propositional calculus); as Hofstadter is quick to point out, interpretation occurs entirely in our brains, so getting the genie to accept your interpretation is everything (and, for the reasons I gave, I don't think it's possible.)


Well, first of all, I'm not sure about this. He talks about meaning being inherent if the "outer message" is sufficiently universal. So we can talk about a system being inconsistent if it asserts both x and ~x because "~" can only conceivably be read as "x". There's a mini-dialogue between Prudence and Imprudence on this somewhere. I've only just finished reading it for my first time, so I'm not going to argue the point.

The thing is, if that's true, then you're screwed. The genie can pick his own interpretation of anything--even a formal system designed to be as unambiguous as possible. What use does natural language have here? If he is really completely unbound in how he interprets the wishes, it isn't a solvable puzzle. "I wish for nothing." becomes "I wish the universe was only vacuum". "I wish for you to take no action." and he'll assume you were talking to something else and freeze them forever in time, only to resurrect them later once the Combine have...uh, never mind.
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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby TheRush » Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:22 am UTC

Adding to the original post the stipulant of no catch-all phrasology or omnipitence whishes, I propose these 3:

1: That the genie may not enact anything, grant others the wish to enact anything to effect me, or cause to be enacted or cause others to enact against me, in the past, present, and future, in this universe, in alternate universes, in life and in death and in those situations wherein it is hard to determine the difference, except in those ways which I give him permission to within my wishes.

2: That the genie may not manipulate time/space, the meaning of language, or the value of measurements.

3: That said genie would give me a fully-functional lightsaber weighing less than one pound, with a smooth but easily gripable by the human hand hilt of six inches and a blade one meter in length which extendes out of the same, clearly marked, end of the hilt every time in a line congruent with the hilt, the markings and demensions of which (the lightsaber as a whole) may not be changed or changeable at any time in the past, present, and future, in this universe, in alternate universes, and in life and death, and in those situations in which it is hard to determine the difference, with a correct user-manuel for the lightsaber given, readable by human eyes written in ten pages or less on 10 by 12 inch paper wieghing no more than 1/8th of an ounce and having dull surface and edges also unchangeable in the past, present, and future, in this universe, in alternate universes, in life and in death, and in those situations in which it is hard to tell the difference one foot in front of my feet, with a lifetime, unlimited, full-replacemnt warranty for both the lightsaber and the user manuel (in the same manner given to me the first time) deactivated at one foot to the right of my feet, immediatly.

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby kcsand » Mon Jan 19, 2009 2:48 pm UTC

1 I wish for an extremly competent and benevolent lawyer
(I get his competent and benevolent help)
2 (I wish, with the lawyer's help, to be on broadway)
3 (I wish, with the lawyer's help, to visit Rome)

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby Moloch » Mon Jan 19, 2009 5:37 pm UTC

My set of wishes taking the turn bad genie into good one aproache:

1. I wish that you overwrite your own moral values, "understanding and interpretation of anything" and etics with a copie of my moral values, my "understanding and interpretation of anything" and my ethics which is instantly made without changing me or anything else anywhere in the prosses and the wish will remain in effect forever.

2. Be my friend (as he will interpret friend with my values i am out of harms way as well as he will have lost his tendency to do cruel deeds anyway)

3. Grant me an endless supply of luck (just something nice so nothing bad hapens to me or the ones i love; i have a good carrier cause i meet the right people who like the ideas that i luckily had while waking up next to the Womman i always searched for and incidentaly found...)

Note: i would probably Ask the aquivalent of this question in my native language, German, without any grammer or spelling mistakes so the genie couldn't exploit those :)

Try to corrupt that wish...If its not easy(or possible) to coruped this set of wishes i would also want to know how the genie can mess up infinit luck since everything bad that could result would turn out to just miss me ;)

Edit: to above wish: The lawyer would only speaks German or another language you can't...

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:12 am UTC

The genie feels very guilty about violating his moral values/ethics, especially to a friend. But he does it anyway.

Also, what sort of luck? Bad luck can also be infinite.
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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby parallax » Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:14 am UTC

I wish for whatever would be best for me.
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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby Axidos » Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:39 pm UTC

parallax wrote:I wish for whatever would be best for me.

In whose opinion and by whose morals? This Genie might be particularly morbid and, so as to prevent you ever suffering, undoes your very existence. You never existed, so it's not like you realise you're missing out on anything.

There's very little reasoning with a genie who wants to be a bastard. Despite all our ways of forcing him to become benevolent, he can still interpret the very first wish to not become satisfactorily benevolent: he has no motive to be benevolent after all! After his three wishes he'll be locked up again and he's not happy with us in the least.

If we cannot force him to be benevolent, we could give him a motive to be benevolent.

I like the idea of opening with this: "The genie will be freed of his imprisonments and obligations immediately after my third wish, if and only if my three wishes are granted benevolently, and I am entirely satisfied with them throughout my entire life."

Perhaps it could be worded better, but I intend that if at any point in the future I am unsatisfied with the way the wishes were granted (e.g. I notice he tricked me somehow) then it is made that he was never freed in the first place, which is something he surely doesn't want. He could perhaps work out a way to kill me such that I couldn't have the chance to be unsatisfied during my life, but that would hardly be benevolent of him.
So long as I'm careful in my next two wishes, the Genie could hardly force me to become satisfied either. If he granted them in such a way that I must be satisfied by those wishes in order to make use of them, he would have tricked me and that would be entirely unsatisfactory. He also could not make me insane, because that would probably be entirely outside the scope of any wish I'd make.

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby Moloch » Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:06 pm UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:The genie feels very guilty about violating his moral values/ethics, especially to a friend. But he does it anyway.

Also, what sort of luck? Bad luck can also be infinite.


Arrg there my heritage already got me. While you guys have "good luck" and the oposite "bad luck" germans have two words which are "Glück" (luck) and "Pech" (the opposite) plus "kein Glück" which is just the abscense of luck. So my wish would obviously state good luck if told in English :)

About feeling guilty: He could do that only with some realy strong reason to actually break many of my most important moral values; If he has such a good reason to bring evil over me or another human being that he can break that code then i might deserve this :evil:
Since the original outline states that he is just a bastard in therms of character but has no higher goal to achive by making his victims misarable i conclude he would go with reason and that means "why not grant my friend that wish?

@Axidos: without the other two wishes its difficult to attac you but i thing there are some ways that will open. One example could be that the object of your third wish would apear but in some kind of twisted way: Robots with Lasers but wearing the funniest pink skirts you ever saw and while not so funny you just have to laugh so hard that you choke yourself to death...

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby Ash_Bobs_Junior » Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:31 pm UTC

1. I wish that any and every wish you grant has to be told to me and i have to approve the way in which the wish is to be fulfilled.

2. I wish for you to become my personal servant and will appear when i speak the phrase "The world is at a beginning." (the term servant implies acting on my command, serving me until I release you, and granting my every wish but still under the parameters of the first wish)

3. I wish for you to tell me any loophole you can find within the above two wishes.

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby t0rajir0u » Wed Jan 21, 2009 1:22 am UTC

Ash_Bobs_Junior wrote:1. I wish that any and every wish you grant has to be told to me and i have to approve the way in which the wish is to be fulfilled.

I considered this, but the easy way for the genie to subvert this is to alter your personality so that you would approve of any wish.

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby Axidos » Wed Jan 21, 2009 9:41 am UTC

t0rajir0u wrote:
Ash_Bobs_Junior wrote:1. I wish that any and every wish you grant has to be told to me and i have to approve the way in which the wish is to be fulfilled.

I considered this, but the easy way for the genie to subvert this is to alter your personality so that you would approve of any wish.

But that's outside the scope of the wish (though he could still give an explanation so long and complex that you'll lose track eventually). If the genie could do things outside the scope of the wish, he would be unstoppable: you wish for anything and he grants your wish then makes you cease to exist. You wish he cannot cause harm to you and he puts you in an alternate dimension which is a bland 5x5 metre cube where you require no nutrition and can come to no harm.

The only way to make this game beatable is to have the genie only able to do exactly what you wished (no more and no less), but skew the way in which he grants it in order to make it malicious. For example, the wish in the first post for women and wealth: he gave you exactly that, but the women had something else in their nature. The Genie did nothing more or less than what was asked of him.

Ash_Bobs_Junior wrote:3. I wish for you to tell me any loophole you can find within the above two wishes.

He's already granted them, and telling you them doesn't mean he can't abuse them.

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Re: Outsmarting the Genie

Postby Moloch » Wed Jan 21, 2009 1:03 pm UTC

i have to approve the way in which the wish is to be fulfilled.

This can be interpreted as you would wish for the inability not to approve of the wish so it doesn't extend the scope... (maybe I'm have translated this wrong but i guess that is a legal interpretation)


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