Two Boxes

Discussion in 'Religion & Philosophy' started by ExpectantlyIronic, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. ExpectantlyIronic

    ExpectantlyIronic e̳̳̺͕ͬ̓̑̂ͮͦͣ͒͒h̙ͦ̔͂?̅̂ ̾͗̑

    There are two boxes labeled Box A and Box B, respectively. One or both will contain money. You have to choose whether to take the contents of both or just Box B. Here's the kicker. A "Predictor" who is almost-certainly infallible at predicting the future (the Predictor is maybe God or a God-like machine from the future) will have guessed beforehand which option you will choose. If the Predictor thinks you will take both, Box A will have 1,000 dollars in it, and Box B will have nothing. If the Predictor thinks you will take Box B, it will have a million dollars in it in addition to the 1,000 in Box A. So do you take both boxes, or just Box B?


    Edit: This is called "Newcomb's problem" btw.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2009

  2. Chaos

    Chaos Epic Gamer V.I.P. Lifetime

    I find myself wondering what will be in Box A, should I choose that alone.
     
  3. ExpectantlyIronic

    ExpectantlyIronic e̳̳̺͕ͬ̓̑̂ͮͦͣ͒͒h̙ͦ̔͂?̅̂ ̾͗̑

    Choosing just Box A is not an option, but if it were, it would have $1,000 in it.

    Edit: Oh, I see. You're wondering what the predictor would do if you said just Box A, contrary to the rules. Clever... :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2009
  4. Wade8813

    Wade8813 Registered Member

    Newcomb's dumb, because the amount of money inside can't change based on what I choose (his scenario would require that it does).
     
  5. ExpectantlyIronic

    ExpectantlyIronic e̳̳̺͕ͬ̓̑̂ͮͦͣ͒͒h̙ͦ̔͂?̅̂ ̾͗̑

    Then you would take both boxes, I assume. I actually lean towards choosing Box B, due to the appeal of determinism. The Predictor may have worked out my thought process in advance.
    ------
    The scenario actually doesn't assume that the amount of money would change, in any case.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2009
  6. Malificus

    Malificus Likes snow

    I choose box b. If ultimate predictor is right, I made $1,000,000. else, I proved it wrong. I can't lose.
    ------
    money doesn't change. If the machine predicts that you decided that you would open box b, and would later open box a for whatever reason, box b would have nothing.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2009
    ExpectantlyIronic likes this.
  7. Boredie

    Boredie In need of Entertainment

    I'd go for box B.
    But what if the predictor was wrong? What happens to the money in both boxes?
     
  8. Malificus

    Malificus Likes snow

    If the predictor was wrong by saying you would only open box b when you would in fact open both, then b box has 1,000,000, and a box has 1,000.

    If the predictor was wrong by saying you would open both, when you would only open 1, then a box would still have 1000 while b box would have nothing.
     
  9. ExpectantlyIronic

    ExpectantlyIronic e̳̳̺͕ͬ̓̑̂ͮͦͣ͒͒h̙ͦ̔͂?̅̂ ̾͗̑

    The contents of the boxes can either be:

    or...

    So if the Predictor thinks you would choose both, and you choose both, you get $1,000. If the Predictor thinks you would choose both, and you choose B, you get nothing. If the Predictor thinks you would choose B, and you choose both, you get $1,001,000. If the Predictor thinks you would choose B, and you choose B, you get $1,000,000.
     
  10. Malificus

    Malificus Likes snow

    And no matter what the predictor predicts, if you only choose A, you get $1000
     

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