Timeline of decision theory

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This is a timeline of decision theory, with a focus on updateless/timeless/acausal decision theories.

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Year Month and date Event type Details
1969 Newcomb's problem is discussed by Robert Nozick.
1985 The idea of superrationality is introduced by Douglas Hofstadter in his Metamagical Themas.
1997 The Sleeping Beauty problem is first formally analyzed.
1997 The absent-minded driver problem is introduced (in the same paper as the sleeping beauty?).[1][2]
2002 July 17 Hal Finney, in a mailing list discussion, brings up ideas that according to Wei Dai "came pretty close to some of the ideas behind TDT".[3][4]
2006 May 5 Gary Drescher's Good and Real is published.[5]
2007 The Smoking Lesion problem is introduced by Andy Egan?[6][7]
2007 May 30 Philosopher Kenny Easwaran blogs about his discussions with Joshua Von Korff. Korff has apparently devised a decision-theoretic protocol that one-boxes on Newcomb's problem but smokes in the Smoking Lesion problem. The post does not make clear when Korff came up with his ideas or whether he wrote them up anywhere.[8][9]
2009 February Project Eliezer Yudkowsky starts LessWrong using as seed material his posts on Overcoming Bias.[10] During the following years LessWrong would become the locus of discussion about timeless/updateless decision theory.
2009 March 19 Vladimir Nesov introduces counterfactual mugging.[11][12]
2009 August 20 Gary Drescher proposes Metacircular Decision Theory (MCDT) in a comment on LessWrong.[13]
2010 Timeless decision theory is published in paper form by Eliezer Yudkowsky.[14]
2017 March 18 "Cheating Death in Damascus" by Nate Soares and Ben Levinstein is announced on the Machine Intelligence Research Institute blog.[15][16]

Meta information on the timeline

How the timeline was built

The initial version of the timeline was written by Issa Rice.

What the timeline is still missing

Timeline update strategy

See also

External links


  1. "The Absent-Minded Driver". LessWrong. September 16, 2009. Retrieved September 10, 2017. 
  2. "Absent-Minded driver - Lesswrongwiki". LessWrong. Retrieved September 10, 2017. 
  3. "Wei_Dai comments on Common mistakes people make when thinking about decision theory - Less Wrong". LessWrong. Retrieved September 10, 2017. 
  4. Finney, Hal (July 17, 2002). "self-sampling assumption is incorrect". Google Groups. Retrieved September 10, 2017. 
  5. "Good and Real: Demystifying Paradoxes from Physics to Ethics (MIT Press): Gary L. Drescher: 9780262042338: Amazon.com: Books". Retrieved September 10, 2017. 
  6. "Andy Egan, Some counterexamples to causal decision theory". PhilPapers. Retrieved September 10, 2017. 
  7. "Smoking lesion - Lesswrongwiki". LessWrong. Retrieved September 10, 2017. 
  8. "Different Ideas About Newcomb Cases". Thoughts Arguments and Rants. May 30, 2007. Retrieved September 10, 2017. 
  9. "CarlShulman comments on Counterfactual Mugging". LessWrong. June 21, 2013. Retrieved September 10, 2017. 
  10. "FAQ - Lesswrongwiki". LessWrong. Retrieved June 1, 2017. 
  11. Nesov, Vladimir (March 19, 2009). "Counterfactual Mugging". LessWrong. Retrieved September 10, 2017. 
  12. "Counterfactual mugging - Lesswrongwiki". LessWrong. Retrieved September 10, 2017. 
  13. "Gary_Drescher comments on Ingredients of Timeless Decision Theory - Less Wrong". LessWrong. Retrieved September 10, 2017. 
  14. Yudkowsky, Eliezer (2010). "Timeless Decision Theory" (PDF). Retrieved September 10, 2017. 
  15. Bensinger, Rob (March 18, 2017). "New paper: "Cheating Death in Damascus"". Machine Intelligence Research Institute. Retrieved September 10, 2017. 
  16. Soares, Nate; Levinstein, Benjamin A. "Cheating Death in Damascus" (PDF). Retrieved September 10, 2017.