A Formula Modification

Whether it's pushpin, poetry or neither, you can discuss it here.
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2014 3:50 pm

A Formula Modification

Post by DanielHendrycks » Thu Nov 20, 2014 4:46 pm

Last edited by DanielHendrycks on Sun Sep 13, 2015 9:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Posts: 707
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 4:29 pm

Re: A Utilitarianism Variant

Post by DanielLC » Thu Nov 20, 2014 10:02 pm

You can simplify this a lot. Let g(w) = w-f(w). D = f(w_0) - f(w_1) = (w_0 - g(w_0)) - (w_1 - g(w_1)) = (g(w_1) - g(w_0)) - (w_1 - w_0), and V_v(O) = V(O) + ΣD_i = Σw_i + ΣD_i = Σ(w_i + D_i) = Σ(w_i1 + (g(w_i1) - g(w_i0)) - (w_i1 - w_i0)) = Σ(g(w_i1) - g(w_i0) + w_i0) = Σg(w_i1) + Σ(w_i0 - g(w_i0)) = Σg(w_i1) + Σf(w_i0). Since Σf(w_i0) only depends on what would have happened had you done nothing, it's a constant and can be removed from the calculation, leaving Σg(w_i1). You're using f(w) = 2^(-w/2). Since units don't really matter here, let's call it e^(-w). This means g(w) = w-e^-w. Basically, you're saying that you value pleasure linearly, but you disvalue pain exponentially.

This variant still means that tiling the universe with orgasmium is optimal, which a lot of people are against. Also, using an exponential function for f seems extreme. You're saying it's just as bad for two people to suffer by w as it is for one person to suffer by w+2, regardless of how high w is. If w is a trillion, adding 2 doesn't seem like it should make that big a difference, and as terrible as it is for one person to suffer that much, two people seems twice as terrible.
Consequentialism: The belief that doing the right thing makes the world a better place.

Post Reply