# Newcomb’s problem is just a standard time consistency problem

https://www.basilhalperin.com/essays/newcomb.html

Twitter summary:

Newcomb’s problem is just a standard time consistency problem
basilhalperin.com/essays/newcomb…
I argue the typical description of Newcomb’s problem is confusing only because it unintentionally conflates *two different possible points in time* from which you could make your choice

Split into the two possible cases, Newcomb’s problem is basically trivial – and doesn’t require revising decision theory!
In fact, the problem is (literally) isomorphic to the canonical Kydland-Prescott (1978) central bank time consistency problem from macroeconomics

Steelmanning the opposing view: I think folks who argue Newcomb demonstrates a flaw in standard decision theory are implicitly arguing (and should *explicitly* argue!),
“We want to come up with a decision theory that never encounters time consistency problems”