Information Hazards

post by apophenia · 2010-11-09T13:53:32.934Z · score: 0 (9 votes) · LW · GW · Legacy · 12 comments

Nick Bostrom recently posted the article "Information Hazards", which is about the myriad of ways in which information can harm us.

You can read it at his website: Direct PDF Link


Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by Kevin · 2010-11-09T14:44:24.525Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

It's a good paper but for what it's worth has been around for a while.

comment by nhamann · 2010-11-09T21:54:57.276Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Downvoted because this post seems to be lacking in content for a contribution to the main site, and seems (to me) to be better suited for the discussion section.

comment by katydee · 2010-11-09T22:14:40.295Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Agreed, but this sort of minor faux pas does not seem to be worth -10 karma. It would be nice if there were some way to transfer posts from section to section.

comment by Relsqui · 2010-11-10T01:38:26.959Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'm not sure from this comment whether you already know this or not, but in case not: the author can do that. I presume that LW editors can too.

comment by katydee · 2010-11-10T03:31:05.732Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I didn't know that. Thanks for the tip.

comment by Vladimir_Nesov · 2010-11-09T22:32:00.002Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Linked from the wiki: Dangerous knowledge.

comment by AdShea · 2010-11-09T18:23:56.117Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

It seems most of the "Hazards" outlined in the article are caused by the information causing the Doublethink machinery that maintains the receivers' social model to have to work harder. This isn't so much the information being harmful in of itself as the internally inconsistent models being harmed by factual information.

comment by nick012000 · 2010-11-09T18:20:24.034Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Wasn't this on the Singularity Institute's website before? I could swear I've already read this paper somewhere else.

comment by XiXiDu · 2010-11-09T15:50:22.597Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Would you choose to know the truth even if it might sadden you?

comment by nhamann · 2010-11-09T21:52:40.452Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

It seems to be impossible that the truth would ever sadden me, personally.

comment by Stuart_Armstrong · 2010-11-11T13:21:05.197Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Then you have transcended the human condition, and have moved on to something special and new.

comment by [deleted] · 2014-06-13T07:29:23.088Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

"[Some senses of free will] are compatible with what we are learning from science…If only that was what scientists were telling people. But scientists, especially in the last few years, have been on a rampage - writing ill-considered public pronouncements about free will which… verge on social irresponsibility." - Wikipedia

Is free will or lack thereof an information hazard?

''This issue may be controversial for good reason: There is evidence to suggest that people normally associate a belief in free will with their ability to affect their lives.[2][3] Philosopher Daniel Dennett, author of Elbow Room and a supporter of deterministic free will, believes scientists risk making a serious mistake. He says that there are types of free will that are incompatible with modern science, but he says those kinds of free will are not worth wanting. Other types of “free will” are pivotal to people’s sense of responsibility and purpose (see also "believing in free will"), and many of these types are actually compatible with modern science.[8]''