With whom shall I diavlog?

post by Eliezer Yudkowsky (Eliezer_Yudkowsky) · 2009-06-03T03:20:53.548Z · score: 9 (16 votes) · LW · GW · Legacy · 163 comments

Bloggingheads.tv can't exactly call up, say, the President of France and get him to do a diavlog, but they have some street cred with mid-rank celebrities and academics.  With that in mind, how would you fill in this blank?

"I would really love to see a diavlog between Yudkowsky and ____________."

163 comments

Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by JamesCole · 2009-06-03T05:34:41.614Z · score: 22 (34 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Greg Egan

comment by AgentME · 2018-07-27T08:35:31.628Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

It's kind of funny and disappointing stumbling onto seeing this recommendation here now, knowing that about a year after this post, Greg Egan published Zendegi, which badly caricatured Overcoming Bias and EY.

comment by Roko · 2009-06-03T13:30:37.041Z · score: 21 (25 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Dan Dennett

I would love to hear EY and DD discuss the technological singularity, and hear Dennett's opinion on the humanist response to this issue.

From the video linked to below by TimTyler, Dennett says "the idea of the singularity is possible in principle, but the idea that it is in the near future is just not plausible. I disagree with Kurzweil... "

It seems Dan has read RaymondK, but not EY. Thus a debate between Dennett and EY on the proposition: "P(smarter than human AI this century) > 5%" would be highly productive. I would expect one of EY and DD to have a major change of opinion as a result of such a debate, if it went on for long enough.

comment by timtyler · 2009-06-03T14:53:28.568Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

FWIW, Dan has a video on that issue here. Possible, but far off, he says - citing software issues:

http://bigthink.com/ideas/daniel-dennett-discusses-the-problem-of-robotic-warfare

comment by Roko · 2009-06-03T15:17:45.758Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Thanks Tim. The relevant clip in that video is at 4:07

comment by timtyler · 2009-06-03T16:17:37.610Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

How hard the software will be is an issue to which currently nobody really knows the answer at the moment - AFAICS. We might all have our gut feelings - but I think nobody who is trying to be rational really knows - or even has a particularly low level of uncertainty just now.

Commodity hardware won't get there until at least 2017 - and software lags behind hardware - so probably some time after that we will have affordable machines that can do a lot of what our brains can - but how much after that... my assessment is that nobody really knows.

comment by JoeShipley · 2009-06-03T17:53:17.568Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I would love to see this.

comment by Liron · 2009-06-03T08:05:48.367Z · score: 20 (26 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Scott Adams - http://dilbert.com/blog/

Scott is brilliant, funny, and has posted extremely original and creative ideas on his blog. But he has revealed a surprising cluelessness about matters of science and philosophy considering the amount of time he spends thinking about them. The Bloggingheads conversation can include religion, evolution, and affirmations.

comment by pwno · 2009-06-03T18:09:45.295Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Does he still have a problem talking?

comment by Liron · 2009-06-03T21:21:17.428Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

No

comment by Roko · 2009-06-03T15:37:11.953Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

But he has revealed a surprising cluelessness about matters of science and philosophy considering the amount of time he spends thinking about them

probably because he draws cartoons for a living, rather than doing real science. Sounds like this debate could be a waste of time.

comment by Rune · 2009-06-03T13:50:49.878Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Would be excellent! I'm sure EY and SA could find a large set of topics on which they disagree.

comment by Roko · 2009-06-03T15:40:28.996Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

yes but would they just talk past each other? A useful debate is one where there is disagreement, but that disagreement is actually resolved.

comment by Furcas · 2009-06-03T03:47:02.041Z · score: 20 (24 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Hubert Dreyfus, about AI. Although, now that I think about it, he's probably too old to do this kind of stuff.

Tell 'em to call Hofstadter. He doesn't think much of the Singularity, so it should be a fun diavlog.

comment by ai_sur · 2009-06-03T10:12:50.786Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I second Hofstadter. Unless Eliezer will feel too awed by the occasion. In this case Ben Goertzel

comment by MichaelGR · 2009-06-03T19:41:18.043Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I third Hofstadter.

I'm sure that would be a very interesting conversation.

comment by smoofra · 2009-06-03T04:17:49.237Z · score: 19 (27 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

how about scott aaronson.

comment by dclayh · 2009-06-03T05:05:51.764Z · score: 6 (8 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Not to namedrop, but that dude is sleeping in my house right at this second. Just thought I'd share that amusing coincidence.

comment by Rune · 2009-06-03T13:49:23.426Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Also seconded. Considering Scott's humorous remark (http://scottaaronson.com/blog/?p=328) to rename his blog to "Wallowing in Bias" and respond to OB posts!

comment by roland · 2009-06-03T04:30:27.528Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

seconded!

comment by anonym · 2009-06-03T04:02:22.772Z · score: 18 (32 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Robin Hanson, on the meta-topic of different approaches to answering the question, "what is the most likely route to greater-than-human intelligence, and how likely is it, and when?".

comment by aluchko · 2009-06-04T21:26:04.608Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I disagree. I think the real benefit in something like this is to is hear a discussion with a community outsider. A discussion between Elizer and Robin would be interesting but wouldn't offer anything substantially different than existing LW/OB content.

comment by SoullessAutomaton · 2009-06-03T10:01:10.183Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Said question is essentially the topic of their disagreement on OB late last year, is it not? I recall that discussion reaching no satisfactory conclusion. My impression from that was of a great deal of talking past one another, not so much a matter of of approach to the question as subtly differing implicit assumptions.

Would the meta-topic be likely to shed more light on the subject, or would it result in the same stalemate?

I suspect there are more interesting and fruitful topics that the two could discuss.

comment by RobinHanson · 2009-06-03T11:38:27.016Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I think i might go well - at least it would seem to wrap things up in a personable way. And it is harder to talk past one another in person - the other person can interrupt.

comment by anonym · 2009-06-05T02:42:49.775Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

It is much easier to talk past each other and generally avoid the central points of disagreement when communication is written rather than oral and in essay style rather than conversational style.

comment by komponisto · 2009-06-03T20:55:03.483Z · score: 16 (16 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I am pleased to see that many of the first names that popped into my head (e.g. Daniel Dennett, Scott Aaronson, Richard Dawkins, David Chalmers -- and of course Robin Hanson) have been mentioned.

But, surprisingly, no one's yet suggested Steven Pinker. He is one of the public faces of evolutionary psychology, and (nevertheless?) has some sympathy toward mysterianism about consciousness. (And considering that yesterday I came across an old comment by Eliezer in which he said that the English language has no rules, Pinker may be just the person he needs to talk to.)

comment by Eliezer Yudkowsky (Eliezer_Yudkowsky) · 2009-06-06T04:42:32.381Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Um... I am very well aware of the concept of linguistics, thank you. I was speaking rhetorically.

(EDIT: Though Steven Pinker is still a fine suggestion.)

comment by komponisto · 2009-06-07T03:25:43.007Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I was speaking rhetorically.

Be that as it may, a wise person once wrote:

SPEAK THE TRUTH, EVEN IF YOUR VOICE TREMBLES.

Plenty of people are less acquainted with linguistics; surely, then, it's a good idea to avoid saying things that are actually false (especially when they would reinforce a common misconception that experts in the subject are constantly trying to stamp out).

comment by Liron · 2009-06-03T21:25:03.305Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'd love to see a Steven Pinker diavlog! He just hadn't occurred to me to suggest.

comment by MartinB · 2009-06-03T15:00:13.814Z · score: 16 (18 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Kurzweil

comment by Tyrrell_McAllister · 2009-06-03T06:58:55.265Z · score: 15 (19 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

David Chalmers has done BHtv. Maybe he could be enticed to debate whether his "Hard Problem" exists.

comment by derekz · 2009-06-03T12:30:14.020Z · score: 14 (18 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Eliezer, in the ones I've seen so far I don't think you comes across very well. In particular you tend to ignore the point (or substance) of your partner's arguments which makes you look evasive or inattentive. There is also a fine line for viewers between confidence and arrogant pomposity and you often come across on the wrong side of that line. Hopefully this desire of yours to keep doing it reflects a commitment to improving, in which case keep at it. Perhaps asking a number of neutral parties about specifics would help you train for it... if you're willing to accept that you are being watched by human beings and that the audience reacts differently to different styles of presentation (it seems you do care to some extent; for example you wear clothing and appear well groomed during the conversations).

As others have suggested, trying to resolve or at least continue your debate with Robin Hanson would be interesting. A conversation with Ben Goertzel about AI safety issues and research protocols would be worthwhile to me but might not engage a broad audience. Most exciting would be Dale Carrico (http://amormundi.blogspot.com).

comment by loqi · 2009-06-03T18:28:05.634Z · score: 7 (9 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

In particular you tend to ignore the point (or substance) of your partner's arguments which makes you look evasive or inattentive.

I think this is partly the by-product of a fundamental tension when conversing with someone in habit of making meaningless or incoherent statements. To directly address such "points", you basically have to ask the person to explain what they mean or rephrase their statement. If the explanation is junk, you're right back where you started, minus the time they spent explaining themselves. In the limit, indulging these non-terminating arguments equates to just letting them talk the entire time.

comment by Psy-Kosh · 2009-06-03T16:42:15.662Z · score: 12 (18 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Robert Aumann, if it's possible to arrange.

that would be an interesting conversation.

EDIT: if nothing else, I'd like to see the discussion that arises when actually pressed on his theism. ie, I'd like to see someone ask him "I KNOW you know stuff about rationality. I know I don't need to use metaphors about mapmaking and needing to go out and look, nor do I need to introduce you to the concept if discounting the prior for a hypothesis based on its complexity, and so on, because I expect you actually really know this stuff, and know it well... So... why do you believe what you believe, especially with regards to religion?"

I'd really want to see what Robert Aumann would actually say in response to that...

comment by Roko · 2009-06-04T12:10:32.723Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'd really want to see what Robert Aumann would actually say in response to that...

I don't think it would be very interesting. Aumann is obviously so clever that, whatever the elaborate mental constructs he uses to delude himself about religion are, Eliezer will not be able to dislodge them.

The result will be sophistry. Not fun to watch.

comment by Tyrrell_McAllister · 2009-06-04T14:34:57.794Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Fun or not, it can be valuable to know what those elaborate mental constructs are. For example, even if it's impossible to dislodge them from Aumann, it may still be possible to develop targeted "vaccine" arguments to help others avoid falling prey to similar constructs.

comment by Vladimir_Nesov · 2009-06-04T14:50:34.096Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

A more important point is that Aumann is so old that in all likelihood any discussion with him will at best only be able to access his crystallized intelligence, cached thought, without any possibility of biting bullets.

comment by roland · 2009-06-03T04:33:09.789Z · score: 11 (13 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Dan Ariely? He is author of "Predictably Irrational" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Ariely

comment by Roko · 2009-06-03T13:27:22.042Z · score: 10 (14 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Richard Dawkins.

I would love to hear eliezer telling RD about the rationality movement and the two of them discussing what to do about the problem of finding meaning and human fulfilment in a way which is compatible with a rationalist outlook on life.

comment by nazgulnarsil · 2009-06-03T18:11:20.149Z · score: -7 (13 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Have you read the God Delusion? Richard Dawkins is a christian without the god meme.

comment by Jaffa_Cakes · 2009-06-04T00:07:55.094Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I have read The God Delusion but I don't really understand what you're saying. Can you explain?

comment by nazgulnarsil · 2009-06-04T00:27:51.226Z · score: 0 (8 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Dawkins is a secular humanist, not a materialist. to wit: "Let me sum up Einsteinian religion in one more quotation from Einstein himself: "To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is a something that our mind cannot grasp and whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly and as a feeble reflection, this is religiousness. In this sense I am religious." -The God Delusion Ch 1

his beliefs are sprinkled throughout the book, but it is fair to say that he espouses some form of dualism plus unitarian christian morality.

comment by Furcas · 2009-06-04T01:12:57.892Z · score: 5 (7 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Um, Dawkins doesn't subscribe to what he calls "Einsteinian religion", and he is a materialist. I'm not sure why you seem to think that secular humanism and materialism are incompatible.

comment by Z_M_Davis · 2009-06-04T00:32:54.284Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

The tone is mystical, but I doubt Dawkins is really a dualist.

comment by MichaelGR · 2009-06-04T19:32:44.574Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

He isn't, and if memory serves me right, he has made that quite clear many times.

comment by haig · 2009-06-03T09:38:57.712Z · score: 9 (11 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I voted up robin hanson, but I would love either Cory Doctorow or Bruce Sterling because they are both smart scifi authors who are vocally skeptical of something like the singularity happening.

Whoever it is, in my opinion the best discussions would consist of people who share very similar worldviews yet strongly differ on some critical ideas. We don't need to see another religion debate that is for sure.

comment by Z_M_Davis · 2009-06-03T05:40:52.027Z · score: 9 (13 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Cosma Shalizi?

comment by Eliezer Yudkowsky (Eliezer_Yudkowsky) · 2009-06-03T06:07:24.972Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Now that would be reminiscent. Considering that I stumbled across Extropianism by way of Hyper-Weirdness by WWW. Also considering that I believe Cosma is the only person to use the phrase "Bayesian Conspiracy" before I did.

comment by cerebus · 2009-06-03T16:15:47.992Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Considering 'bayesians' are one of his bête noires, this would be very cool, nevermind that as a teenager I learnt far more from reading Eliezer's posts at extropy and Shalizi's webbed notebooks than school.*

Another topic of discussion could be this appendage to his nanotech notebook http://cscs.umich.edu/~crshalizi/notebooks/nanotech.html : "Update, 13 March 2004: At some point in the last ten years I've come to no longer believe that"

Also, Hofstadter and Chalmers seconded.

*massive understatement

comment by davidr · 2009-06-03T20:50:19.895Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Peter Voss, Dharmendra Modha, Henry Markram.

Ben Goertzel on how he's research director for SIAI but Eliezer "does not consider his AI theory reasonable"

comment by RomanDavis · 2010-12-18T00:40:07.122Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Ben Goertzel on how he's research director for SIAI but Eliezer "does not consider his AI theory reasonable"

All the more reason to see them talk. Should be educational.

comment by ata · 2010-12-18T01:28:00.914Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

For what it's worth, Ben Goertzel isn't SIAI's research director anymore (and said something to the effect that he never actually ended up directing much research there).

I wonder where the "does not consider his AI theory reasonable" quote comes from; no Google results for it other than this page, and davidr appears to be gone, so we can't ask him...)

(It does ring true anyway, since Eliezer has declared Ben "mostly harmless", despite Novamente not being based on Friendliness as a top priority. Though a debate between them on Ben's criticism of SIAI's approach, and Eliezer's disagreement with Ben's approach, may be interesting.)


Edit: Ah, here's the source of the quote.

Mildly interesting is that in response to the question "is he one of the people whom you classify as poor misguided fools?", Eliezer said "don’t publicly ask questions that I could not reasonably be expected to publicly answer", which I'm assuming means "yes".

Edit2: Oh, and "My dialogs with Ben are recorded in the ancient archives of the SL4 mailing list; I can’t say I’m really interested in continuing them."

comment by wedrifid · 2010-12-18T02:40:22.949Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Mildly interesting is that in response to the question "is he one of the people whom you classify as poor misguided fools?", Eliezer said "don’t publicly ask questions that I could not reasonably be expected to publicly answer", which I'm assuming means "yes".

Many would take the approach of giving that answer to all such questions, regardless of how they would answer in the specific instance. That allows them to avoid giving away information when questions come up that they particularly don't want to answer.

comment by roland · 2009-06-03T17:01:33.035Z · score: 7 (9 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Douglas Hofstadter author of GEB. He is opposed to the idea of cryogenics AFAIK.

comment by rabidchicken · 2011-03-11T06:39:45.618Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Seconded, this would be unbelievably interesting.

comment by Liron · 2009-06-03T21:35:05.827Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Regardless of who the conversation is with, I hope we get to see as many EY diavlogs as possible. They are extremely entertaining and educational.

comment by Alan · 2009-06-03T20:51:45.484Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

How about Gary Drescher?

comment by Jack · 2009-06-03T18:34:32.996Z · score: 6 (8 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

John Searle on Strong AI.

comment by Liron · 2009-06-03T21:30:04.586Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Yes. I've witnessed how John Searle turns undergrad Cognitive Science majors against reductionism at UC Berkeley. Searle's "emergence" and Chinese Room argument would be very fertile topics for a diavlog.

comment by Henrik_Jonsson · 2009-06-17T06:31:52.794Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

It would be interesting to see Searle debate anyone who didn't defer to his high status and common-sense-sounding arguments and pressed him to the wall on what exactly would happen if you, say, simulated a human brain in high resolution. His intuition pumps are powerful ("thought is just like digestion, you don't really believe a computer will digest food if you simulate gastric enzymes, do you?"), but he never really presents any argument on his views of consciousness or AI, at least what I've seen.

comment by SoullessAutomaton · 2009-06-03T22:40:30.970Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

The Chinese Room argument seems to me so deeply misguided and silly that I doubt an interesting dialog on it is possible, any more than a fruitful discussion of religion with a well-educated theist.

I know little of his work other than the aforementioned argument, but it doesn't really paint a flattering picture of his ability to engage in clear thinking.

comment by thomblake · 2009-06-05T18:33:22.152Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Searle's actually pretty brilliant and he's mostly on the right side on this one. When you cast the debate as between Searle and Dennett, Dennett is obviously right. But in a broader context, Searle and Dennett are on the same side.

But I agree that there's no reason to talk about the Chinese Room. Either you're convinced by Dennett, or there's no use talking further about it.

comment by Annoyance · 2009-06-05T18:38:24.557Z · score: -5 (9 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

There's no such thing as being "mostly" on the right side, no more than an argument can be "mostly" logically valid.

Either it meets the standards, or it doesn't.

comment by thomblake · 2009-06-05T18:45:08.328Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

So you're arguing, then, that there's no point in trying to be "less wrong"? Either you're absolutely correct or you're "deeply misguided and silly" and can't "engage in clear thinking"?

Your attitude doesn't seem conducive to creating harmony amongst mostly like-minded people. Do you have many professional acquaintances?

ETA: that's harsh - I disagreed with your comment and upvoted it, and within moments of being posted it was at -1. What's with people around here?

comment by Annoyance · 2009-06-05T19:10:43.611Z · score: -2 (6 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

So you're arguing, then, that there's no point in trying to be "less wrong"?

Not at all. If you have many arguments, it is useful to reduce the number of them that are invalid and increase the number that are valid.

An argument itself, though, can be only valid or invalid. If some section of it is incompatible with the rules of logic, it's in violation of those rules and cannot be valid.

Either you're absolutely correct or you're "deeply misguided and silly" and can't "engage in clear thinking"?

Again, not at all. A valid argument isn't necessarily true, for one thing. For another, merely not violating the rules doesn't imply correctness - if you never construct an argument it can't violate logic, but you'll never reach a true conclusion that way. People often refuse to investigate theses when they don't want to have to acknowledge an unpleasant truth that they suspect lurks at the end of a chain of reasoning. That is an error of integrity, not (directly) one of logic.

Your attitude doesn't seem conducive to creating harmony amongst mostly like-minded people.

Setting harmony as an goal is destructive and misleading. Seek the truth, and to ensure that everyone applies the appropriate standards of evaluation, and harmony will arise as a natural consequence. Try to create harmony directly and you become trapped in falsity and error.

There can be no 'harmony' between theists and anti-theists, for example. The two positions are incompatible. Logic and the available evidence support one and not the other. This community should not seek to create harmony of that sort; by insisting on rigorous standards of reason, the community requires that theists must either abandon their position or leave their association with the group.

(Or, of course, keep their beliefs secret and imply by silence that they're not theists. It is difficult to identify such a strategy. LW does not have inquisitors...)

comment by Cyan · 2009-06-05T19:18:53.023Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Not at all. If you have many arguments, it is useful to reduce the number of them that are invalid and increase the number that are valid.

Why did you assume that "he's mostly on the right side on this one" meant that he has one "almost correct" argument, rather than meaning that most of his arguments are sound?

comment by Annoyance · 2009-06-05T19:29:47.296Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Because I know that most of his arguments are not sound, and I tend to assume that the people I'm speaking with are familiar with basic realities of the topic. So that interpretation is ruled out.

comment by Cyan · 2009-06-05T19:35:18.671Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Why did you assume that thomblake would know (i) that Searle's arguments are mostly not sound, but not (ii) that an argument either meets the standards of correctness, or it doesn't? Certainly both (i) and (ii) count as basic realities for you.

comment by Annoyance · 2009-06-05T19:46:29.249Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Because 1) thomblake is usually pretty sharp, 2) I know he's very interested in philosophy generally, and 3) Searle is well-known and has been taken down more often than I care to remember.

That addresses (i).

As for (ii), people almost always ignore that point, and frequently try to gloss over or deny it in arguments. It's warm and fuzzy to "look for the good" in positions and it's a common strategy to wear down resistance in opponents by 'acknowledging their claims to be partly valid' even when they aren't.

His studies have taught thomblake well, but he is not a rationalist yet.

comment by Cyan · 2009-06-05T19:56:01.094Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

And yet, thomblake's reply makes it clear that you would have been more correct to assume that thomblake would know (ii) but not (i). Interesting. ETA: Or not.

comment by Annoyance · 2009-06-05T20:08:15.107Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

It's like theism. It's obviously wrong, but most people either support it or don't realize it's obviously wrong.

Possibly my reaction was not perfectly calibrated for thomblake, but it works pretty well generally.

comment by thomblake · 2009-06-05T20:27:01.595Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Cyan,

I pretty much agree with Annoyance's response. I've argued about Searle with him before, which I think is evidence for (i), and I've disputed the relevance of (ii).

And it is true, I'm an irrationalist.

comment by Cyan · 2009-06-05T20:35:52.690Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Huh. Once again I am schooled in the typical mind fallacy.

comment by Liron · 2009-06-04T03:53:15.517Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

It doesn't really paint a flattering picture of his ability to engage in clear thinking.

He can probably do better than a team of Adam Frank and Jaron Lanier.

comment by Roko · 2009-06-04T15:09:44.208Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Yes, but that's not exactly saying much...

comment by Liron · 2009-06-05T03:29:46.562Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

It's saying he thinks clearly enough for an EY bloggingheads conversation partner.

comment by Annoyance · 2009-06-03T22:56:04.195Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

But he has lots of fans.

Admittedly, the fact that they're fans of his strongly suggests that they're lacking in the ability to engage in clear thinking. That probably has something to do with why they never seem to grasp the arguments demonstrating the problems with the 'Chinese Room'.

Searle has problems grasping that systems can be analyzed in terms of their constituent parts, and that various parts can be put together to create a system - thus, his criticism that the Chinese Room can't be said to understand because no part of the room understands it.

Aside from being an object lesson in cognitive failure, I don't see what any discussion with him could accomplish.

comment by Liron · 2009-06-04T03:59:25.346Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

IDWYC but agree that Searle's emergence seems like a pointer to confusion and reveals a really basic failure to understand reductionism.

comment by Annoyance · 2009-06-04T16:38:29.694Z · score: -3 (5 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

And since "reducing things to constituent parts" is involved with all of reasoning, it indicates a gross inability to reason.

I mean really, who only refers to the universe as a seamless whole? And who has produced anything of note by refusing to refer to distinct and separate things?

Searle would be a good example of the difference between being bright, and being intelligent. He is clever, but not smart.

comment by Alicorn · 2009-06-04T16:40:32.925Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

You do plan to elaborate on your bright/intelligent distinction eventually, right? Until then, this is just you being unclear.

comment by Annoyance · 2009-06-04T16:45:42.638Z · score: -1 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Yes, I do.

I don't think my point is really that unclear though. Consider: Rube Goldberg-like 'solutions' to problems require cleverness, but are so inefficient and overly complex that only a very foolish person would think that their design and construction would be a good idea. Seriously making such a design requires lots of raw brainpower and a lack of effective judgment.

comment by Alicorn · 2009-06-04T16:51:06.645Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I think the idea behind Rube Goldberg devices is to have fun, not to use them regularly to actually solve problems. Only in movies does anyone have a residence or business rigged up Rube Goldberg Style.

comment by Annoyance · 2009-06-04T17:00:01.163Z · score: -3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Certainly, but someone who actually thought they'd be useful would need to be foolish.

A person who created such a design would need to be very clever, yet very foolish.

Similarly, Searle must be pretty brainy, but his arguments make so little sense that they're absurd.

comment by Alicorn · 2009-06-04T17:18:19.441Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

A person who created such a design would need to be very clever, yet very foolish.

I'm confused. Are you ignoring the faction that would be clever enough to create these designs and would do so for fun; calling such people foolish for having this hobby; or assuming that they don't exist?

comment by Annoyance · 2009-06-04T17:25:22.885Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I just didn't address them.

People who design and build Rube Goldbergs just for fun are (if successful) necessarily clever; very, very few of them believe that the resulting machines are actually useful in any meaningful sense, I think, so there would be no grounds for considering them foolish.

comment by Alicorn · 2009-06-04T17:37:00.093Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

When you fully explain your bright/intelligent distinction you should also include a list of synonyms and antonyms for each. It seems like you're using "foolish" as an antonym for one and not the other, "brainy" as a synonym for one and not the other, etc.

comment by loqi · 2009-06-03T18:16:27.010Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Marcus Hutter.

comment by Eliezer Yudkowsky (Eliezer_Yudkowsky) · 2009-06-06T04:44:41.988Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

This would have been a great suggestion if I hadn't just spent an hour talking to Hutter during a visit to a small workshop in Canberra; I think we said most of what we had to say to each other.

comment by davidr · 2009-06-07T12:22:50.850Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Can you elaborate on what was said, and why most of what you had to say to each other fits in only 1 hour?

comment by RomanDavis · 2010-12-18T00:48:01.924Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Please elaborate.

comment by timtyler · 2009-06-03T14:55:31.239Z · score: 6 (8 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Not a very serious suggestion, but PZ Myers might be fun:

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/02/singularly_silly_singularity.php

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/02/futurists_make_me_cranky.php

comment by aluchko · 2009-06-03T22:21:04.783Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I thought of Myers as well, particularly since PZ is a biologist and not a huge fan of evolutionary psychology it could lead to some informative debate.

Regardless I would be very interested to see a discussion with a physicist/biologist/chemist as opposed to a philosopher/economist/computer scientist. We seem to get a lot of the latter but not much of the former and I'd like to see their perspective on some of our brand of rationality.

comment by Psy-Kosh · 2009-06-04T00:03:34.511Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Hrm, yeah, that may be interesting too.

comment by botogol · 2009-06-03T10:18:16.957Z · score: 6 (8 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

what i'd actually like to see would be Robin Hanson v Mencius Moldbug

comment by olimay · 2009-06-06T08:32:52.180Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I would like to see Mencius Moldbug versus...

...Mencius Moldbug.

Not for insight or informational content, but perhaps as a sort of Théâtre de l'Absurde.

I think Robin has been right in not wasting his time further.

comment by nazgulnarsil · 2009-06-03T18:13:41.609Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Robin made it clear that he will not continue a debate with someone who does not show proper deference to white papers.

comment by botogol · 2009-06-04T08:06:41.592Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

perhaps an arm-wrestling contest would be acceptable... hmm, but not possible on bloggingheadstv... a face-pulling contest?

comment by LeBleu · 2009-06-03T04:54:32.370Z · score: 6 (12 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

David Brin

comment by CronoDAS · 2009-06-03T05:05:11.669Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Indeed, that would be fun. (I read Brin's blog, too!)

comment by dumbshow · 2009-06-03T14:04:36.481Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Daniel Gilbert

comment by Liron · 2009-06-03T21:26:29.946Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Yeah, Stumbling on Happiness is a pretty good book.

comment by dumbshow · 2009-06-04T04:43:43.785Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I haven't read Stumbling but i really enjoyed his essay in
Heuristics and biases: the psychology of intuitive judgement

comment by arthurlewis · 2009-06-03T05:13:21.333Z · score: 5 (21 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

He's neither celebrity nor academic, but I've always wanted to see a diavlog between Eliezer and PJ Eby.

comment by MrHen · 2009-06-03T13:40:42.976Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I get the feeling that would be amusing.

comment by Eliezer Yudkowsky (Eliezer_Yudkowsky) · 2009-07-13T01:12:07.548Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Anyone interested in John C. Wright?

comment by Tyrrell_McAllister · 2010-12-17T23:30:15.784Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Anyone interested in John C. Wright?

I, for one, would be very interested. What a tragically broken beautiful brain.

It's been almost a year and a half, but since you suggested the possibility yourself, I can't help but wonder: Was there some hint of a possibility of interest on JCW's part to participate in a diavlog with you?

comment by Eliezer Yudkowsky (Eliezer_Yudkowsky) · 2010-12-18T00:31:59.270Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'm afraid not.

comment by arundelo · 2009-07-13T02:12:09.222Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Yes, and I wouldn't mind if you talked about religion, but I'd rather the majority of the diavlog be about stuff that you're on the same page about.

comment by komponisto · 2009-07-14T17:48:39.419Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I take the opposite point of view. If there is a diavlog with Wright, I would like to hear sustained discussion of religion, as I am curious to find out what Eliezer will say, in real time, to someone who converted from atheism to Christianity at age 42.

Besides which, these things are surely more interesting in general when they focus on areas of disagreement.

comment by Cyan · 2009-07-14T18:33:06.230Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

He writes that he had a sequence of visions, and that he doesn't blame you if you think he's out of his mind. That pretty much deals with any interest I personally have in his conversion.

comment by Furcas · 2009-07-13T01:30:12.650Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Isn't he a religious nut?

comment by Henry · 2009-06-04T03:31:52.260Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

David Deutsch

comment by QuestionTime · 2009-06-03T16:45:10.620Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Bayesian Statistician Andrew Gelman appears to have some differences with you. See: http://www.stat.columbia.edu/~cook/movabletype/archives/2009/02/different_meani.html

comment by MichaelHoward · 2009-06-03T12:48:03.909Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Anders Sandberg or Mike Darwin.

comment by hrishimittal · 2009-06-03T09:20:46.198Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Eric Drexler.

comment by komponisto · 2009-06-04T05:01:05.471Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

The founder of BloggingheadsTV, Robert Wright, would also be a good choice.

comment by erikj · 2009-06-03T20:48:42.910Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Kevin Kelly.

He has some interesting singularity opinions.

comment by dumbshow · 2009-06-05T04:33:01.141Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

isn't he religious?

comment by robsica · 2009-06-03T16:49:22.299Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I would like to see you diavlog with Scott Atron or Jonathan Haidt -- both of whom, I think, pose stronger and more interesting challenges to your views on religion than Adam Frank.

comment by dclayh · 2009-06-03T05:28:55.411Z · score: 3 (9 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I just watched Eliezer's second diavlog with Adam Frank, and I have to say his expression when Frank suggested he should love the book of Job is priceless.

comment by Roko · 2009-06-08T17:42:38.072Z · score: 2 (6 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Joshua Greene.

http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/~jgreene/GreeneWJH/Greene-Dissertation.pdf

You must debate joshua greene on the implications of moral antirealism

comment by Roko · 2009-06-09T10:10:37.233Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Can't believe this is on -1! C'm on guys, Josh Greene!

comment by dumbshow · 2009-06-08T15:22:13.731Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Andrew W.K. (musician)

He's outside of your field but is a breakout in his own field. He's open minded and sensitive to argument. But he seems to believe in some kind of weird solipsism. Talking with Andrew W.K. would let you expound upon your materialism and reductionism. You would also reach well beyond your geek readership to the armies of slightly confused, self-conscious, college educated Americans called 'hipsters'---a lot of these people are standing around waiting for the next movement to happen, and your ideas could be very seductive to them.

Finally, Andrew W.K. would probably do it. Despite acting like a badass, he is fundamentally a nerd (a music nerd) and I think he would respect you and try hard to understand you. He also seems to have the intelligence and honesty for arguments about future technologies.

Andrew W.K. article in the New York Times

comment by UnholySmoke · 2009-07-28T14:16:19.224Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I cannot tell whether this is humour or sheer balls. Either way, I salute you sir.

comment by wuwei · 2009-06-05T01:12:43.361Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Alison Gopnik (The Scientist in the Crib, The Philosophical Baby, Causal Learning: Psychology, Philosophy and Computation). She's done a diavlog with Joshua Knobe.

comment by cabalamat · 2009-06-04T21:50:45.937Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Charles Stross.

(Namedrop) If I see him down the pub tonight, I might mention it to him.

comment by Paul Crowley (ciphergoth) · 2009-06-05T10:23:39.556Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'd prefer if Eliezer got to say more than five words in the diavlog...

comment by roland · 2009-06-03T17:07:48.160Z · score: 2 (6 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Someone with very high IQ like:

There is a list at : http://onemansblog.com/2007/11/08/the-massive-list-of-genius-people-with-the-highest-iq/

comment by Annoyance · 2009-06-03T19:34:50.165Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Marilyn Vos Savant may have a very high IQ, but do we have any particular reason to think that she has anything to contribute to the topics LW is concerned with? Or even interesting ideas in general?

comment by roland · 2009-06-05T05:40:36.055Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I think she has interesting ideas for sure but maybe they are not directly related to LW. On the other hand I think she has quite a bit to say about intelligence, at least human intelligence.

comment by MartinB · 2010-11-02T02:40:34.274Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Worth a try.

I watched the old tv interview with her on youtube and liked it. With Langan - who I just heard about yesterday - the stuff he says in the TV piece shows a frightening failure of intelligence. And still it would be interesting, and maybe worthwhile to have a talk between him and EY.

comment by roland · 2009-06-08T22:58:26.392Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I just read a partial interview with Michael Langan and he is also interested in the topic of AI and has some ideas on it.

comment by Nick_Tarleton · 2009-06-08T23:32:19.838Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Link?

comment by BenRayfield · 2011-05-30T04:51:31.752Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I suggest Christopher Michael Langan, as roland said. His "Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe (CTMU)" ( download it at http://ctmu.org ) is very logical and conflicts in interesting ways with how Yudkowsky thinks of the universe at the most abstract level. Langan derives the need for an emergent unification of "syntax" (like the laws of physics) and "state" (like positions and times of objects) and that the universe must be a closure. I think he means the only possible states/syntaxes are very abstractly similar to quines. He proposes a third category, not determinism or random, but somewhere between that fits into his logical model in subtle ways.

QUOTE: The currency of telic feedback is a quantifiable self-selection parameter, generalized utility, a generalized property of law and state in the maximization of which they undergo mutual refinement (note that generalized utility is self-descriptive or autologous, intrinsically and retroactively defined within the system, and “pre-informational” in the sense that it assigns no specific property to any specific object). Through telic feedback, a system retroactively self-configures by reflexively applying a “generalized utility function” to its internal existential potential or possible futures. In effect, the system brings itself into existence as a means of atemporal communication between its past and future whereby law and state, syntax and informational content, generate and refine each other across time to maximize total systemic self-utility. This defines a situation in which the true temporal identity of the system is a distributed point of temporal equilibrium that is both between and inclusive of past and future. In this sense, the system is timeless or atemporal.

When he says a system which tends toward a "generalized utility function", I think he means, for example, our physics follow a geodesic, so geodesic would be their utility function.

comment by Vaniver · 2011-05-30T06:04:24.868Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

He appears to be an ID proponent, though that is probably a simplification of his actual position.

comment by BenRayfield · 2011-05-30T18:56:11.486Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

When he says "intelligent design", he is not referring to the common theory that there is some god that is not subject to the laws of physics which created physics and everything in the universe. He says reality created itself as a logical consequence of having to be a closure. I don't agree with everything he says, but based only on the logical steps that lead up to that, him and Yudkowsky should have interesting things to talk about. Both are committed to obey logic and get rid of their assumptions, so there should be no unresolvable conflicts, but I expect lots of conflicts to start with.

comment by MarkHHerman · 2009-06-03T16:54:22.468Z · score: 2 (6 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Someone with whom establishing a connection might make the difference in being able to get them to appear at a future Singularity Summit. Also, someone with whom an association enhances your credibility.

comment by Jaffa_Cakes · 2009-06-04T00:04:21.310Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

What am I missing about this comment? I think it makes a reasonable point, but it's on -2.

Can someone clarify what the issue is, or whether Mark's trolling and I'm just too stupid to realise?

comment by Z_M_Davis · 2009-06-04T00:28:10.015Z · score: -2 (12 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I don't think downvotes should be that big of a deal. Figure simply that a couple of users thought "I would not like to see more comments like this," for whatever reason. For example, I've downvoted your comment because I don't think it advances the discourse to explicitly comment on how a seemingly reasonable comment has sunk down to -2. But it's nothing personal, really.

comment by Z_M_Davis · 2009-06-04T19:10:12.665Z · score: 4 (8 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I am unable to articulate why, but for some reason I find it absolutely hilarious that my comment above is presently at -2.

comment by Daniel_Burfoot · 2009-06-03T14:06:35.856Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Rodney Brooks, on whether or not anything useful about AI can be learned from robot experiments. More abstractly, how does one solve the problem of demarcation in AI (what line separates AI-relevant research from everything else)?

comment by botogol · 2009-06-03T10:08:35.028Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

William Gibson? http://www.williamgibsonbooks.com/index.asp

He also thinks a lot - and cleverly - about the future but in a different way from Eliezer.

comment by anonym · 2009-06-03T03:58:25.152Z · score: 2 (12 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Francis Collins, on the (in-)compatibility of theism and science.

comment by Nick_Tarleton · 2009-06-03T04:13:26.526Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Downvoted because, frankly, the subject just isn't interesting anymore.

comment by maximus444 · 2009-06-17T06:07:09.554Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)
  1. David Albert ( Is Quantum Mechanics Really Magic ? )
  2. Scott Atran ( Is Religion even part of the Problem ? )
  3. Peter Singer ( Are all of our Moral Traditions Up For Grabs ? )
  4. Tyler Cowen
comment by knb · 2009-06-03T04:42:04.312Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Will Wilkinson again. As a longtime reader of both, that was a lot of fun for me.

Or Paul Bloom, cognitive psych expert, wrote a book about the "God instinct". Perhaps too similar to the last blogginhead with Adam Frank, but still interesting I think.

comment by James_Miller · 2009-06-03T04:22:32.837Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Judge Richard Posner

You might be able to convince him to sign up for cryonics because he is willing to accept rationally supported ideas even if others think them crazy.

comment by CronoDAS · 2009-06-03T03:27:43.723Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Alonzo Fyfe.

comment by Vladimir_Nesov · 2009-09-10T00:31:27.479Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Glenn Loury, a social scientist who appears in political discussions on BHTV, strikes me as an extremely intelligent and rational person. Maybe it'd be interesting to debate with him something of common interest -- it's not obvious to me what in particular though.

comment by PaulcV · 2009-06-06T13:04:10.719Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Jurgen Habermass or Saul Kripke.

comment by PaulcV · 2009-06-06T13:03:19.268Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Jurgen Habermass or Saul Kripke would be cool.

comment by astray · 2009-06-05T18:56:24.931Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Lee Smolin might make for an interesting discussion on MWI.

comment by komponisto · 2009-06-05T08:16:24.642Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

David Albert on the topic of quantum mechanics/ MWI. (Albert previously did one with Sean Carroll on this topic, but they didn't go as far into it as I would have liked.)

comment by JamesCole · 2009-06-03T03:57:31.329Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Steve Grand

comment by PaulcV · 2009-06-06T13:03:26.585Z · score: -1 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Jurgen Habermass or Saul Kripke would be cool.

comment by davidr · 2009-06-04T15:05:46.838Z · score: -1 (5 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Carla Bruni

comment by razibk · 2009-06-03T05:27:55.779Z · score: -1 (9 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

someone theist. ramesh ponnuru. andrew bacevich. jim pinkerton.

comment by MichaelVassar · 2009-06-03T05:35:07.752Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Why? He has done it before.

comment by Tyrrell_McAllister · 2009-06-03T06:56:28.280Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

On BHtv? Who was the theist?

I do agree that Ponnuru and Pinkerton wouldn't be interesting, though. (I don't know Bacevich). If Eliezer does debate a theist, I'd rather it be someone with a well-thought-out position to dismantle, such as William Lane Craig, whom I believe Eliezer has already expressed an interest in debating.

comment by CannibalSmith · 2009-06-03T07:29:37.864Z · score: -11 (15 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Arnold Schwarzenegger

comment by Liron · 2009-06-03T21:30:52.081Z · score: -2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Why not Britney Spears?