↑ comment by PeerInfinity ·
2010-04-25T00:10:28.256Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
oops, we didn't notice this comment until now...
hi, we're some of Alicorn's references :)
Allow us to introduce ourselves:
SP: originally this stood for "Sane Peer", back when we thought that we only had 2 subagents, a crazy one and a sane one. Later retconned to stand for "Shell Peer", like in a computer, shell software running on top of a core operating system. Another possible retcon is "Serious Peer" This agent is mostly in charge of rational thought. This agent thought that it needed to make sure that it stayed in complete control, out of fear that if it let any of the other agents take control, we would immediately lose all self-control. But now it's learning how to cooperate with the other agents, and learning when to let them take charge entirely. This agent uses the avatar of a serious-looking, grey, male, anthropomorphic rabbit.
CP: originally this stood for "Crazy Peer", back when we thought that we only had 2 subagents, a crazy one and a sane one. Later retconned to stand for "Core Peer", like in a computer, the core operating system that everything else runs on top of. Another possible retcon is "Cuddly Peer". This agent is mostly in charge of emotions, or anything that isn't directly available to rational introspection. This agent used to be in constant conflict with SP, but now that SP is learning how to cooperate, we are constantly discovering new abilities that we didn't know we had. One example of a useful new ability is the ability to set up triggers to alert us next time a specific thought or emotion is triggered, allowing us to more easily introspect on what caused this thought, or, if necessary, to prevent this thought from being acted upon. This agent now spends more time in direct control of our actions than any other agent. This agent uses the avatar of a happy-looking, pink, female, anthropomorphic rabbit. This is the avatar that we normally use to use now use to represent all of us as a whole agent. (Here is a picture of the pink bunny.)
PP: Pessimistic Peer, the agent that's always looking out for danger, and trying to prevent the other agents from doing anything that seems too dangerous. This agent used to be way too oversensitive to danger, and was poorly calibrated, to the point of being blatantly counterproductive. We're working on correcting this. This agent is still very useful for detecting danger, and is also useful as "the voice of pessimism". This agent used to use the avatar of Rincewind, from Discworld. But then we realized that Rincewind's attitude towards danger, and towards life in general, was dangerously unhealthy, and so now this agent uses the avatar of a generic, nervous-looking, male human child.
HP: Happy Peer, the agent that's always seeking happiness, and trying to convince the other agents to allow us to do things that we think would make us happy. This agent previously spent most of its time getting shouted at by SP and PP, and told to shut up, because we considered happiness less important than... other more important goals. We thought that if we didn't allow ourselves to get distracted by seeking pleasure, we would be more effective at achieving our goals. It turns out we were totally wrong about this. Now we're finally letting HP have a chance to come out and play. Though we still need to work on figuring out when it's appropriate to listen to HP's desires, and when we would be better off not listening to them. One useful rule is "no impulse purchases". Wait at least a day before making any major purchases. Or more time, or less, as appropriate. This agent started out with the avatar of Harry Potter, just because that's the first image that the letters HP conjured up, but this didn't really make sense, so now this agent uses the avatar of a generic, happy-looking female human child.
OP: Obsolete Peer. Not really a subagent. This is just the name we use for parts of our brain that sometimes do things that none of the other agents endorse. An example is the "must click on stuff" desire that often caused us to stay up late for no good reason. Another example is the scary shouting voice that the agents used to use to try to scare each other into submission. Also the guilt-generator. This agent uses the avatar of... a pile of obsolete machine parts. The part for the big scary shouty voice is now sealed safely inside a box. We don't want to use that anymore. The guilt-generator is still loose somewhere. Well, there are probably lots of guilt-generators, in lots of places. We're still trying to track them down and seal them safely away.
UM: Utilitarian Module. This module used to be a part of SP, but we recently recognized it as extremely dangerous, and limited it to a module that we can turn off at will. This is currently the main source of our fanaticism. This is the part that is completely dedicated to the cause of Utilitarianism. Specifically, hedonic total utilitarianism. (maximize total pleasure, minimize total pain, don't bother to keep track of which entity experiences the pleasure or pain) This module strongly advocates the orgasmium shockwave scenario. This module is deeply aware of the extreme importance of maximizing the probability of a positive Singularity. As a result, this module will resist any other agent or module that attempts to do anything that this module suspects might distract us from the goal of trying to maximize the probability of a positive Singularity. We're still trying to figure out what to do about this module. We're starting with showing it how constantly resisting the rest of us is counterproductive to its own goals, and showing it how it would be better off cooperating with us, rather than fighting with us. Similar to the conversations we already had with SP about this same topic.
CM: both Child Module and Christian Module. There is lots of overlap between these, so currently they're both sharing the same module. The module that desperately wants to be a good child, and to be a good christian. This module is now well aware that its reasons for wanting to be a good child, and for wanting to be a good christian, are based entirely on circular logic, but the desires that came from this circular logic are still deeply embedded in our brain. This module used to be terrified of the idea of even suggesting that our parents or god or the church might be anything less than infallible. Recently, this module has mostly overcome this fear, and has gained the ability to accuse our parents, and to accuse god and the church, of being extremely unfair.
AM: both Atheist Module and Altruist Module There is lots of overlap between these, so currently they're both sharing the same module. We're still undecided about whether this is an actual module, we haven't seen it do much recently.
GM: God Module. Represents the will of the christian god. Almost completely inactive now. Used to have control of the scary shouty voice. Closely allied with CM.
MM: Mommy Module. Represents the will of our mother. Mostly inactive now. Used to have control of a guilt generator. Closely allied with CM.
DM: Daddy Module. Represents the will of our father. Mostly inactive now. Used to have control of the scary shouty voice. Closely allied with CM.
EM: Eliezer Module. Represents the will of Eliezer Yudkowsky, as misinterpreted by our brain. Still kinda active. Closely allied with UM and AM.
So, yeah, that's a brief summary of all of the subagents we've identified so far. We chat amongst ourselves constantly in our journal, and even sometimes in online chats with friends who already know about us. We find it extremely useful for the individual subagents to be able to speak for themselves, with their own voice.
oh, and in case you were wondering, we currently reside in the mind of a male human being, 27 years old. After the Singularity, we are seriously considering the option of creating a separate digital mind for each of these subagents, so that we can each freely pursue our own goals. Though of course this is still wildly speculative.
To paraphrase a quote from a wise man: We Are Solipsist Nation!
Replies from: PeerInfinity, PeerInfinity
↑ comment by PeerInfinity ·
2010-06-26T23:39:28.368Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
I've been continuing to use this technique of giving voices to individual subagents, and I've still been finding it extremely useful.
And there are some new subagents to add to the list:
DP: Dark Peer, the agent that's in charge of anything that feels too dark for any of the other agents to say. This includes lots of self-criticism, and criticism of others. If there's something that want to say, but are afraid that saying it would be too rude, and we're talking to someone who already knows about our subagents, then DP will go ahead and say what he wanted to say. We were surprised to find that this subagent actually enjoys getting angry, and writing angry rants. This subagent is also in charge of reporting "negative" feelings, while HP is in charge of reporting "positive" feelings. This agent uses the avatar of a dark, shadowy, genderless, anthropomorphic rabbit.
Recently HP merged with CP, and they share the pink bunny avatar, and they use the name HP. And PP merged with SP, and they share the gray bunny avatar, and they use the name PP.
These three bunny avatars are now our main voices. Most of our internal conversations are between these three voices, with other voices joining in when they have something specific to say.
Some other subagents that were added recently were:
ORG: Obscure Reference Generator: for whenever an obscure reference pops into our head that seems vaguely on-topic, but all of the other subagents are too embarrassed to mention it. This voice just reports the quote or whatever it is that popped into our head.
SoU: Sense of Urgency. The voice that's constantly telling me that whatever I'm working on at the moment urgently needs to be finished as soon as possible. Or if I'm not doing anything important, it's constantly telling me that I should be doing something important. Thinking about existential risks, and our responsibility to do something about them, seems to have put SoU permanently into full-panic mode. This module is causing us lots of trouble, and we're still trying to figure out how to resolve these issues.
RoM: Routine Module. The voice that's constantly telling us to keep following the usual routines, and that gets really nervous whenever we break one of the usual routines. This module is causing us lots of trouble, and we're still trying to figure out how to resolve these issues.
AM: Altruist Module. I should mention that I was an Altruist, before I became a Utilitarian. And so now I have a module in my brain that's constantly looking for opportunities to help others at our expense, without bothering to calculate how much help at how much expense. And it pushes really hard for us to act on these opportunities. It also fights really hard to prevent us from ever doing anything that would harm or annoy or inconvenience anyone in any way, even in situations where it's obvious that inconveniencing the other person is necessary or worthwhile. And this module is older and stronger than UM, the Utilitarian Module. It's often causing lots of trouble, and we're still trying to figure out how to resolve these issues.
EG: Excuse Generator. It gets activated so often that we decided to give it its own name and voice. It's often causing lots of trouble, actively trying to prevent us from updating on new information.
And sometimes a random thought needs to be given a voice, and we don't know what subagent that thought is coming from, and so we assign the label "?P" to that thought.
Replies from: Blueberry, Alicorn
↑ comment by Alicorn ·
2010-06-26T23:46:14.180Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
I would like to mention that the City of Lights technique is at its best when it is used to think through the various aspects of a specific problem without feeling pressed to aim at only one set of considerations. Using lots of subagents, or using them all the time, is correlated with something being systematically wrong. If you need them, far be it from me to stop you, but I get by with two in virtually every situation where they're called for and have never felt the need for more than six.
Replies from: PeerInfinity
↑ comment by PeerInfinity ·
2010-06-27T03:31:31.654Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
Right. Normally only two or three, or sometimes four, are involved in any particular conversation.
Er, wait, no, normally it's the three bunnies, plus maybe one other subagent.
↑ comment by PeerInfinity ·
2010-04-25T01:59:49.850Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
oh, and then there's the meta level:
sometimes if SP needs to be told about something he's doing that's irrational, SSP will tell him about it.
sometimes if CP has something that he's having trouble introspecting on, CCP will help him introspect on it.
sometimes if PP needs to be warned about something he's doing that's dangerous, PPP will warn him about it.
sometimes if HP feels left out because he doesn't get to have a meta-level, HHP will say something just for fun :)
oh, and I tend to not pay much attention to what pronouns I use. I use he, she, it, and they kinda interchangably. I also don't pay much attention to whether I use "I" or "we". I often end up accidentally using both in the same sentence. You're welcome to use whatever pronoun you find most convenient, when refering to any of us.