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Comment by bw2 on Pascal's Mugging: Tiny Probabilities of Vast Utilities · 2007-10-20T05:19:23.000Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Well, are you going to give us your answer?

Comment by bw2 on Pascal's Mugging: Tiny Probabilities of Vast Utilities · 2007-10-20T04:22:35.000Z · score: -3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

But maybe an AI cannot in fact know the knowledge of something.

Comment by bw2 on Pascal's Mugging: Tiny Probabilities of Vast Utilities · 2007-10-20T04:10:49.000Z · score: -2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Well... I think we act diffrently from the AI because we not only know Pascals Mugging, we know that it is known. I don't see why an AI could not know the knowledge of it, though, but you do not seem to consider that, which might simply show that it is not relevant, as you, er, seem to have given this some thought...

Comment by bw2 on "Can't Say No" Spending · 2007-10-19T02:34:55.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

What Hardin does there is really unparalleled in terms of thinking about what a scientific public policy would be. And it helps you see how democracy and rights are an impediment to that.

Comment by bw2 on "Can't Say No" Spending · 2007-10-19T02:14:42.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Does anyone have an electronic copy of Garrett Hardin, The Cybernetics of Competition?

Comment by bw2 on Congratulations to Paris Hilton · 2007-10-19T00:56:02.000Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

She does not understand that life gives meaning to life. I am starting to wonder whether she is really as brilliant as I thought.

Comment by bw2 on "Can't Say No" Spending · 2007-10-18T05:49:30.000Z · score: -2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I find that Watson does not really understand intelligence. If intelligence is an ability to act in the world, if it refer to some external reality, and if this reality is almost infinitely malleable, then intelligence cannot be purely innate or genetic.

Comment by bw2 on "Can't Say No" Spending · 2007-10-18T05:22:11.000Z · score: -2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

But I suspect that Eliezer and Robin will already have concluded it is an insoluble problem: you cannot act and include your full action in the reality upon which we act.

Comment by bw2 on "Can't Say No" Spending · 2007-10-18T04:19:04.000Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

People are not really able to see their actions as part of reality rather than some immaterial force or holy ghost that changes reality from the outside. But can you blame them? You need a mirror for that sort of trick. So they will simply deny that reality with their actions included may be very different, that if health care is free people will seek it even when it is not needed. The problem here is thinking people will act as if you have not acted.

Comment by bw2 on "Can't Say No" Spending · 2007-10-18T03:00:50.000Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I am not convinced. I write a column for a newspaper on political and economic matters, have tried making the case against development aid a few times and it elicits a strange kind of anger. I would think that a strong desire to help would be receptive to looking at the best way to do so. If a desire to help is all it is. Part of it is that people simply do not believe that it will not help, they think evidence to the contrary is false and manipulated for selfish purposes...

Comment by bw2 on How to Seem (and Be) Deep · 2007-10-16T00:30:35.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I agree with you, g, and I hope I made that clear, but some of the comments and I believe even the mention of stockholm syndrome seem to imply that the idea that death is meaningful does not qualify as rational, lies at a subrational level, instead of taking it, as I believe it deserves to be taken, as an idea that could be right or wrong.

Comment by bw2 on How to Seem (and Be) Deep · 2007-10-15T22:09:45.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I enjoyed this discussion very much and hope that Eliezer will excuse the distraction from the main topic, since he is after all very much interested in this. Will make one last point. What I find extraordinary is that most of you seem to assume the sophisticated, critical, elaborate thesis is that death should not be accepted, and that the contrary opinion is somehow primitive. This is silly. There is no living creature on earth who does not have the level of intelligence necessary to conclude that death is bad. Which of course does not mean the opinion is wrong. It could be right, but what it certainly is not is a testimony to great intelligence.

Comment by bw2 on How to Seem (and Be) Deep · 2007-10-15T19:25:35.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

It is not a question of what you expect. Christians in the past expected to live forever and that did not detract from their lives. Thank you for your kind responses to my views.

Comment by bw2 on How to Seem (and Be) Deep · 2007-10-15T17:42:01.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

What is the postulate of objectivity as for instance someone like Monod describes it? Seeing the world as if you were dead, as if you were not there to see it, seeing the world as it would be without your seeing it. Without death this possibility is not even conceivable. That in broad strokes. More generally, you simply cannot talk about what life will be like without death using a concept of life that only makes sense when death exists. Don't you see the bias, the radical bias, in this approach?

Comment by bw2 on How to Seem (and Be) Deep · 2007-10-15T15:22:30.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Of course if I could become immortal and not change anything else I would welcome it. There is not even any point arguing about that and I don't think anyone denies it would be desirable. The question is whether you can do that, because mortality is the most fundamental fact about us. Nothing will be the same afterwards, so it is rather touching but fundamentally misguided to speak how we would do the same things but have more time to do them well, etc. I for one do not see what the point would be in acquiring knowledge if I never died, which rather speaks against Michael Vassar's utopia. As for the scenarios where we just extend life and do not eliminate desth altogether, I think you will agree that after some yipping point the distinction is nugatory because we no longer conceive of a limit and will direct our efforts to extending the lifespan further. Finally, as for measuring empirically what it would be to live without the prospect of death, I can't see how we can measure something that does not exist yet.

Comment by bw2 on How to Seem (and Be) Deep · 2007-10-15T02:24:11.000Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

That no matter how long you live, the exact same opportunity will never come again is a view I fear depends on the existence of death and would disappear without it; that is the nub; so there may some be anthropic bias in your view, Nick.

Comment by bw2 on How to Seem (and Be) Deep · 2007-10-15T01:05:50.000Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

"And if your expected productive lifespan were a thousand years, there would still be challenges big enough that you'd only get one shot at them. They'd just be bigger, harder challenges."

Good point. I have nothing againt extending it to a thousand years after we have very carefully thought up a new life to go with the new lifespan. We haven't even done that for the current four score and ten years, for christs sake! Of course that makes my life better. Compare that moment of the missed opportunity with buying a pair of jeans. It is better because it cannot be iterated. And if religion talked about it so much, I would suggest transhumanists smoke out their cached religious thoughts more fully.

Comment by bw2 on How to Seem (and Be) Deep · 2007-10-15T00:41:00.000Z · score: -9 (13 votes) · LW · GW

I had one opportunity to kiss the girl I loved the most and I blew it. She may be dead now and if not she is married and she is married because she may be dead soon, and will be for sure at some point. I have one opportunity in these five or ten years when my brain is at its peak to write a great book in philosophy, and we shall ses if I blow it or not. But it seems clear to me that the best thing about life is that we die. Is this rationalizing something I cannot change? Not if I do not just rationalize but explain with absolute clarity and necessity.

Comment by bw2 on How to Seem (and Be) Deep · 2007-10-15T00:21:07.000Z · score: -5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

g, perhaps I did not make it clear that it is not a question of difficulty or challenge but a question of time, that we should have just one moment in time to do something, or the opportunity will be lost. Immortality will destroy that. But this is not exactly what the original text is about, so I will for a better opportunity (see, damn life, there is always a next opportunity)

Comment by bw2 on How to Seem (and Be) Deep · 2007-10-14T23:01:24.000Z · score: -10 (15 votes) · LW · GW

I sometimes feel our lifespan is already too long and could use some reduction through technology. There are too many opportunities to achieve a partcular goal which reduces the intensity and importance that one single opportunity would have. Of course we try to convince ourselves of this importance but that works very poorly when reality tells otherwise.

Comment by bw2 on How to Seem (and Be) Deep · 2007-10-14T22:51:51.000Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Evidently, you know, talking to people of average intelligence we are always going to sound deep, especially on social occasions when we tailor our conversation to the listener. But that has nothing to do with the particular view you defended. Someone defending that death gives meaning to life with better arguments than those people had would elicit the same response.