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Alpha Mail 2014-07-24T05:01:59.057Z · score: 5 (10 votes)

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Comment by chef on Alpha Mail · 2014-07-26T21:50:33.034Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Agreed, simply calling a creator an alien is simply redefining alien to mean god. I gotta give it to you LWers, conversations on here have certainly proved already to be quite a bit more interesting than with my old line cooks.

Comment by chef on Alpha Mail · 2014-07-26T15:53:00.918Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Exactly. Which reminds me of the computational irreducibility of the universal cellular automaton a la Wolfram.

Comment by chef on Alpha Mail · 2014-07-26T15:47:01.384Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

This is precisely the type of simulation I'm taking about. I was also playing with genetic algorithms when I started thinking about this. So let me ask you this, if you got to a point where it was evident that your agents were conscience, intelligent, and examining their own environment, what sort of methods can you devise to communicate with them?

Comment by chef on Alpha Mail · 2014-07-26T15:29:11.060Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Just so we are clear...I don't believe in God in any religious sense. I think that increasingly science views the universe in terms of information and so we should examine the idea that information built into our universe may contain clues to or a communication channel for other life trying to communicate. I personally can't think of too many ways that life outside of our universe could communicate with us but find the idea to be interesting if not a stretch. I do understand it's a slippery slope as evidenced by things like the Bible Code where recursive search yields anything we want to find. We could then just use all kinds of banal natural processes as evidence of God (intelligent design).

Comment by chef on Alpha Mail · 2014-07-26T15:12:35.034Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Sure, but if I believe that aliens in a multiverse outside of our own happened to create a simulation that is our universe, does that constitute God in any sense intended by religion? Theism requires that the God has an active role in the creations lives, not simply a belief in a creator - omnipotent or not. The only religion I can think of that mention aliens in doctrine is Scientology. And while I'm sure that most people would allow for Scientology as a religion, I'm pretty sure that with a hundred thousand people arranging the following list of religions based on best to worst religious beliefs, my bet is on scientology coming in dead last.

Christianity, Jainism, Sikh, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Scientology, Judaism, Zoroastrian, Shinto, Wicca.

Which doesn't say anything about the actual validity of those religions, just that the majority of people would probably view a religion steeped in aliens to be less like a religion than the others.

Comment by chef on Welcome to Less Wrong! (6th thread, July 2013) · 2014-07-25T20:38:34.407Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for the guidance. It can be intimidating exposing your ideas to a new set of people. I've been reading things here on LW off and on for roughly a year. There is quite a bit of jargon on this site and I've been reading through as many sequences as I have time for to try and fill myself in. I find that even concepts I'm familiar with tend to have sub-context here that doesn't quite allow me to fully understand some of the ideas being discussed. I have a fairy good grasp of map versus territory for example, but my understanding comes by way of The Precession of Simulacra by ‎Jean Baudrillard, where in that book he argues that the territory no longer exists, and only the map is real. That is quite different from the arguments I've seen here postulating that we can somehow gain access to the true underlaying territory. Regardless, I expect that with enough reading, I'll be able to contribute. I was a chef for 17 years, so heated debates don't intimidate me I have a thick skin. I ask that people understand the ideas I have - not agree with me. I will give others the same curtesy. Again, thanks for the welcome. I'll check out the links. Cheers.

Comment by chef on Alpha Mail · 2014-07-25T01:24:44.479Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I don't think it's quite enough to simply have a particular attitude to a God to be a theist. It has to go both ways.

the·ism noun belief in the existence of a god or gods, especially belief in one god as creator of the universe, intervening in it and sustaining a personal relation to his creatures.

Comment by chef on Alpha Mail · 2014-07-24T22:48:52.051Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I wholeheartedly agree. I had a professor (a former priest) who thought it was absurd that I was willing to use the term creator but unwilling to admit a God. To his dogma they are one and the same. But for me, even if a creator has the power to pull the plug on this experiment, my current thinking doesn't allow omnipotence in the sense used by most theists. And I can't imagine that a creator in this context has the ability to hear our thoughts, respond to daily minutia, or has any interest in dictating morality to a bunch of bits in a hard drive.

Comment by chef on Alpha Mail · 2014-07-24T20:38:14.366Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

This is what I was thinking also. Not only would it be important to be selective but also attempt to minimize disruption as much as possible. Shining a light through a universe might make some life forms uncomfortable.

Comment by chef on Alpha Mail · 2014-07-24T20:35:47.141Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Duly Noted. Those were both very good reads, thanks for that.

Comment by chef on Fifty Shades of Self-Fulfilling Prophecy · 2014-07-23T23:59:46.122Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

But more likely is that a television executive simply has their finger on the pulse of the type of garbage that the average person enjoys (and is willing to pay for either with dollars or their attention to advertisements).

Comment by chef on Fifty Shades of Self-Fulfilling Prophecy · 2014-07-23T23:54:50.228Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

"The publishing giant Vintage Press saw that number and realized there was a huge, previously-unrealized demand for stories like this."

It's the "previously-unrealized demand" that I simply don't understand here. The numbers for romance novels took seconds to look up.

74.8 million people read at least one romance novel in 2008. (source: RWA Reader Survey) with an estimated $1.350 billion for 2013. If the author did indeed write 120 chapters, it shows that the author has the ability to produce for the publisher. Taken together with the above average number of online readers, I can't see how this was a case of pulling the wool over the publishers eyes so much as the publisher being particularly good at finding material for their readers.

To me, it seems the demand was being realized just fine.

Comment by chef on Welcome to Less Wrong! (6th thread, July 2013) · 2014-07-23T23:40:41.507Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Hi, I'm Ian. I am a 32 year old computer programmer from Massachusetts. My main interest (in computer science) is in the realm of computational creativity but is by no means my only interest. For half my life, I've been coming up with my own sets of ideas - way back when it was on Usenet - some ideas better than others. Regardless of the eventual proven validity of my ideas, I find coming up with original ideas one of the primary motivators in my life. It is an exercise that allows me to continuously uncover beliefs and feelings and uncharted territory that wouldn't be possible for me to explore otherwise. Also, I find it remarkably difficult to find people to share and dissect my ideas with. Generally, people either tell me that I'm smart (I'm not particularly smart) or weird (I'm not particularly weird). In either case I find most people also don't want to continue talking about why wasabi and thunder are the same thing...or the relationship between creativity, intelligence, primes and small worlds...or why there is no such thing as a question...or why I'm a non-practicing atheist at the moment. What I hope to get out of this community is disagreement, agreement, new ideas, a reshaping of old ideas, friends, and above all, to know that other people in this world understand my ideas (even if they disagree with them). I hope to give this community some ideas they have never thought of.