Comment by enoonsti on On Walmart, And Who Bears Responsibility For the Poor · 2013-11-30T20:51:06.009Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Back from my Thanksgiving break. Delighted to see another turkey.

Because they would be in serious troubles if they quit and don't have another form of income.

So what you're saying is that your "unemployed-only" solution will make the words "We'll quit" into a more credible threat, and employers will meet their demands because employers are too stupid to call their bluff? You do recognize there are benefits to being employed other than the wage, right? Health care, networking, friends, knowledge, experience, etc? And, as I suggested before, what if the employees are paid well above your "unemployed-only" solution but wish to strike for shorter hours or a safer workplace?

My great-grandfather was on the receiving end of a strike in 1940, and he lasted for two months without blinking an eye. If you tried your simple threat of "We'll quit and go live off the benefits" on him, it would have come across like this scene from Cable Guy.

they would be getting unemployment benefits if they existed

One of my contentions is that basic income has a much better chance of coming into existence than your solution, although I'll hedge this notion with Milton Friedman's Negative Income Tax discussed below.

Nope. Cash from unemployment benefit is indistinguishable from cash from another form of income, unlike food stamps which automatically signal you as "poor" any time you use them to buy something.

Nope. We're not talking about signalling "I'm poor" to the cashier at the supermarket. We're talking at the level of policy. You know, Washington D.C. and all that. By the way, maybe you should have looked at a SNAP card before going all scarlet letter on me. Look at this mountain of shame. And here's a film about the people who carry such cards. Maybe the film will help you stop calling them "filthy poor and social parasites." Even Tyler Cowen praises SNAP.

Not any more than basic income does.

Randomized control trials (here's one for example) indicate that basic income encourages work. RCTs often inspire hipster cynics to complain: "Oh, they continued working just because they knew the RCT would end. If you guaranteed them basic income for life, they would quit their jobs." Of course, such complaints are merely handwaving, unlike the empirical evidence just presented.

Are there any RCTs for your idea? If no, why? As it turns out, the Negative Income Tax RCTs decades ago were probably the closest to your idea, since it tapers off as you earn more (similar to Viliam_Bur's suggestion in this thread). The results inspired mixed reactions, with many critics claiming a drop in labor. This paper tries to sort out the mess.

Jodie T. Allen of the Nixon administration dealt with the NIT RCTs firsthand, and she immediately noticed some practical problems. For example, just like the EITC today mistakenly gives out billions of dollars to technically ineligible recipients, the NIT will probably mistakenly give out many billions more and turn the IRS into an even bigger bureaucracy as it deals with millions of ever-changing recipients. You seem quite naive to such administrative issues, per your professed belief to Viliam_Bur:

The bureaucratic hassles could be reduced to virtually zero if the government keeps track of who is employed and who isn't. Yes, there is a risk of fraud: people could work without declaring it (with the complicity of their employers if any) and earn both their wage and the benefits. The judicial system can deal with that. I have no idea what I'm talking about.

As I've stated before, basic income has its implementation problems. But it's nowhere near the level of complexity of your idea, which you insist is not that complex, because you haven't spent much time actually thinking about it. This brings me to my main complaint against you.

Off topic. You are not helping to keep the level of this discussion high.

On topic, because I'm actually the one keeping the level of this discussion high, just like in past encounters. See, when I pointed you to this article last year, I discovered that you didn't actually read it, and you went right back to ridiculing cryonics advocates. Then when you gave this half-assed one-liner above, I realized you probably do this with every subject. Just to double-check, I provided more links. As far as I can tell, the only ones you click on are the ones you judge to be an assault to your character, because those links are easier to process. So tell me: why should I continue to provide links if all you're going to do is respond with half-assed one-liners? The only link you've provided thus far is an off-topic Wikipedia entry.

I understand you may be pressed for time, so instead of inefficiently talking past each other, let's just exchange some links to books of our respective ideas. I'll go first: here's a huge anthology of Basic Income research. Your turn.

Comment by enoonsti on On Walmart, And Who Bears Responsibility For the Poor · 2013-11-28T05:29:22.624Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Sure, but employees could threaten to quit their job. Anyway, how much money is currently locked as strike funds?

If threatening employers with the words "We'll quit" is all that's needed, then why do employees bother with strikes in the first place? Action gives power to words. As for your (rhetorical?) question, I'm not sure I follow. Non-unionized employees certainly don't have a strike fund.

that could be dealt with subsidies specifically targeted at startups.

Hackers' hobbies and experimentation technically don't count as startups, even though they can lead to official companies in due time. Basic income can help support such experimentation. Furthermore, subsidies targeted specifically to startups can be opposed by established businesses as government meddling.

The same endowment effect applies to taxes which affect most of the population. When the government proposes tax raises there is always some opposition, but this doesn't prevent tax raises from occurring from time to time.

When an average American interviews for a job, which of the two is more likely on his mind: the wage, or the tax implications of the new job? Tax reformers face the uphill battle of a public perplexed by the complexity of taxation, as well those who feel protected from tax increases via possible deductions and loopholes. By contrast, an income stream is an easier thing to grasp. If everyone is given this income stream, any attempts to cut this income stream won't be met with "some opposition." It will be met with widespread opposition.

If the government started to give money to everybody who turns 18 and doesn't work I suppose that people would tend to notice

But your "lazy-only"... I mean, "unemployed-only" solution won't fly because it will be demonized in the manner that you demonize SNAP here:

Food stamps are considered something extremely low status which only the filthy poor and social parasites would ever accept. Most people don't care about the issue except as a social cost.

Whereas many SNAP recipients actually are employed, your "unemployed-only" solution actively discourages work. Therefore, your belief that the problems of targeted welfare "could be reduced to the point of irrelevance" seem, to put it mildly, a bit optimistic to me.

Basic income does not actively discourage work. Instead, it gives people leverage to choose their work if they so desire. Yes, I agree it is, to put it mildly, optimistic to expect adoption of basic income in the near future. However, I'm in it for the long-run.... unless, of course, someone convinces me that basic income is a bad idea. You're currently not succeeding in this regard.

Appeal to ridicule ----- (earlier this year) ----- So cryonics induces people to commit suicide. Nice.

Appeal to authority

Comment by enoonsti on On Walmart, And Who Bears Responsibility For the Poor · 2013-11-27T23:04:14.859Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

My point is that you can do that with unemployment benefits without the side effect of subsidizing the employers.

No. You can't. One example I've stressed is that your unemployment benefits don't help employees who wish to go on strike. Union dues can be decreased via Basic Income because unions won't have to worry about strike funds anymore. Even if you're not officially unionized, you know your coworkers get paid a Basic Income each month, and they know that you know. This simplicity-induced transparency can help you persuade/guilt-trip your co-workers to go on strike with you over, say, safer workplaces or shorter hours. And going on strike is an easier sell than getting everyone to quit for "unemployed-only" welfare (which, as I've stressed, your coworkers may not even end up receiving), especially if your coworkers are getting paid quite handsomely. After all, we're not just talking about Walmart employees going on strike.

Long story short: Basic Income subsidizes employee leverage. And as Aaron Swartz emphasized, it can even help encourage employees to become entrepreneurs. Your repeated argument that Basic Income is subsidizing Walmart reminds me of this psychicpebbles video :p

Any policy is potentially subject to being reversed in the future. I don't see why basic income would have more staying power than unemployment benefits.

Think of the aforementioned fight over food stamps today. Heck, many Americans don't even know it's called SNAP now, and SNAP advocates have to actively campaign to teach Americans what recipients receive. By contrast, Basic Income won't need active campaigning once adopted: everyone will be passively reminded each month via their monthly payments. Furthermore, the endowment effect (yes I see the criticism section at that link) makes it much less likely that everyone will support a politician's decision to cut their Basic Income monthly payments.

Seems like these costs could be reduced to the point of irrelevance.

But only if society cares to reduce the costs! Again, people don't even know the foods stamps program is now called SNAP. And they think recipients are all like Jason Greenslate.

To be fair, there are practical bottlenecks in the implementation of a basic income, so I do support already-existing welfare programs. It's just that I also point out the weakness of those programs. I'm not much fun at parties.

Comment by enoonsti on On Walmart, And Who Bears Responsibility For the Poor · 2013-11-27T09:03:14.415Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

in the proportion it was given to workers, it would be a subsidy to their employers.

No. To illustrate, look at the starting point of the aforementioned subsidy to employers: the Earned Income Tax Credit. You can only make use of the EITC once you are employed, so all else being equal, the EITC contributes to the idea: "If you don't work, you starve." I may then feel pressured to work at McDonald's or Walmart. By contrast, Basic Income exists external to the market, serving as a base amount for everyone to live on. Since I don't have to worry about starving anymore, I now have more leverage in choosing if/where I want to work. Any amount I earn on top of the base amount is of my own volition for luxury items not needed for my survival. If I later want more money and my employer resists, I can use the basic income as a strike fund.

Unemployment benefits would be sufficient to obtain these effects without transferring wealth from the taxpayers to the employers.

Three things. First, you seem to be forgetting my earlier point regarding staying power. Even if you rally society today to support your targeted "unemployment benefits" (I put it in quotes because I know you mean it in a welfare context that is wider than merely unemployment compensation), your welfare solution is still at risk of being stigmatized in the future and then cut by politicians. Basic income for everyone avoids this risk, and will have much greater staying power.

Second, you seem to be under the impression welfare is handed out like free candy. In reality, welfare can be a pain in the butt, whether it's the intrusive paperwork, stressful delays, or the threat of fines and probation. Basic income bypasses this mess.

Third, you keep suggesting "taxpayers" and "corporations" are two separate things, even though corporations pay taxes too. Yes, corporations are quite adept at avoiding taxes, which is why tax reform also needs to be a part of this discussion.

Comment by enoonsti on On Walmart, And Who Bears Responsibility For the Poor · 2013-11-27T09:02:25.149Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Not necessarily. That's why I brought up the example of basic income serving as a permanent strike fund to help employees demand higher wages. Employers can respond by meeting their demands, and/or automating more quickly, etc. Then society can respond to increased automation by increasing the basic income. Or not. I won't talk about society's transition into a gift economy here because that would take too much space.

I know you're trying to paint Basic Income as a subsidy to employers, but it's really not like the Earned Income Tax Credit. At all. I'll continue this in the Luke_A_Somers thread.

Comment by enoonsti on On Walmart, And Who Bears Responsibility For the Poor · 2013-11-26T22:02:10.157Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

On a related note, GiveWell appears to be removing Against Malaria Foundation as their top charity, making GiveDirectly their new top charity. Donating to GiveDirectly may help legitimize the idea of an unconditional basic income. I don't think basic income is as important as mass cryonics, but I still defend it in my upcoming "cryonics and basic income for everyone" website. Here's hoping I finish the website someday.

Comment by enoonsti on On Walmart, And Who Bears Responsibility For the Poor · 2013-11-26T18:58:59.116Z · score: 5 (7 votes) · LW · GW

...only if the workers don't mind lower wages (such as in a Silicon Valley startup). See, among many other benefits, basic income can serve as a permanent strike fund for those who are still employed. These employed strikers would not receive anything from your solution of "unemployed-only." Furthermore, your targeted solution can be demonized as "lazy-only" and cut by politicians. Look at stigmatized food stamps today. Such drastic cuts are very unlikely with a non-stigmatizing basic income provided to everyone.

Comment by enoonsti on On Walmart, And Who Bears Responsibility For the Poor · 2013-11-26T07:41:26.307Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

if you think it is morally preferable to redistribute wealth from the taxpayers to Walmart instead, support guaranteed basic income and/or other low-income workers benefits.

That's incorrect. Basic income is provided to everyone, even to those who choose not to work. Perhaps you were thinking of the Earned Income Tax Credit, which is provided only to low-income workers.

Comment by enoonsti on [LINK] blog on cryonics by someone who freezes things in a cell bio lab · 2012-10-24T06:21:46.313Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I can't find anything implying that GF endorses cryonics as currently practiced.


Be honest. Did you simply ctrl-F and search for his name in that article? If yes, then here is a paragraph you missed: "In 1981, an internationally renowned organ cryopreservation researcher was called into his supervisor's office (the supervisor was also an Officer and Director of the Society) and threatened with dismissal if he continued not only his low profile association with cryonicists, but also his suspension membership. It was also pointed out to this researcher that if his association with or belief in cryonics in any way became public he would never again get grants from the NIH or other routine sources. This individual, who was already wearing his suspension bracelet on his ankle to avoid public comment, was thus faced with a terrible dilemma: a choice between his chance at continued life via cryonics, or his career."

Assuming you won't take the time to read that lengthy article, here is a shorter one. Look for the part about the prominent Southern California scientist recommending cryopreservation for someone severely afflicted with Alzheimer's. Like the Cold War piece above, the Marcelon Johnson article is also written by Mike "Darwin." If his nickname from his schoolmates irks you, then you'll love this piece: Dr. Dave Crippen, Professor of Critical Care Medicine and Neurological Surgery at the UPMC Medical Center in Pittsburgh, compares Mike to - drum roll please - Richard Feynman. For the record, I disagree with that comparison and I think Mike disagrees too (・。・;)

Both of your "Reference?" inquiries were historically answered in the Cold War article above. Assuming you haven't done this yet, google the words "organ cryopreservation" just for fun. Not only does Fahy's name dominate the results, but you should also see a 1988 book by David Pegg, who was mentioned in the Cold War article. Of course, as I made clear to this Reddit user, simple googling can be misleading (I apologize to Less Wrong users for my snark at that link... I tend to get irritated by stubborn individuals...)

Well anyways, it's impossible for me to know exactly how many organ cryopreservationists are currently in their labs - Elsevier searches do not inspire confidence - and their true views on cryonics. For example, here's a recent article on porcine uterus cryopreservation. Who are these authors? Did they show up at the annual meeting of the Society for Cryobiology in June? And even if they did, would they admit to Ben they support cryonics in light of the Society's strained history? Whatever the case, I always appreciated this article by Fahy, where he concludes: "Even after currently-possible manipulations of physics and biology have all been explored, nanotechnology will come into play, allowing someone to enter the field from a wholly new perspective and change the rules of the game in more radical ways than most cryobiologists living today can imagine."


I do disagree with the conclusion that, even if cryonics has a low probablity of success, we should do it. It is the sort of "Pascal's mugging" argument that is not instrumentally rational.

I'm not going to argue the importance of cryonics in a comment section. I just want to focus on simpler corrections for now. Or in other words, please stop insinuating that no cryobiologists support cryonics.

Comment by enoonsti on [LINK] blog on cryonics by someone who freezes things in a cell bio lab · 2012-10-23T11:00:37.339Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

The Society for Cryobiology consists of only ~280 members (by contrast, the Society of Neuroscience has 40,000 members). Furthermore, those ~280 largely specialize in frogs, oocytes, etc.... but not in organ cryopreservation. For whatever it's worth, focus only on organ cryopreservationists and you'll find the percentage of cryonics supporters drastically increase.

I know you skimmed this article, but I encourage you to read it again. There you'll find your answer to Greg Fahy. Also, Brian Wowk is an organ cryopreservationist who supports cryonics. Peter Mazur, one of the most prominent cryobiologists discussed in the previous link, recently referenced Wowk's paper on the thermodynamic aspects of vitrification.

Comment by enoonsti on Heading off a near-term AGI arms race · 2012-08-26T23:30:31.108Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

If that attitude becomes more prevalent I will probably go away to avoid any association.

I was going to say: "Well, on the bright side, at least your username is not really Googleable." Then I Googled it just for fun, and found you on the first page of the results (゜レ゜)

Comment by enoonsti on Rationality Quotes June 2012 · 2012-08-24T04:19:00.860Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I absolutely love Poor Economics.

Comment by enoonsti on Imperfect Voting Systems · 2012-07-29T07:54:57.085Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Here is a 30-minute Great Course starring Professor Scott P. Stevens: The science of election methods

tldw: at 28:53, he recommends Range Voting.

Comment by enoonsti on Rationally Irrational · 2012-04-13T05:42:32.084Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I think the people who play beer pong don't even know what it is.

Comment by enoonsti on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 15, chapter 84 · 2012-04-13T05:21:03.365Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Just out of curiosity, what's your set-up (MIDI controller, software, etc)? I have an old Oxygen 8, Ableton Live 8, and some VSTs. My music sucks.

Comment by enoonsti on Rationally Irrational · 2012-04-13T03:34:21.712Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I sympathize with this suggestion. But at the same time, I do enjoy learning new words.

Comment by enoonsti on Alcor vs. Cryonics Institute · 2012-04-13T02:25:44.538Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I haven't heard about Cryonics UK for a while. Are you part of their standby team?

Comment by enoonsti on Alcor vs. Cryonics Institute · 2012-04-13T02:04:51.382Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Did you check out Stasis Systems of Australia? They appear to be in the early stages of development, but it may be something worth keeping an eye on:

In the meantime, if you are truly interested in cryonics, then I recommend taking a more proactive approach (writing articles, joining/forming local groups, etc). Don't simply treat it as a good for consumption. Alcor and CI are confronted with a logistical nightmare and so each of us really have to contribute more than just money.

Comment by enoonsti on Alcor vs. Cryonics Institute · 2012-04-12T09:10:44.713Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

This is precisely why I both love and hate Less Wrong.

Comment by enoonsti on Alcor vs. Cryonics Institute · 2012-04-12T08:16:33.556Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

As I was reading Frozen, I kept thinking: "You know what this book needs? A randomly inserted car chase." Sure enough, OP delivered. Oh, and if I received incompetent death threats, I would have had them checked for fingerprints. But Larry didn't have them checked. Because he probably printed them out himself.

tldr; I hope someday you get around to that tome.

Comment by enoonsti on Suspended Animation Inc. accused of incompetence · 2010-12-08T18:58:24.328Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I am sorry, but this is all that came to mind for me.

Comment by enoonsti on Suspended Animation Inc. accused of incompetence · 2010-12-07T08:09:50.314Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

The theoretical desirability and practicality of cryonics is what matters at this point. It's what the real controversy is about.

Upvoted. But I'll still talk about organizational matters below :)

The thing I like about Mike Darwin is that he offers technical criticisms of cryonics organizations without resorting to threats of strict regulation. Of course, I understand there are people who do not think highly of Darwin, and condescendingly claim we are being duped by this "dialysis technician" (who then conveniently leave out that he received additional training from Jerry Leaf). Perhaps those people should inform David Crippen MD that he has been duped by Mike. David is with the Department of Critical Care Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and Mike must have lied about his credentials when submitting to his book "End-of-Life Communication in the ICU: A Global Perspective"

Mike also probably lied to get into this debate too:


With that in mind, since I deeply care about useful external criticism (as opposed to mainstream medicine's silent apathy... because they are still stuck at the starting line by thinking that immortality is some separate magical state of being...), I want Melody to continue with her more technical critiques. However, I do want her to drop her threats of strict regulation, unless she can find many people who have gone through all of the paperwork of signing up and suddenly proclaiming, "Oh my god. You mean to tell me that Atul Gawande is not going to be at my bedside?" I understand the need in politics to sometimes play hardball, but this is different.

I encourage Less Wrong users to look at the language being employed here. Dr. Wowk is saying things like "Mayo clinic" from a life-saving perspective. Melody is saying things like "last wishes," and emphasizing licensed embalmers. I do not feel comfortable with such language being floated around regulation that its (potential) members don't want. At all. If any Less Wrong users do want such regulation without even having the intent of utilizing cryonics, then.... well.... shoo, go away.

Comment by enoonsti on Suspended Animation Inc. accused of incompetence · 2010-12-07T08:08:02.403Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Be honest. Was your one-liner typed with the full understanding of his points on hypothermic vs. cryothermic phases? Or were you just participating in the Less Wrong zombie ritual of linking to other posts? Whatever the case, bring me the down votes on a silver platter :)

Comment by enoonsti on Suspended Animation Inc. accused of incompetence · 2010-12-07T08:05:20.461Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Upvoted. Did you check out the analysis by Freitas as well? Here's a link with some additional commentary by Dr. Wowk:

By the way, many of your posts are both enlightening and smile-inducing... and yet, I think I mocked you in the past (I think it was at Pharyngula). Since I suddenly feel guilty about this, I ask that you give me a downvote for atonement.

Comment by enoonsti on Suspended Animation Inc. accused of incompetence · 2010-12-07T02:48:45.283Z · score: 4 (8 votes) · LW · GW

No Richie. We are not voting you down because you are too "firey" in the sense of misspelled anger. We are voting you down because you are too brilliant for us, and we want you to spend your time like every other tortured genius: in seclusion.

Comment by enoonsti on Suspended Animation Inc. accused of incompetence · 2010-12-07T01:26:00.507Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Less Wrong needs a better Captcha.

Comment by enoonsti on (Virtual) Employment Open Thread · 2010-09-24T00:08:09.598Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

"As a survivor of a recent heart attack"

I know I am off topic, but I was not aware of this and just wanted to note that I'm glad you're still around. Of course, I enjoy most of the commenters here.... but still.... (cue sentimental music and single tear drop)


Comment by enoonsti on Cryonics Questions · 2010-08-29T17:43:57.935Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you, Yvain. I quickly realized how dumb my question was, and so I appreciate that you took the time to make me feel better. Karma for you :)

Comment by enoonsti on Cryonics Questions · 2010-08-29T03:27:40.725Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, the paper clip reference wasn't the only point I was trying to make; it was just a (failed) cherry on top. I mainly took issue with being revived in the common dystopian vision: constant states of warfare, violence, and so on. It simply isn't possible, given that you need to keep refilling dewars with LN2 and so much more; in other words, the chain of care would be disrupted, and you would be dead long before they found a way to resuscitate you.

And that leaves basically only a sudden "I Have No Mouth" scenario; i.e. one day it's sunny, Alcor is fondly taking care of your dewar, and then BAM! you've been resuscitated by that A.I. I guess I just find it unlikely that such an A.I. will say: "I will find Yvain, resuscitate him, and torture him." It just seems like a waste of energy.

Comment by enoonsti on Cryonics Questions · 2010-08-29T02:46:14.999Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

That was a point I was trying to make ;)

I should have ended off with (/sarcasm)

Comment by enoonsti on Cryonics Questions · 2010-08-28T22:31:14.222Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I apologize for the confusion and I understand if you're frustrated; I experience that frustration quite often once I realize I'm talking past someone. For whatever it's worth, I left it open because the curious side of me didn't want to limit Yvain; that curious side wanted to hear his thoughts in general. So... I guess both #2 and #3 (I'm not sure how #1 and #4 could be deduced from my posts, but my opinion is irrelevant to this situation). Anyways, I didn't mean to push this too much, because I felt it was minor. Perhaps I should not have asked it in the first place.

Also, thank you for being honest (admittedly, I was tempted to say, "So you weren't being honest with your other posts?" but I decided to present that temptation passively inside these parentheses)


Comment by enoonsti on Cryonics Questions · 2010-08-28T20:46:56.781Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Just to keep things in context, my main point in posting was to demonstrate the unlikelihood of being awakened in a dystopia; it's almost as if critics suddenly jump from point A to point B without a transition. While your Niven scenario you listed below seems to be agreeable to my position, it's actually still off; you are missing the key point behind the chain of constant care, the needed infrastructure to continue cryonics care, etc. This has nothing to do with a family reviving ancestors: if someone - anyone - is there taking the time and energy to keep on refilling your dewar with LN2, then that means someone is there wanting to revive you. Think coma patients; hospitals don't keep them around just to feed them and stare at their bodies.

Anyways, moving on to the "initiatives" comment. Given that Lesswrong tends to overlap with SIAI supporters, perhaps I should have said mission? Again, I haven't looked too much into Yvain's history. However, let's suppose for the moment that he's a strong supporter of that mission. Since we:

  1. Can't live in parallel universes
  2. Live in a universe where even (seemingly) unrelated things are affected by each other.
  3. Think A.I. may be a crucial element of a bad future, due to #1 and #2.

...I guess I was just wondering if he thought it's a grim outlook for the mission. Signing up for cryonics seems to give a "glass half full" impression. Furthermore, due to #1 and #2 above, I'll eventually be arguing why mainstreaming cryonics could significantly assist in reducing existential risk.... and why it may be helpful for everyone from the LessWrong community to IEET be a little more assertive on the issue. Of course, I'm not saying eliminating risk. But at the very least, mainstreaming cryonics should be more helpful with existential risk than dealing with, say, measles ;)

Comment by enoonsti on Cryonics Questions · 2010-08-28T18:39:47.037Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

By the way, I'm not here to troll, and I do have a serious question that doesn't necessarily have to do with cryonics. The goal of SIAI (Lesswrong, etc) is to learn and possibly avoid a dystopian future. If you truly are worried about a dystopian future, then doesn't that serve as a vote of "No confidence" for these initiatives?

Admittedly, I haven't looked into your history, so that may be a "Well, duh" answer :)

Comment by enoonsti on Cryonics Questions · 2010-08-28T06:41:34.591Z · score: 0 (10 votes) · LW · GW

"negative affect of being trapped in a dystopia"

Jack: "I've got the Super Glue for Yvain. I'm on my way back."

Chloe: "Hurry, Jack! I've just run the numbers! All of our LN2 suppliers were taken out by the dystopia!"

Freddie Prinze Jr: "Don't worry, Chloe. I made my own LN2, and we can buy some time for Yvain. But I'm afraid the others will have to thaw out and die. Also, I am sorry for starring in Scooby Doo and getting us cancelled."

- Jack blasts through wall, shoots Freddie, and glues Yvain back together -

Jack: "Welcome, Yvain. I am an unfriendly A.I. that decided it would be worth it just to revive you and go FOOM on your sorry ass."

(Jack begins pummeling Yvain)

(room suddenly fills up with paper clips)