Comment by gryffinp on Google's Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt: apparently a transhumanist · 2013-04-25T15:30:22.867Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Colbert: So I can live forever, but later. So I just need to live long enough for later to become now.

That's the plan Stephen. That's the plan.

Here's the Comedy Central video, but if it's blocked in your country, here's a somewhat crappy youtube recording of same.

Comment by gryffinp on Physicists To Test If Universe Is A Computer Simulation (link) · 2013-04-17T22:51:25.427Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I find it repugnant that some beings created a universe where quintillions of sentient creatures have been suffering and dying for half a billion years on this planet alone.

Isn't that an inevitable conclusion of the basic "the universe is a simulation" premise?

Comment by gryffinp on Physicists To Test If Universe Is A Computer Simulation (link) · 2013-04-17T22:36:43.958Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Ah. This one, I've read.

Thank you by the way, I had actually remembered about that as I was typing this up (In a sort of "Speaking of Religions with unusual premises..." way), but forgotten what it was called and who came up with it. I had speculated that it might have been from a Heinlein novel, since the half-remembered premise of "lone protagonist is saved from arctic peril and then gets to listen to someone politely explain their philosophy" sounded vaguely Heinleinish.

Comment by gryffinp on Physicists To Test If Universe Is A Computer Simulation (link) · 2013-04-17T12:42:32.545Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Huh. I'm certain that I hadn't read this before.

Obviously he gave it a little more thought than my own shower-musings received.

Comment by gryffinp on Physicists To Test If Universe Is A Computer Simulation (link) · 2013-04-17T05:43:13.000Z · score: 7 (9 votes) · LW · GW

You know, I was musing on the "Universe as Matrix" idea a while back, and I came to some interesting conclusions.

I realized first that, given sufficiently attentive creator(s), any attempt to prove that the Universe was a simulation must inevitably fail. Because if if such a proof were found, the proverbial Dark Lords could simply pause the sim, patch out the error that revealed the discrepancy, and roll back to before it was revealed. Similarly, proof that we weren't in a Matrix should be equally impossible, since any evidence that proved the impossibility could simply be falsified by the system to maintain the illusion.

At this point my train of thought went on to a different track: if we did know that we were living in a simulated universe, what should we do about it? After some pondering, I concluded that we would have spent all of our existence living in the sim anyway, so I wouldn't see much need for massive upheavals of human life. And if the Dark Lords were indeed trying to enforce a "realistic" simulation, then attempting to communicate with them would be fruitless, since they would not respond. But...

For whatever reason, the creators would have created this universe. It seems to me that if you were going to create a universal simulation, you would do it because you wanted to see what would happen inside. And we humans have a rather strong attachment to existing, so we should try to continue that state of affairs as far as possible. Therefore, in this scenario, every human being would have a solemn duty to make the world as interesting as possible.

It was at that moment that I realized that I had created a religion.

Comment by gryffinp on Help us name the Sequences ebook · 2013-04-16T05:56:54.065Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I really dislike "The Sequences: How to become Less Wrong." The problem I have with it is that I think it misrepresents what one of titular sequences actually is. The impression I receive is that this book offers some step by step instructions, known as the Mysterious and Capitalized "Sequences" that will improve your life and make you a better person.

...ok so maybe it's not that far off but the point I'm trying to make here is: A book that advertises itself that way doesn't sound legitimate. It gives me an impression of belonging to the "self-help book" category, which has a fairly bad reputation. If I saw a book with that title in a book store, I'd probably smirk at it and move on. Whereas I think that beginning the title with "Rationality" gives it a more scientific air. And I ah e to imagine that the idea here is that the cover of the book should reflect the contents as usefully as possible.

Comment by gryffinp on Trust in God, or, The Riddle of Kyon Fan Visual Novel · 2013-03-11T04:22:59.980Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Based on the Wikipedia definition of "kinetic novel" I almost feel like the two terms should be reversed.

Comment by gryffinp on Rationalist fiction brainstorming funtimes · 2013-03-11T04:21:24.806Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

...So what were preteens reading 17 years ago?

Comment by gryffinp on Rationality Quotes February 2013 · 2013-02-15T20:55:05.856Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Well, that post was from the January thread. If you only Control-F'd this page, then it wouldn't have come up.

Comment by gryffinp on Rationality Quotes February 2013 · 2013-02-02T10:32:43.211Z · score: 30 (30 votes) · LW · GW

I think you just independently invented the holy war.

Comment by gryffinp on AI box: AI has one shot at avoiding destruction - what might it say? · 2013-02-02T10:12:02.315Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I think if I've already precommitted to destroying one sentient life for this experiment, I'm willing to go through two.

Besides, you only get one line right?

Comment by gryffinp on AI box: AI has one shot at avoiding destruction - what might it say? · 2013-01-29T01:39:04.522Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

It just occurred to me that Eliezer's original stipulation that no chat logs would be released gives him an advantage. The responses of a Gatekeeper who knows that his inputs will be thoroughly scrutinized by the public will be different then one who has every reason to believe that his discussion will be entirely private.

Has someone else pointed this out before?

Comment by gryffinp on Open Thread, December 16-31, 2012 · 2012-12-29T02:17:11.759Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The easiest answer, the one that leapt to my mind with a moment's thought, is "Yes, if they get a warrant."

That would probably be the answer that fits best into the current American legal system. (I have even less understanding of the laws of other countries, so I can't make any claim about that.)