Comment by gutzperson on Where to Draw the Boundary? · 2008-02-22T11:58:57.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Eliezer, This is a bit naughty. TABOOing art on one thread and elaborating on art on this one. In my experience, 'art' is used like a sponge. Everybody can do with it what they want. Squeeze it, make it woolly, throw it into your face, or talk about the art of science (a paradox!) for example, etc. etc. I should know a bit about this. I am an artist and have taught art at universities for twenty years. There are as many definitions as there are water drops in Lake Victoria. Quote: So I reply: "I think it has to do with admiration of craftsmanship: work going in and wonder coming out. What the included items have in common is the similar aesthetic emotions that they inspire, and the deliberate human effort that went into them with the intent of producing such an emotion." Modern art does not have that much to do with craftsmanship anymore, more with concepts, context and 'everybody could be an artist' if ...... At the end, your home movies, put into the right context (a museum) with a good description why it is art, describing a concept of making home movies for audiences in museums, with shaky camera movements, out of focus (no craftsmanship needed) could be a piece of art. Recontextualisation is a keyword.

Comment by gutzperson on Fallacies of Compression · 2008-02-20T17:02:15.000Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Going back to the definition of art by Doug S. A reaction by the audience is not necessarily a definition for art. A reaction by an audience can be achieved by many means. See post by Richard Hollerith. I fear that a definition of art that is audience oriented conforms more or less to a definition favoured by public bodies like arts councils, governments and everybody who gives money to the arts. There are numerous studies about art and audiences. Similar to television ratings that make us belief that something is good television because it is watched by zillions, audience reaction (ratings) are used to define if something is (good or bad) art. By the way, many artists have created art because they enjoyed doing so, and many of them (think about painters) did not necessarily think about the reaction of an audience when they created their works.

Comment by gutzperson on Fallacies of Compression · 2008-02-20T16:02:11.000Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Paul McCarthy did a video/performance in the 1970s where he punches his own nose (face). So it is art, isn't it?

Comment by gutzperson on Disputing Definitions · 2008-02-13T11:10:18.000Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Language (systems) can never be precise, only as precise as possible. At its best it is about the least misunderstanding; misunderstanding being inherent. Approximation comes into my mind. It is about agreements (also the breaking of these) and closed circuit situations. At its best it is about more or less successful feedback loops.

Comment by gutzperson on Rationality Quotes 5 · 2008-01-25T14:07:40.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for this, Ben. Perfection has got a 'bad smell', somehow. Because it is associated with flawless and the ultimate possible (actually a glass ceiling). There is of course, always something more perfect than perfect, especially if one thinks about the rapid changes in technology and knowledge. I have obviously applied it to human nature and psychology. It seems perfectly okay within the context you describe. I am still thinking about as good as possible or as high standard as possible or challenging oneself or according to the latest knowledge or... Perfection is still a bit problematic for me. As is excellence. I live in the UK and excellence is prescribed by the government and applied to all sorts of PC papers.

Comment by gutzperson on Rationality Quotes 5 · 2008-01-25T12:08:48.000Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

"Perfection is our goal. Excellence will be tolerated." -- J. Yahl

This is a really stressful one. And an impossible goal. There are so many of these. Like being good (in a moral sense) Reminds me of Olympia, the perfect doll for a not so perfect creator. Didn't this fail? (The Sandman, ETA Hoffmann). Thinking about the story, she was a robot. Is perfection only possible for a robot?

Thinking about it, if failure is anticipated, when it is quite a good quote. (Making the impossible possible. )

Or: a mother wants a perfect child. And Yahi has internalised this. Maybe he has to become a robot.

Comment by gutzperson on Absolute Authority · 2008-01-10T08:40:30.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Really like your article. Thanks

Comment by gutzperson on Uncritical Supercriticality · 2007-12-07T11:06:00.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for pointing out Randall Collins.
Resistance certainly achieved something. I mentioned it as an example for 'justified' violence.

Comment by gutzperson on Uncritical Supercriticality · 2007-12-06T15:29:32.000Z · score: -2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

DaCracka: I think these are two issues related in a different way. His paintings were not better than genocide. This is like saying butter is better than a smack in the face. This is kind of illogical. Though, if his paintings would have been better there would have been a chance to avoid this genocide, because the Academy would have accepted him and he might have become a painter instead of a dictator. About the violence thing. I agree nobody should react with violence to an argument. There are people out there who do so. They do it because they are either frustrated or they have not learnt to discuss, or somebody has taught them to do so, or their only language is violence. It might be in the genes or just lack of education or a social dysfunction …. Some people, by the way, feel better, if they shoot the alien. Some people feel better if they use violence. Some people batter their kids and spouses because they did answer back or the soup was not cooked properly. Some people are inherently violent. They are ‘anger’ machines. It gives them a kick. About violence and society. What do we define by violence? Do we also define intrusion in our personal sphere, psychological re-programming, etc. as violent activities? Capitalism can be seen as violent and intrusive. Globalisation, the forceful opening of new markets, the imposing of certain consumer and management phraseology on whole groups, the creation of seemingly unnecessary needs and obsessive consumerism. There is a whole generation of managers with certain speech and thinking patterns, they seem to be the forerunners of limited futurist AI. As posted by others, sometimes violence is the only way of avoiding even greater violence and injustice. What about the Resistance in countries that were occupied by Nazi Germany? I think that their violence was necessary violence.

Comment by gutzperson on Uncritical Supercriticality · 2007-12-06T13:53:04.000Z · score: -4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

DaCracka. Hitler’s paintings were bad. Unfortunately. If the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna had accepted him, he would not have become a dictator. Communism and Socialism had common ideas. The Socialists and Communists (Marxists) in the Europe after the First World War wanted to give power to the working class, establish more fairness and empower disempowered people. I am sure you all are aware of the political and historical aspects. Marx’s idea of Communism was a form of capitalist evolution. Certainly you all have read ‘Das Kapital’. I think the idea of a utopian communism contrary to the practice of a totalitarian communism was quite good. Unfortunately, everything – be it religion, ideology, etc.- gets distorted if forcefully imposed upon people.

Comment by gutzperson on The Halo Effect · 2007-11-30T12:33:43.000Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

@roland It helps to have lots of grease marks on your jacket. No dry cleaner or washing machine should ever touch these. The mathematical mastermind is usually dressed in brown and green cords with lots of spots, while an artistic genius looks either like a colourful parrot or a dark-suited banker. On the other hand, bankers like to wear their designer-made bicycle helmets all day long. If you are a female long legged blonde with blue eyes you are more likely to get the job if your employer is a short asymmetric male. The halo effect promising a good shag and many little mini blondes. A long legged blonde tends to employ a short legged dark haired obese female and would like to marry her asymmetric male boss. Boss is going to replace the blonde model if she is older than thirty. All of them are honest and kind as well as greedy, only interested in the best possible outcome for all parties. No irony intended!

Comment by gutzperson on An Alien God · 2007-11-14T10:37:03.000Z · score: -2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Is yours a form of new (old) mystical philosophy utilizing evolution and ‘alien’ gods? Kind of ambiguous text. Everything IS. As we are these curious, never satisfied living entities, we want to know, why. Good for us. It seems that the ones with their monotheistic cultural backgrounds want more, they want to recreate or redesign or even reinvent life. A form of perverted anthropomorphism. First we create a god in our image who supposedly has created us in his, and then we imitate this invented god by creating new lives that will possibly supercede us humans. A form of controlled evolution? Competition with an imaginary god? On top of this, ID is a delusion that allows the curious and religiously motivated ones, to accept evolution, somehow. Eliezer, are you somehow a proponent of a strand of ID?

Comment by gutzperson on An Alien God · 2007-11-14T10:07:48.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

“It would be H. P. Lovecraft's Azathoth, the blind idiot God burbling chaotically at the center of everything, surrounded by the thin monotonous piping of flutes.”

Certainly you have read Dawkins’ “The blind watchmaker”. If somebody else has pointed this out already, sorry, I haven’t read all contributions.

Comment by gutzperson on Fake Morality · 2007-11-14T08:49:00.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

“nor a form of religion, especially when it is organized as a religion and conducts prostelytic campaigns with fundamentalist fervor –“
Where are these prostelytic campaigns with fundamentalist fervor? Religious groups are omni-present and they interfere with everybody’s lives and concepts. Sometimes they are quite threatening. I have to come across a bullying atheist yet, who wants to convert others more or less forcefully. There are some atheistic organizations (not religions) in the USA and Europe, but they are not really trying to convert the world, are they? It seems to me that you have got your hick-ups because Dawkins, Grayling and Hitchens have written their well received books on ‘god delusions’.

G.s contribution explains very well why atheism is not a religion.

Comment by gutzperson on Fake Morality · 2007-11-13T11:39:00.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Jakob Stein
“Atheists simply adopt the teachings of the surrounding culture, since that's the most comfortable thing to do. …
Atheism is not a religion, but its an attitude which tends to include cultural moral relativism, hedonism and narcissism.”

This is a quite damning and prejudiced statement on atheism. There is not one ideology of atheism, though. This is the nice thing about atheism that it does not adhere to an ideology. I am a very cultured, ethical and social atheist who does not want to become part of any ideology that is oppressive. I am also not more of a relativist than most people, be they religious or not. Hedonism is not a bad thing per se. Though the ideology of hedonism would be problematic. Narcissism is a psychological condition that can affect many people and groups regardless of their belief systems.
Atheism is not a religion. Here I would agree with Dawkins.

Theocratic dictatorships turned out to be as bad as the frequently mentioned Pol Pot. The emphasis is on dictatorship.
Marxism is a highly moralistic philosophy that has been abused by politicians.

“However when atheists themselves are in control of society, there are no moral rules at all and mass murder follows.”

Mass murder was a sport in Christian medieval feudalist societies, for example.

I would like to rephrase this: However when mad and power-mad people are in control of society, there are no moral rules at all and mass murder follows.

Mad and power-mad people come in all shapes and colours.

Comment by gutzperson on Adaptation-Executers, not Fitness-Maximizers · 2007-11-11T15:20:31.000Z · score: -4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

“What is the meaning of eating chocolate? That's between you and your moral philosophy. Personally, I think chocolate tastes good, but I wish it were less harmful; acceptable solutions would include redesigning the chocolate or redesigning my biochemistry”

Indulging in sumptuous wonderful cacao products - this is the meaning of eating chocolates - and flavonides come as a free gift. Accepting chocolate as a treat, allowing us to be sort of hedonistic, is far better than a form of Calvinist ‘adaptation method’ of redesigning both chocolate or biochemistry until all fits a theory that might turn out to be wrong anyway. Who can guarantee that chocolate won’t become a super food in near future?

Comment by gutzperson on Fake Optimization Criteria · 2007-11-11T10:18:45.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Let's say I am super-gutzperson, beyond post- and past. I am all for utopia. I am all for AI and whatever will come. I am also for co-existence. I am amazed about a species that so happily prepares for their own extinction or replacement. Would you like to test post-evolution on mice and replace them with post-mice? I actually love my body and would like future generations of humans to be able to enjoy this too. As Hayles says in so many words, post-human does not mean without humans. This was my message to Caledonian.

Comment by gutzperson on Fake Morality · 2007-11-11T09:49:52.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Stefan Pernar Thanks for the links. Interesting texts. I am dreaming of an anarchistic world . Just chaos. Just dreaming. Fearing that anarchy might only work for a metasecond. All this social control scenarios make me feel like an adolescent who wants to break all the rules.

Comment by gutzperson on Fake Optimization Criteria · 2007-11-10T18:22:30.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Quote “it is up to us to make sure we will have a place in such a future”

  • Question; Are you thinking about Moravec’s fantasies of collective (sub)consciousness spread through the universe?

Quote “The thing about post-humanity is that it will not have humanity in it. It's up to us to make sure that post-humanity comes into existence. This necessarily involves the obsolescence of human beings. The future we must build necessarily cannot have a place for us in it. That's the point! The acorn does not survive the creation of the oak.”

You’re kidding. Post-history is fiction, and history is well and alive. Post-humanity as you describe it, is okay for science fiction. If you want to read something intelligent about post-humanism, please read Katherine Hayles: The Human in the Posthuman. Moravec with his fantasies of extracts of a grey collective brain mass welded together in a post-human orgy of whisper and thought(lessness) makes me weep. His is a truly religiously motivated afterlife fantasy. And yours has got some mystical/mythical aspects, too. Oaks?!?!

Comment by gutzperson on Fake Morality · 2007-11-10T17:59:39.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I suggest that you read 'Religion in the Public Sphere' by Juergen Habermas.

You can download this as pdf from

Comment by gutzperson on Fake Selfishness · 2007-11-10T09:45:27.000Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Eliezer: “Other mischievous questions to ask self-proclaimed Selfishes: "Would you sacrifice your own life to save the entire human species?" (If they notice that their own life is strictly included within the human species, you can specify that they can choose between dying immediately to save the Earth, or living in comfort for one more year and then dying along with Earth.)”

What If the person saving the entire human species wanted to commit suicide anyway or if he/she has this dream of heroism and hopes to become immortal and be rewarded in an afterlife. An apparently selfless deed can be a very selfish one.

Comment by gutzperson on Fake Morality · 2007-11-10T08:54:22.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I would like to query Flew's 'rationalist' reasons. Please read this article by Mark Oppenheimer about Anthony Flew in the NYT.

Comment by gutzperson on Fake Morality · 2007-11-09T23:07:02.000Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Ramble, ramble, ramble stone. Morals as means of control work quite well. Forbidding drugs and alcohol can be used for keeping people fit for their religious chores. Not killing somebody can mean do not kill anybody from my group but kill the other (the threatening entity). Kill the one who takes away my food (and supposedly my livelihood). Kill the non-believer. Kill the outsider. Happens all the time. Ryman has got a point (Nov 9th, 12.33) … God punishes not murder per se but he punishes murder of a person in his own group. It does not matter if there is a god or not for morals and ethics. There are agreements in any group. Humanists, atheists, all religious groups and churches, etc.etc. have all their moralistic clubs. True morals are like true lies. An oxymoron? False morals are the morals of the other group. Fake morals are the ones used as means of control. All morals are fake then? Morals serve altruistic and selfish purposes. At the end the selfish person opens the door for the old lady hoping she might be a millionaire and marry him/her. The altruistic person opens the door for the lady because she/he hopes that she/he will be loved back. Possibly, it is just a habit because they are well trained monkeys.