Comment by Hopefully_Anonymous3 on Zombies! Zombies? · 2009-03-07T16:39:00.000Z · LW · GW

Well, a lot of what you're doing here regarding consciousness and "zombies" seems to me like philosophy-of-the-gaps. If I'm not mistaken, Prof. Koch and his peers are the most literate (and adept) on where and how empirically derived evidence is filling in these gaps. I confess I'm not reading these ginormous posts from you carefully -but I'm curious why (as far as I can tell) you're not mucking around with cutting edge empiricism on consciousness with the same glee Robin's mucking around with cutting edge empiricism on behavioral economics, decision theory, etc.

Comment by Hopefully_Anonymous3 on Zombies! Zombies? · 2009-03-07T06:07:00.000Z · LW · GW

Eliezer, why do you give more attention to Chalmers than to Professor Koch of Caltech?

Comment by Hopefully_Anonymous3 on You Only Live Twice · 2008-12-13T10:15:00.000Z · LW · GW

Eliezer's not stupid. He's innovating a competitive mythology to promote increasing the base of cryonics users. Carl, it's hard to catch you making asinine comments but I think you slipped in this thread. So if a new blogger pops up quoting scripture to encourage christians to donate their brains to brain banks, are you going to debunk their arguments that scripture supports such donations? It's a subtraction from our commons for status points we're not even going to award you, in my opinion.

Comment by Hopefully_Anonymous3 on Beyond the Reach of God · 2008-10-07T22:22:00.000Z · LW · GW

Alex, I admit I hope the fawning praisers, who are mostly anonymous, are Eliezer's sockpuppets. Rather than a dozen or more people on the internet who read Eliezer's posts and feel some desire to fawn. But it's mostly an aesthetic preference -I can't say it makes a real difference in accomplishing shared goals, beyond being a mild waste of time and energy.

Comment by Hopefully_Anonymous3 on Beyond the Reach of God · 2008-10-05T06:56:00.000Z · LW · GW

"What if Eliezers weren't so damn rare"

The weird obsequiousness towards Eliezer makes yet another appearance on OB.

Comment by Hopefully_Anonymous3 on The Level Above Mine · 2008-09-28T22:19:00.000Z · LW · GW

I kind of disagree with you. First, what we call "general intelligence" is itself a form of specialized intelligence: specializing optimizing successful outcomes in real time in our apparent reality. so the mix you recommend in "achieving great things" would itself be "general intelligence", not general intelligence plus something else (other than luck).

Since most people who "achieve great things" seem to me to be playing life at least in part as a poker game (they don't seem to put all their cards out on the table) I think outcomes may be a better measure than propaganda. "Increasingly, as one ages, one worries more about what one DOES, rather than about abstract characterizations of one's capability." I'm not sure that comes from wisdom, rather than the rationally adjusted propaganda of an older person (look at my status enabled institutional power to achieve) contrasted with that of the younger person (look at my superior capabilities, with a brain at its physical prime).

Comment by Hopefully_Anonymous3 on The Ultimate Source · 2008-06-22T10:39:00.000Z · LW · GW

Interesting old mindhacks article touches on some of these themes (how we arrive at certainties/decisions):

Comment by Hopefully_Anonymous3 on Possibility and Could-ness · 2008-06-20T14:05:00.000Z · LW · GW

Constant, I think you're a bit stuck on your conclusion, and working backwards from it. But this latest post helps me realize both you and Eliezer may be in a map vs. territory trap here. The map indicates capacity to go in more than one direction and hence the capacity for a choice. But, there is a preference in the territory that hasn't been added to the map yet. Doesn't mean it's not in the territory. It's possible that what you've been calling choice is just a blank section of the map.

Comment by Hopefully_Anonymous3 on Possibility and Could-ness · 2008-06-20T12:32:00.000Z · LW · GW

"No, it is not what I mean. A person chooses among actions A, B, and C, if he has the capacity to perform any of A, B, or C, and in fact performs (say) C. It does not matter whether he deliberates or not. The distinction between capacity and incapacity takes many forms; in the definition which I quoted the capacity/incapacity distinction takes the form of an affordability/unaffordability distinction."

There's a game going on here with "capacity", in my estimation. Perhaps not too different from saying I have the capacity to fly to the moon if not for gravity. Or the capacity to fly to the Andromeda galaxy if not for the limiting speed of light. A person has the capacity to perform A, B, or C if not for that revealed preference which constrains them to performing one of the three. "Choice" doesn't seem to enter into it, in my opinion, because the person may be functionally bounded to one, determined pathway, perhaps analogous to the way that I'm bounded from flying to the moon. I think it only adds to the the main economic theories to remain reasonably skeptical about the concept of choice, and of course open to the latest neuroscience findings and findings from other scientific fields, rather than accept a perhaps deliberately fuzzy definition of it to remain for political or aesthetic reasons.

Probably unecessary disclaimer: I'm far from an expert in economics, nor am I competently literate in the field, although I'm interested in the work.

Comment by Hopefully_Anonymous3 on Possibility and Could-ness · 2008-06-20T03:39:00.000Z · LW · GW

constant: buys, eats, etc. Here it's not any more necessary to assert or imply deliberation (which is what I think you mean by saying "choice" is central for economic theory for the person than it is to assert it for an amoeba or for the direction a fire moves. It's true many great scientists informally use "choice" to describe the actions of non-human, and apparently non-sentient phenomena, and I wouldn't see the harm in doing so in an informal sense describing human actions if what I think is appropriate skepticism about conventionally intuitive models of "free will" and human experience of "choice" was maintained.

Sorry if this post isn't more clear. I'm forced to jot it off rather quickly, but I wanted to attempt the timely answer you deserve.

Comment by Hopefully_Anonymous3 on Possibility and Could-ness · 2008-06-19T22:49:00.000Z · LW · GW

I don't think "choice" is a central concept to economics. It seems pretty easy to me to reimagine every major economic theory of which I'm aware without "choosing" occuring.

Comment by Hopefully_Anonymous3 on The Ultimate Source · 2008-06-17T22:47:00.000Z · LW · GW

"perhaps eventually finding no compelling reason not to dissolve increasingly artificial barriers between individual identities."

No thanks, Ben. I've got to wonder, why isn't it enough just to solve aging and minimize existential risk? If I were the administrator of a turing test to see if you were a subjective conscious entity like me, this is the point where you'd fail.

Comment by Hopefully_Anonymous3 on Timeless Identity · 2008-06-12T08:09:00.000Z · LW · GW

I don't think you've proven what you claim to have proven in this post, but it might work as propaganda to increase cyronics enrollment, which should be good for both of us.
Specifically, I don't think it's clear that (1) current cryonics technology prevents information-theoretic death, (2) that if I'm "revived" from cryonics such that it fools discernment technology of that era, I'm actually having a subjective conscious experience of being alive and conscious. And perhaps discernment technology 30 years later will tragically demonstrate why, and what could've been done differently to preserve me as a subjective conscious entity, (3) future societies with the technology to revive us will choose to.

Separate from propaganda, I think 1-3 are important areas to focus on in terms of research and innovation. We don't want to be fooled by our own propaganda and thus fail to rationally maximize our persistence odds. We don't want to be prisoners of our own myths.

Comment by Hopefully_Anonymous3 on Thou Art Physics · 2008-06-07T06:23:00.000Z · LW · GW

"Your future belief is fixed, but it is fixed by your current choice whether to think rationally, not by quarks zipping in from Pluto."

You sound sure about that (the belief that people have a choice whether to think rationally). I'm curious what you base your sureness on? I'm not sure that any person or entity has a "choice" in that matter, but I'm interested in the best evidence/arguments to the contrary.

Comment by Hopefully_Anonymous3 on Thou Art Physics · 2008-06-07T06:20:00.000Z · LW · GW

a. y. mous, in my estimation you're on surest ground describing free will as an "experience". Given all the ways we've already discovered that the experience seems to be illusory, it seems to me to be quite likely that free will is in every way illusory. You also use the word "enjoying", which I like. I consider the enjoyment of a free will experience to be a luxury to indulge in to the the degree that it maximizes my persistence odds (given how unfriendly reality seems to be to my long-term persistence). Beyond that, scientific inquiry into the free-will experience does seem to be important to me, because it seems such a fundamental element of the general human subjective conscious experience. It would be wisely conservative, in my opinion, to place priority on preserving that part of the bundle of human subjective conscious experience as we seek various solutions to the mortality challenges we face.

Comment by Hopefully_Anonymous3 on Einstein's Superpowers · 2008-05-31T22:47:00.000Z · LW · GW

Perhaps if some women didn't give it up so easy to famous Einstein we'd have GUT by now.

Comment by Hopefully_Anonymous3 on Human Evil and Muddled Thinking · 2007-09-17T19:19:00.000Z · LW · GW

I'll have a response up to your post on my blog within 10 minutes.

Comment by Hopefully_Anonymous3 on Human Evil and Muddled Thinking · 2007-09-17T14:26:00.000Z · LW · GW

In my opinion you're preying on bias to achieve status advantage for yourself/posting name. But I don't think it will be as effective a social strategy in this overcomingbias medium as it would be in the general population.

Comment by Hopefully_Anonymous3 on Human Evil and Muddled Thinking · 2007-09-16T22:15:00.000Z · LW · GW

"Carl Sagan (I think) said we should be open-minded, but not so open that our brains fall out. It's even more important when discussing issues as morally fraught as torture, that we don't open our minds so far that our souls fall out.

Well said.

Posted by: Eliezer Yudkowsky | September 16, 2007 at 06:07 PM"

What does that even mean? The quote and concept seem to distract from empirical inquiry and rational problem solving, rather than add to them. I'm not sure I see it as different in kind from "If it doesn't fit, then you must acquit."