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Comment by jwoodward48 on LessWrong and Miri mentioned in major German newspaper's article on Neoreactionaries · 2017-04-18T14:58:32.121Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

"Yudkowsky founded the Machine Intelligence Research Institute, with the money of venture capitalist Peter Thiel, which focusses on the development of a benevolent AI. It should be benevolent, because it will have power over people, when it gets smarter than them. For the neoreactionaries, Intelligence is necessarily related to politics. based on the concept of human biodiversity, they believe that social and economical differences are caused and justified by a genetic difference in intelligence among ethnic groups. They reject the idea of a common human nature."

Oh, come on, that's a poorly-thought-out attack. "Yudkowsky thinks that AI will be super-powerful. Neo-reactionists think that powerful people are powerful and smart for genetic reasons. Therefore, Yudkowsky has something to do with neo-reactionism." Really?

Comment by jwoodward48 on Great post on Reddit about accepting atheism · 2017-03-05T21:27:31.083Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

A person is nature plus nurture, and besides, I'm not even sure if DNA alone would produce the same baby. Epigenetics, womb variation, and whatnot all have an effect even before a child is born.

Comment by jwoodward48 on Why truth? And... · 2017-03-05T18:53:56.507Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I know! Is the world not more beautiful when one can understand how it works?

Comment by jwoodward48 on Einstein's Arrogance · 2017-03-04T15:50:28.071Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

"The probability that the universe only has finite space is not exactly 1, is it?"

Nooooo, that's not it. The probability that the reachable space from a particular point within a certain time is finite is effectively one.

So it doesn't matter how large the universe is - the aliens a few trillion ly away cannot have killed Bob.

Comment by jwoodward48 on Why Don't Rationalists Win? · 2017-03-03T00:27:11.100Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Hmm? Ah, I see; you think that I am annoyed. No, I only quoted Lumifer because their words nearly sufficed. Rest assured that I do not blame you for lacking the ability to gather information from the future.

Comment by jwoodward48 on Why Don't Rationalists Win? · 2017-03-03T00:25:12.401Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

(I recognize that you meant instrumental rationality rather than epistemic rationality, and have read the comment with that in mind.)

Epistemic rationality is not equivalent to "being a Spockish asshole." It simply means that one values rationality as an end and not just a means. If you do not value correcting people's grammar for its own sake, then there is no reason to correct someone's grammar. But that is an instrumental statement, so I suppose I should step back...

If you think that epistemic and instrumental rationality would disagree at certain points, try to reconsider their relationship. Any statement of "this ought to be done" is instrumental. Epistemic only covers "this is true/false."

Comment by jwoodward48 on Why Don't Rationalists Win? · 2017-03-03T00:18:35.479Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Sounds meaninglessly deep to me.

Comment by jwoodward48 on Why Don't Rationalists Win? · 2017-03-03T00:15:09.607Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

"See ETA to the comment." Lumifer meant instrumental rationality.

Comment by jwoodward48 on Righting a Wrong Question · 2017-03-03T00:09:37.026Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Well, the problem with the Doomsday Argument is not the probability distribution, as I see it, but the assumption that we are "typical humans" with a typical perspective. If you think that the most likely cause for the end of humanity would be predictable and known for millennia, ferex, then the assumption does not hold, as we currently do not see a for-sure-end-of-humanity in our future.

Comment by jwoodward48 on Righting a Wrong Question · 2017-03-02T23:45:58.810Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Not entropy, but rather causation; time does not flow backwards because what I do tomorrow will not affect what I did yesterday.

Comment by jwoodward48 on Righting a Wrong Question · 2017-03-02T23:42:53.605Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

"Why do people have a tendency to believe that their minds are somehow separate from the rest of the universe?"

Because the concept of self as distinct from one's surroundings is part of subjective experience. Heck, I'd consider it to be one of the defining qualities of a person/mind.

Comment by jwoodward48 on Righting a Wrong Question · 2017-03-02T23:40:57.324Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

What is a "reason"? Nothing but a cause (that is meaningfully, reasonably, and predictably tied to the effect, perhaps). The only cases in which a mind has a spontaneous thought (that is, one with no reason for them), are "brain static" and Boltzmann brains. So your question is essentially reducible to the question of "Why am I not a Boltzmann brain?"

Edit: I'm not really sure that "reason" is equivalent to "cause", on further reflection. There needs to be a deeper connection between A and B, if A is said to be the reason and not just the cause for B. So if the cause for "thinking that one has free will" is simply "that is how brain architecture works", and not some previously-unknown phenomenon, that might not be seen as a reason for the illusion of free will.

Comment by jwoodward48 on Lonely Dissent · 2017-03-02T23:37:11.871Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Ah, but that's assuming that their goal is "get into a band," rather than "attain a new and interesting hobby."