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Comment by mjankovic on Greg Egan disses stand-ins for Overcoming Bias, SIAI in new book · 2014-11-12T20:59:29.887Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The ideas about singularity and AI come from Vinge, but I have a hard time coming up with other writers before 2000 that take the same unflinching materialistic stance to human cognition that Egan does, and aren't saddled by blatantly obvious breaks from reality.

Egan's stance is not materialistic in the least. It can be best described as a "what if" of extreme idealism. It has computers without any substrate, as well as universes operating on pure mathematics. You can hardly find a way of being less materialistic than that.

The idea of singularity and AI originates with Stanislaw Lem. Vinge was following his lead.

Egan's novels do have plenty of themes relevant to transhumanism, though their underlying philosophical suppositions are somewhat dubious at best, as they negate the notion of material reality.

Comment by mjankovic on Rationality Quotes June 2013 · 2013-06-03T19:20:29.663Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Speaking as someone who's been trough that, I don't think that the article gives a complete picture. Part of the problem appears to be (particularly by reports from newer generations) in such instaces is the feeling of unreality, as the only times when we tend to see such situations is when we're sitting comfortably, so a lot of us are essentially conditioned to sit comfortably during such events.

However, this does tend to get better with some experience of such situations.

Comment by mjankovic on Hindsight Devalues Science · 2012-11-22T17:23:59.798Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I've had a nagging sense of wrongness about #1, not so much about #5, which were the two that I knew the truth about.

While it might be true that intelectuals have trouble adapting to military lifestyle, actual combat is a whole different animal in that respect. It is also different from the type of fighting that goes on in typical civilian life.

Other than that, why would you assume that intelectuals wouldn't be better predisposed to figguring out what they're supposed to do to stay alive and accomplish the mission? Particularly as they're more used to thinking than the average guy.

Comment by mjankovic on Welcome to Less Wrong! (July 2012) · 2012-11-21T22:32:22.726Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Hello, I'm a physics student from Croatia, though I've attended a combined physics and computer science program (study programs here are very specific) for couple of years at a previous university that I left, though my high school specialization is in economy. I am currently working towards my bachelor's degree in physics.

I have no idea how I learned of this site, though it was probably trough some transhumanist channels (there's a lot of half-forgotten bits and pieces of information floating in my mind, so I can't be sure). Lately I've started reading the core sequences, mostly on my cell phone, while traveling (it avoids tab explosions). So far I've encountered a lot of what I've already considered or concluded for myself in a more expanded form.