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Comment by timo on The Parable of the Dagger · 2016-01-23T03:54:38.652Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

There isn't correlation between these inscriptions and implied contents (since he could have put the key and dagger in either box), but there /is/ correlation between {the inscriptions and contents} and the king's honesty. The king didn't lie and he wouldn't have put inscriptions and contents into such an arrangement that would make it true that he lied. This puts a constraint on how he could arrange the inscriptions and contents.

Comment by timo on The Parable of the Dagger · 2016-01-23T03:42:00.041Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Assume not that it is true or false, assume that it's a paradox (i.e. both true and false), and from that it follows that the king didn't lie.

But, still, that's not the only moral of the story. A moral of the story is also that we shouldn't start by assuming some statements are either true or false, and then see what that implies about the referents, unless those statements are /entangled with their referents/. If statements aren't entangled with their referents, then no logical reasoning from these statements can tell you anything about the referents.

Comment by timo on Thou Art Godshatter · 2016-01-15T23:32:39.811Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

This /seems/ to contain great insight that I can't comprehend yet. Yes, please, how do I learn to see what you see?

Comment by timo on Facing the Intelligence Explosion discussion page · 2015-09-26T18:52:04.057Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Re: Engineering Utopia

When you say "Imagine a life without pain", many people will imagine life without Ólafur Arnalds (sad music) and other meaningful experiences. Advocating the elimination of suffering is a good way to make people fear your project. David Pearce suggests instead that we advocate the elimination of involuntary suffering.

Same thing with death, really. We don't want to force people to stay alive, so when I say that we should support research to end aging, I emphasise that death should be voluntary. We don't want to force people to live against their will and we don't want the status quo, where people are forced to die.

Of course, if people are afraid that you will eliminate sad music when you say that you wish to eliminate suffering, you could accuse them of failing to understand the definition of suffering: "if sad music is enjoyable, surely it's not suffering, so I wouldn't eliminate it". But you're not trying to make a terminologically "correct" summary of your project, you're trying to use words to paint as accurate a picture as possible of your project into the heads of the people you're talking to, and using the word "voluntary" helps with painting that picture.

Comment by timo on Facing the Intelligence Explosion discussion page · 2015-09-26T18:32:07.992Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Great book, thanks. : )

I found some broken links you may want to fix:

Broken link on p. 47 with text "contra-causal free will": http://www.naturalism.org/freewill.htm

Broken link on p. 66 with text "somebody else shows where the holes are": http://singularityu.org/files/SaME.pdf

Broken link on p. 75 with text "This article": http://lukemuehlhauser.com/SaveTheWorld.html

I didn't do an exhaustive check of all links, I only noted down the ones I happened to find while clicking on the links I wanted to click.

Comment by timo on Original Seeing · 2015-09-23T03:57:34.095Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

When I first read this, I didn't take it to mean that it's easier to think of something if you narrow your focus. Instead, I took from it the lesson that in order to actually think about something, you should prepare your mind by temporarily deleting/quarantining everything that other people have said about that thing. When you're thinking about what other people have said about a thing, you're not thinking about the thing itself.

Of course, testimonial evidence is very useful and shouldn't be dismissed, but I found this piece enlightening because it pointed out the not-intuitively-obvious difference between thinking about testimonial evidence and thinking about the thing itself.

Reading it for a second time, I understand that this piece can also teach the virtue of narrowing your focus to find more to say about something. For example, I could think that by saying "I survived the teletransportation" I would have proclaimed an irreducible truth, while, really, there's so much more to say about the event if I use concepts with a higher resolution.

Comment by timo on Say Not "Complexity" · 2015-01-02T13:28:16.840Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I suspect that counts as a useful thinking-tool. Whenever I notice incomplete steps in my reasoning, I'll say "by magic!" and then I can worry less about fooling myself.

A thinking-tool needs a name in order to properly install it into memory. "Magic-markers" could work.