Category: ethics

In Praise of Maximizing – With Some Caveats

Most of you are probably familiar with the two contrasting decision making strategies “maximizing” and “satisficing“, but a short recap won’t hurt (you can skip the first two paragraphs if you get bored): Satisficing means selecting the first option that is good enough, i.e. that meets or exceeds a certain threshold of acceptability. In contrast, maximizing

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Category: ethics

The Craft and the Community: Post 23 – 24

23. Bayesians vs. Barbarians Yudkowsky thinks that a country full of rationalists could win in a war against barbaric, um, barbarians that believe in an afterlife and God and stuff. He mentions several things, I’m too lazy to elaborate on, because we’ve talked about them already too much like iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma, one-boxing in Newcomb,

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Category: ethics

The Craft and the Community: Post 11 – 15

11. Church vs. Taskforce Yudkowsky elaborates on the last post and advocates the establishment of rationalist task-forces and communities. (With task-forces he means small and maybe only short-lived communities that were created for a specific reason.) Yeah, a genuine rational community would be awesome, no doubt. The first problem is of course, that there aren’t

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Category: ethics

3. Epistemic Viciousness – 6. Tolerate Tolerance

3. Epistemic Viciousness Many martial arts gurus would totally lose in real fights. Some of the reasons why this can happen: The art, the dojo, and the sensei are seen as sacred.  “Having red toe-nails in the dojo is like going to church in a mini-skirt and halter-top…  The students of other martial arts are

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Category: ethics

The Craft and the Community: Post 1 – 2

1. Raising the Sanity Waterline Even if we eliminated harmful and insane practices and beliefs like e.g. drug-criminalization or the Blank Slate Dogma (Yudkowsky bashes religion, I however really love to bash those two, as you may have noticed by now), there still would be a lot of other problems left. Those beliefs are merely

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Category: ethics

Fun Theory: Post 14 – 19

14. Amputation of Destiny Yudkowsky describes a book by Ian Banks that is about a society, called the Culture, that consists of happy, intelligent, long-living humans, low-grade transhumanists, so to speak. But everything is controlled by Minds, superintelligent AIs. Yudkowsky calls this an amputation of destiny. We humans want to be the main players, we

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Category: ethics

Fun Theory: Post 11 – 13

11. Nonperson Predicates There is a subproblem of Friendly AI which is so scary that I usually don’t talk about it… …This is the problem that if you create an AI and tell it to model the world around it, it may form models of people that are people themselves.  Not necessarily the same person,

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Category: ethics

581. BHTV: de Grey and Yudkowsky – 583. Visualizing Eutopia

581. BHTV: de Grey and Yudkowsky Just a Bloggingheads-Interview. 582. For the People Who Are Still Alive Ever since I realized that physics seems to tell us straight out that we live in a Big World, I’ve become much less focused on creating lots of people, and much more focused on ensuring the welfare of

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Category: ethics

516. Dark Side Epistemology – 520. Prices or Bindings?

516. Dark Side Epistemology If you want to hold on to one false cherished belief – be it socialism or the soul – you’re epistemically screwed because you now have to protect other false beliefs that protect this false belief. Having false beliefs isn’t a good thing, but it doesn’t have to be permanently crippling—if,

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Category: ethics

Summary of “Introduction to Contemporary Metaethics” by A. Miller

For the sake of epistemological hygiene I wanted to take a look at what academia has to say about metaethics. Miller’s textbook is widely recommended and fairly representative of the academic literature in general. Maybe he’ll enlighten us. The first chapter is just an overview, no need to understand everything. 1. Introduction 1.1. What is

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