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Eliezer Yudkowsky
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I *liked* your conclusion. This would make an awesome blog meme, and would also be useful as a very brief test on filtering out people who can think as opposed to spewing back cliches.
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Some things are less flawed than others. When you find something less flawed, jump.
Toggle Commented Mar 13, 2009 on Clinging to the Wreckage at Ben Casnocha: The Blog
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The "Guilty sense of privilege" link is a mailto.
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I can't stand postmodernism and I've never read any grave analyses of literature, but I write fiction and I'm sad to say that I understood every bit of that advice.
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Actually, I recommended one big OOPS rather than lots of little oops - though this is where you've got an opportunity for a big OOPS at the start, but stretch it out instead. In general, just say as much oops as possible as fast as possible; don't stretch a big one out, don't accumulate little ones. Also, my suggestion was that important failures successfully resolve, usually involve realizations of personal incompetence.
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Well, that answers my question: you're defining "rational" as "assuming others are rational whether or not they are", which is of course irrational.
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What do you mean "rational"? Do you mean "consistently believing what is true" and "consistently making the right choices to protect what's important to you" or do you have some kind of picture of Spock going here?
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Rationality. (In the Bayesian-wannabe, epistemic-accuracy and expected-utility sense, lest someone accuse me of having uttered a tautology which means simply "thinking the way you should think".)
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If you happen to be leading an idealistic movement, you're faced with a very strange dilemma: How can you stop the humorlessness effect? Lecturing people on how they must avoid humorlessness isn't going to work. You can't practice humor out of a desire to be virtuous. I've known rationalists who have this idea that they ought to be able to laugh at themselves, and pursue it very earnestly - making sure that everyone sees how carefully they ridicule themselves. Worst of all, their jokes aren't funny. Surely this is not the Way. I even know some people who, as far as I can tell, have no senses of humor at all. But they didn't ask to be born that way, so what's an idealist to do? It's easy to call for laughter when you happen to have been born with a strong sense of humor.
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"Surrender to the truth as quickly as you can. Do this the instant you realize what you are resisting; the instant you can see from which quarter the winds of evidence are blowing against you. Be faithless to your cause and betray it to a stronger enemy." Said of the third virtue, lightness.
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Maybe it's different in science than entrepreneurship, because in science there is only one explanation. I can only recall two Eureka experiences in the process of building the Singularity Institute and both of them turned out to be wrong. But the Eurekas on how cognition worked lasted. The Eureka moment in science builds slowly, over years, but it does crescendo. There is an audible click when everything finally falls into place, a click like thunder. You would be wildly wrong to focus on this part of the developmental process. It would be like looking at the IPO, instead of the whole process of building a corporation.
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I would feel despair if my outlook on life, the universe, and everything was as bleak as yours. Odd, that's the same way I feel about most religious outlooks. I would ask where you obtain this godlike perspective Thank you very much! All you do is refuse to be intimidated and go on working out the implications of a hypothesis, whether it's a cosmically large hypothesis or an ordinary everyday hypothesis. Do this without fail, without flinching, and without obeying thought-stopsigns like "God", "spiritual" and "cosmic". Then you will obtain a perspective that others call "godlike", meaning that you ran through one of their stopsigns. The way the universe would look without any God is straightforward; the study of it is called "science" and it agrees very well with observed reality. No one has ever found an electron that moves up instead of down when it is morally right to do so. The way the universe would look with various types of superintelligence added is theoretically if not practically straightforward; it would look modified in the direction of the superintelligence's goalsystem. The way the universe would look with a benevolent God added is in some ways hard to know, but it surely would not contain the Holocaust or sexually abused children, etc. This seems quite straightforward to me, and I see no reason to complicate it.
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I am the "friend" of whom Ben speaks (he didn't know if he had permission to attribute or not.)
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