Toon Alfrink's sketchpad

So here's two extremes. One is that human beings are a complete lookup table. The other one is that human beings are perfect agents with just one goal. Most likely both are somewhat true. We have subagents that are more like the latter, and subsystems more like the former.

But the emphasis on "we're just a bunch of hardcoded heuristics" is making us stop looking for agency where there is in fact agency. Take for example romantic feelings. People tend to regard them as completely unpredictable, but it is actually possible to predict to some extent whether y

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Well, it sounds to me like it's more of a heterarchy than a hierarchy, but yeah.

3[anonymous]1moThat's a fully generic response though. Any combination of goals/drives could have a (possibly non-linear) mapping which turns them into a single unified goal in that sense, or vice versa. Let me put it more simply: can achieving "self-determination" alleviate your need to eat, sleep, and relieve yourself? If not, then there are some basic biological needs (maintenance of which is a goal) that have to be met separately from any "ultimate" goal of self-determination. That's the sense in which I considered it obvious we don't have singular goal systems.
2mr-hire1moYeah, I think that if the brain in fact is mapped that way it would be meaningful to say you have a single goal. Maybe, it depends on how the brain is mapped. I know of at least a few psychology theories which would say things like avoiding pain and getting food are in the service of higher psychological needs. If you came to believe for instance that eating wouldn't actually lead to those higher goals, you would stop. I think this is pretty unlikely. But again, I'm not sure.

Toon Alfrink's sketchpad

by toonalfrink 31st Oct 201942 comments