We live during the hinge of history. Given the scientific and technological discoveries of the last two centuries, the world has never changed as fast. We shall soon have even greater powers to transform, not only our surroundings, but ourselves and our successors. If we act wisely in the next few centuries, humanity will survive its most dangerous and decisive period. Our descendants could, if necessary, go elsewhere, spreading through the galaxy.

...What now matters most is that we avoid ending human history.

Parfit, On What Matters, Vol. 2 (pp. 616-620... (Read more)(Click to expand thread. ⌘F to Expand All)Cmd/Ctrl F to expand all comments on this post

I am now sixty-seven. To bring my voyage to a happy conclusion . . . I would need to find ways of getting many people to understand what it would be for things to matter, and of getting these people to believe that certain things really do matter. I cannot hope to do these things by myself. But . . . I hope that, with art and industry, some other people will be able to do these things, thereby completing this voyage.

Parfit, quoted in ”How To Be Good” by Larissa MacFarquhar. PDF

Rationality Quotes April 2013

by Vaniver 7y8th Apr 20131 min read285 comments


Another monthly installment of the rationality quotes thread. The usual rules apply:

  • Please post all quotes separately, so that they can be upvoted or downvoted separately. (If they are strongly related, reply to your own comments. If strongly ordered, then go ahead and post them together.)
  • Do not quote yourself.
  • Do not quote from Less Wrong itself, Overcoming Bias, or HPMoR.
  • No more than 5 quotes per person per monthly thread, please.