Today a Tragedy

by elriggs1 min read13th Jun 201816 comments

52

Motivations
Personal Blog

Very early this morning, my friend died in a car wreck.

When my mother called to tell me, she told me an old friend had died, but then it took her 10 seconds to compose herself to tell me exactly who.

Old friends have called and texted me throughout the day. Some seeking to console, and others to be consoled.

But it's all a tragedy.

My friends shouldn't need consolation, my mother shouldn't need to compose herself, and my friend shouldn't have died today.

A resolve arose within me:

I will solve AI alignment, and then I will work to further AGI, bringing that day closer and closer to prevent the loss of another grandson, another nephew, another friend.

But when I tried to work today, all I could do was mourn.


Will,

I'm glad I got to see you one last time in January. I'm sorry I forgot to wish you a happy birthday this year, but I've saved two dates in my calendar for you now, so I will never forget. Thanks for being my debate partner, and thanks for being my friend.

Love you. Miss you.

Logan

16 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 2:58 PM
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A long time ago, something similar happened to me. I was an immortalist, I was living the struggle, I got the call that someone had died. I remember thinking, OK, now I have to bring back the dead as well.

Good luck preserving your intentions and your functionality. Hopefully there are people around you in real life who at least half understand and half sympathize with your response to the situation.

Actions can have unexpected consequences. When you started your 80-day sprint, I started my own. Good luck between now and the end of July.

I very much appreciate your comment Mitchell. Your's and Vanessa's comment had both stated a possible option that I hadn't considered before: bringing back those we've lost. It's a low probability in my mind, but it's at least in my hypothesis space now, so thanks.

The funeral was yesterday and I finally did get to be around people who were also mourning for him. It honestly really did help.

I'm also greatly encouraged and look forward to hearing how your own sprint went. Best of luck until then as well.

Remember in high school when you wanted to rent a bounce house for your birthday? I went around to everyone trying to raise money for the cause, but I could only get $20 (all from myself, haha).

$20 isn't enough to rent a bounce house, but you found some employees testing bounce houses, paid them $20 to bounce on one for 20 minutes and left like a king.

I know, I know, I'm a day late, but still,

happy birthday man

Logan, I am so sorry for your loss.

We will never accept death.

We will not give up even on those who seem to be already gone, until it's a certainty they can't be brought back.

Whatever happens, we won't forget them.

We will inscribe every name on our hearts.

We will win, or die trying.

Thanks Vanessa

We will not give up even on those who seem to be already gone, until it's a certainty they can't be brought back.

I had never even considered this as a possibility beyond cryogenics, but I've mulled over yours and Mitchell's comments for a few days now, and that hypothesis is on my radar now, so thank you. Your quote above captures how I want to respond in light of that.

Happy belated birthday, brother. My grandfather got married yesterday, so I was away from my laptop. You've missed a lot. I think it would've been real fun to discuss Gamestop stocks with you; I think you would've invested!

 I've almost finished grad school as well and intend to study math for a bit on my own. You got to experience life after college for a bit; I wonder how your business and overall life would've gone since now. I think we would've argued vaccines, lockdowns, and mask when we saw each other. I remember arguing with you about politics and religion, but I don't remember us ever getting mad at each other (except freshman year, but that was over a girl, haha).

I don't even know where your grave is, but I'll continue to talk to you here.

~Take care

I'm sorry for your loss. :(

Thank you Raemon

I think I've convinced my girlfriend that it's okay for me to be sad because of what happened to you. She used to try to cheer me up, but I would tell her that it's okay for me to be sad. It sucks and it's okay if I act like it sucks.

I had honestly thought the day was July 15th. Then I saw my calendar and saw that it was today. As soon as I noticed, I started watching youtube, I guess to distract myself. When I stopped, it all just weighed on me again.

It's hard to accept your death. You had your goals and friends and all of your expectations, and then it just ended.

Your sister still posts for you on Facebook. Your friends still think of you.

I remember you. I miss you man

Happy Birthday Will,

I remember in 9th grade you started dating my ex right after consoling me. I was so mad! Haha. I never told you this, but me and the others on our forensics team saw y’all just sitting, holding hands, and having a good time, and Jennifer suggested that me and her hold hands and sit next to y’all giggling.

I said no, though it would’ve made a better story if I went through with it, haha. I think we started getting along again after she moved, although I can’t remember saying anything mean to you because of it.

I’m not sure she knows what happened to ya. I know y’all kept in touch when she moved, and maybe she checks Facebook more than I do.

Anyways, a lot of us are back home cause of the Coronavirus, and I would love to be able to give you a call and see how your life’s progressed these past few years.

Love you Will,

Logan

Hey Will,

Today's the day. I was at work when I got the call, and I literally just went into the bathroom, sat on the shower step, and tried to process losing you.

You took care of a lot of your friends when they were being idiots. Do you remember when I had my wisdom teeth pulled, took a whole hydrocodone, and then we went to the speech and debate banquet? I was loopy, could barely stay awake, and I told that one girl "I'm not hitting on you or anything, but you're very beautiful".

You had to carry me out to my mom's car, haha

I hope one day you'll be able to read all these. I just want to give you a giant hug and tell you how stupid you were and then give you another hug.

Love,

Logan

A resolve arose within me:

I will solve AI alignment, and then I will work to further AGI, bringing that day closer and closer to prevent the loss of another grandson, another nephew, another friend.

Good decision. Also, even if we can't quite solve AI alignment in the fully general case, we're likely close to having AIs which are safe enough in practice to successfully prevent almost all car wrecks.

I hope that future AI will be able to resurrect the dead, and there are many ways how it could do it.

Hey Will, 

I'm a couple days early, but I just woke up from a dream where I was doing a Duo event with the Cat in the Hat and was thinking of you.

You remember that one year we did a Duo event but as fillers? There were other filler groups and the judges were all supposed to mark us last below the actual uo groups. But we thought, if there are multiple filler groups, the judge will have to rank them relative to each other, why not be the best filler?

So we made a skit out of being the filler group, asking the judge to rate us below any actual Duo pairs, but above all the fillers. I remember telling a few Chuck Norris jokes as well; it was really fun! Our plan worked a little too well though, haha, and we ended up progressing to Semi-Finals, then the Finals the next day. 

I remember our hubris at thinking we could prepare a working piece by the next day (we did Pinocchio!) and try to beat everyone else who had been practicing all year. We asked our parents to drop us off early the next day so we could practice, but we were the first ones there so the doors were locked, so my dad stayed to watch us. It was crazy, but we ended up running through the new piece 10-20 times really quick, memorizing (approximations of) all the lines, creating the choreography, and actually having a decent duo piece after a couple hours!

We still got 6/6 place as we should! Hahahahaha. But it was really cool to actually try to learn a piece really quickly, to have someone else with me as we flew too close to the sun. I remember the exact room we performed it in too, and I remember us reenacting the "stuck in the whale" scene. It was really fun, hahaha. 

I'm currently on day 4 of an intensive math study retreat. It's really slow at times and my eyes definitely glaze over at times. Your death made it much easier to ignore the unimportant. I almost quit my job when you died! Though, if I had quit, I would still have two working eyes; hindsight is 20/20, hahaha. 

Dang, I'm back in our hometown, and it would've been nice to catch up with you.

It really sucks that you're gone,

Logan

Logan, I am so sorry for your loss...

Thank you Jerry, I appreciate it