"I read a lot of fantasy and have wondered sometimes, not so much what I would do in a fantasy setting, but what the book characters would do in the real world."
        -- Romana

"That's the thing that's always fascinated me about Go. It is essentially an extremely simple game gone terribly, terribly wrong."
        -- Amorymeltzer

"Dealing with the sheer of volume of "stuff" available on the internet is like being a crackhead with OCD. In the course of one hour I've tweaked my fantasy baseball lineup, posted on this message board, read Yahoo news, answered my latest e-mail, downloaded guidance criteria for PAHs in soils in NY State, checked the discography of a couple of bands, sent a deliverable to a client, and checked the weather. If that isn't superstimulus I don't know what is.  It's amazing how much I can do, yet accomplish so little."
        -- Misanthropic

"We don't have thoughts, we are thoughts.  Thoughts are not responsible for the machinery that happens to think them."
        -- John K Clark

"I have known more people whose lives have been ruined by getting a Ph.D. in physics than by drugs."
        -- Jonathan I. Katz

"There's no difference between a pessimist who says, "Oh, it's hopeless, so don't bother doing anything," and an optimist who says, "Don't bother doing anything, it's going to turn out fine anyway."  Either way, nothing happens."
        -- Yvon Chouinard

"Life moved ever outward into infinite possibilities and yet all things were perfect and finished in every single moment, their end attained."
        -- David Zindell, Neverness

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Re: Misanthropic's quote

The internet is a modern human's greatest tool. Use it wisely and you can read thousands of books free, take hundreds of college courses free, find instructions to do almost anything under the sun, and learn about anything you desire instantly. Use it unwisely and you will find a distraction far more potent than television.

@RU & Doug S.

You know I sent that physics quote around to my quant friends and I must say there was much nervous giggling, weeping, gnashing of teeth, and then finally smiles of revenge. Even with subprime. Here at my office alone we have 6 quants and I can tell you they enjoy the $$$,$$$. Because living like a monk at CERN can suck.

That doesn't mean that they don't miss "the Great Work that Shines in Beauty" as one self-employed quant, formerly of Sandia, told me. But he enjoys being able to afford great seats at the symphony and playing as much Go as he pleases.

Thomas: As I understand the quote, we do not perceive them. The machinery does. Then we are the thoughts it thinks about those thoughts.

I've been trying to find the Rationality quotes n.8 without succes. Most probably it is just one more case of my lack of searching skills but, anyhow, can you help me?

@Lowly, alas, no. I just collect these in passing.

@Ben Jones, I've read quite a bit of Banks but not Feersum Endjinn.

Regarding that Ph.D. essay: Jobs in academia are scarce. What kind of demand is there in industry for a science Ph.D.? I imagine the demand for people with a biology or chemistry Ph.D. would be larger than physics, as most people who do physics for a living are called "engineers" and are trained accordingly.

#4 should be on the back cover of Dennett's 'Consciousness Explained'. Also reminds me 'you don't give the AI the code, the AI is the code.'

Eliezer, have you read any Iain M Banks? You should have a look at Feersum Endjinn. From what I've seen you write about fantasy novels it's right up your street.

"I have known more people whose lives have been ruined by getting a Ph.D. in physics than by drugs." -- Jonathan I. Katz

Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know. --Ernest Hemingway

Holy crap, no way. Tell me you post on the rudius media message board. That would be so awesome. If you do, what is your user name?

we are thoughts

If we were thoughts then we should not be able to perceive them.