Less Wrong/2008 Articles/Summaries

Ruby (+66/-9)
Deku-shrub
(+134) /* Nonsentient Bloggers */
(+127) /* Will As Thou Wilt */
(+6/-5) /* Use the Try Harder, Luke */ fixed typo
(+459) /* Mirrors and Paintings */
(+11/-6) /* No License To Be Human */
(+312) /* No License To Be Human */
(+3/-3) /* Stop Voting For Nincompoops */ fixed typo
(+9/-9) /* The Comedy of Behaviorism */ capitalization

This page contains summaries of LessWrong posts published in 2008.

Posting on Politics

__NOTOC__

Eliezer informs readers that he had accidentally published the previous post, "Nonsentient Optimizers", when it was only halfway done.

Eliezer mentions four interpretations of "A man can do as he wills, but not will as he wills.", a quote by Arthur Schopenhauer.

A fictional exchange between Mark HamilHamill and George Lucas over the scene in Empire Strikes Back where Luke Skywalker attempts to lift his X-wing with the force.

CEV is not the essence of goodness. If functioning properly, it is supposed to work analogously to a mirror -- a mirror is not inherently apple-shaped, but in the presence of an apple, it reflects the image of an apple. In the presence of the Pebblesorters, an AI running CEV would begin transforming the universe into heaps containing prime numbers of pebbles. In the presence of humankind, an AI running CEV would begin doing whatever is right for it to do.

Good things aren't good because humans care about what's good. ThingsGood things are good because they save lives, make people happy, give us control over our own lives, involve us with others and prevent us from collapsing into total self-absorption, keep life complex and non-repeating and aesthetic and interesting, etc.

Good things aren't good because humans care about what's good. Things are good because they save lives, make people happy, give us control over our own lives, involve us with others and prevent us from collapsing into total self-absorption, keep life complex and non-repeating and aesthetic and interesting, etc.

Many people try to vote "strategically", by considering which candidate is more "electable". One of the most important factors in whether someone is "electable" is whether they have received attention from the media and the support of one of the two major parties. Naturally, those organizations put considerable thought into who is electable in making their decision. Ultimately, all arguments for "strategic voting" tend to fall apart. The voters themselves get so little say in whywho the next president is that the best we can do is just to not vote for nincompoops.

The behaviorists thought that speaking about anything like a mind, or emotions, or thoughts, was unscientific. After all, they said, you can't observe anger. You can just observe behavior. But, it is possible, using empathy, to correctly predict wide varieties of behavior, which you can't account for by pavlovianPavlovian conditioning.

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