Aleksi Liimatainen

Rationalist/mystic. Reason is narrow, insight is error-prone. Use ALL the tools.


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Steelmanning Divination

According to the REBUS and the Anarchic Brain model, the self-developmental benefits of psychedelics would be due to a temporary relaxation of the hierarchical information processing of the brain.

Normally our top-down processes suppress very low-prior bottom-up signals as noise. Psychedelics selectively inhibit the top-down network, allowing anomalous bottom-up signals to propagate. If a lot of anomalies had been suppressed by strongly-held high-level beliefs, this can cause large updates.

Note that these updates are not necessarily correct and the new beliefs can also become sticky, so I wouldn't recommend untutored experimentation.

Weak foundation of determinism analysis
Because people don't just passively consume books and movies, people also try to change objective states of affairs.

Deterministic or not, we are the process by which change happens. I now wonder what kind of agency would satisfy your objection. Must our choices be uncaused causes? If not, what kind of causal influence is permitted?

Weak foundation of determinism analysis

I agree and didn't intend that to be the main thrust of my reply. Let me repeat:

How do we disambiguate between objective indeterminacy in a nondeterministic world and subjective indeterminacy in a deterministic one?

I'm asking because I expect the two to be subjectively indistinguishable and your answer should help shed light on the nature of our disagreement.

I'd also like to hear your take on the books-and-movies question.

Weak foundation of determinism analysis

Unless you want to postulate some sort of branching-future superposition, there will be one eventual outcome. How do we disambiguate between objective indeterminacy in a nondeterministic world and subjective indeterminacy in a deterministic one?

It now occurs to me to wonder how antideterminists feel about books and movies. Does it diminish their enjoyment to know that the plot has already been determined?

Weak foundation of determinism analysis

You consider a number of choices. You judge them according to your decision criteria and choose the one that seems best. What difference does it make if some hypothetical omniscient observer could tell in advance which choice you'll make? You'll still choose just one, and you want it to be the best one.

In what sense is the unchosen counterfactual a real one?

Weak foundation of determinism analysis

Are you sure that isn't the same type of confusion? The way your decision process goes does make a difference to the outcomes of the universe. Again, being predictable-in-principle is a property of the process, not an external imposition.

AI Alignment Open Thread August 2019
It seems fairly likely to me proto-AGI (i.e. AI that could autonomously learn to become AGI within <~10yrs of acting in the real world) is deployed and creates proto-AGI subagents, some of which we don't become aware of (e.g. because accidental/incidental/deliberate steganography) and/or are unable to keep track of. And then those continue to survive and reproduce, etc...

Now I'm wondering if it makes sense to model past or present cognitive-cultural information processes in a similar fashion. Memetic and cultural evolutions are a thing and any agentlike processes that spawn could piggypack on our existing general intelligence architecture.

Weak foundation of determinism analysis

Okay, let me try to put it this way.

Imagine someone giving you orders while holding a gun to your head. That situation feels distinctly unfree, even though you're entirely free to disobey and take the bullet to the head.

Our intuitive sense of freedom may actually refer to a lack of externally imposed constraints on our decision process, as opposed to some inherent internal quality. The mistake would then be imagining determinism as an external imposition when it would in fact be a quality of the decision process itself.

Does that help?

Weak foundation of determinism analysis

Not giving up, updating. The whole point is that determinism (or timelessness for that matter) need not invalidate our notions of agency, consequence or morality. If it feels like it does, that's a bug in the system.

Weak foundation of determinism analysis
If determinism is true and compatibilism is false.

Huh. Going by the wikipedia definition of compatibilism, it seems like a distinction without a difference. How does it help in your view?

I have pointed out what people worry they are going to lose under determinism.

This feels like worrying about losing the colors of the rainbow if optics is true. Maybe add that worry to the list of potentially mistaken intuitions.

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