Wiki Contributions



I think many of the different takes you listed with "consciousness as... X" can actually be held together and are not mutuall exclusive :)

Also, you may enjoy seeing David Chalmer's paper on The Meta-Problem of Consciousness... "the problem of explaining why we think consciousness is hard to explain" in the first place.

That’s a good distinction on hope something will exist vs belief that something exists! Thanks.

Today or someday in the future.

What empirical evidence would someone need to observe to believe that such an AGI, that is maximal in any of those traits, exists?


Hey Rob, on the question of God, you wrote: “This question is 'philosophy in easy mode', so seems like a decent proxy for field health / competence”

Saying that this is philosophy in easy mode implies that the answer is obvious, and the way you phrased it above makes it seem like atheism is obviously the correct answer.

How would you answer a question I asked about a year ago: Besides implementation details, what differences are there between rationalists' conception of benevolent AGI and the monotheistic conception of an omnipotent, omniscient, and benevolent God? (source tweet)

I'm commenting on this post probably two years too late, but I wanted to express my enthusiasm for this series you started on Category Theory! CT seems really cool and I recently started browsing Category Theory in Context by Emily Riehl, but paused because I felt like I haven't explored enough different branches of math deeply to see the beauty in what Riehl was sharing. The few posts you wrote here on LW sparked my interest again. I'm writing mostly for myself now, but also as a clue for others that come next. My plan from here is to explore:

johnswentworth's Category Theory Without The Baggage

johnswentworth's CTWTB: Paths of Computation State

Richard Southwell's Category Theory For Beginners: Introduction [58 min]

David Spivak/Brendan Fong/Topos Institute's Applied Category Theory Video Series (@ MIT 2019) [15 lectures, about 50 min each]

Wikiversity Introduction to Category Theory

Appreciate the crepe joke! My preference is sweet over savory.

On the topic of language, I strongly support Mike's reply which pushes in the direction of finding the 'deep structure' of consciousness. Johannes Kleiner also has written about ways to approach this problem in his paper "Mathematical Models of Consciousness" (

To respond to your ask for us to rethink our philosophical commitments... if you were alive before the period table of elements was discovered, would you similarly urge Mendeleev to rethink his commitment to exploring the structure of matter / finding precise definitions for elements like 'gold' and 'iron'? What reasons or evidence would you need to make research into the structure of matter seem worthwhile? What similar reasons or evidence would we need to decide the same for qualia? A priori, why should we expect that qualia does not have deep structure but matter does? Given the information that colors have certain structural relationships (leading to the CIELAB Color Space:, does that make you more or less confident that there is something real and precise here to be studied?

I haven't watched that talk by Ned Block. Thank you for sharing it and I'll check it out!