Ape in the coat

Wiki Contributions


Yes, you can remade a zombie argument so that it will not be circular and just be wrong or very weak. This isn't the zombie argument in question, though.

There is an ambiguity here, depending on what exactly is meant by "it seems".

If we are talking about seeing some evidence of birds existing, then the argument is not circular, it is pointing to this evidence in the reality, which may or may not be enough to conclude that non-mammals exist. But neither this argument truly has the same structure as zombie argument.

If we are talking about being able to imagine that birds are possible, without any evidence, and thus concluding that birds are possible, then it would be structured as a zombie argument and be circular as you would have to smuggle in the assumption that your imagination correspond to reality in this specific case, namely that birds are indeed possible.

I completely agree!

If there was anti-zombie argument that clamed to prove physicalism true, the same way zombie argument claims to prove physicalism false, such argument would be circular! But the difference is that physicalsts make no such claim, while non-physicalists indeed do.

As long as you are non-physicalist who simply believes that zombies are possible, you are not making a circular argument. You are just being self-consistent, or even tautological, because "zombies are possible" is exactly the same statement as "physicalism is wrong". But as soon as you claim that the fact that you believe zombies to be possible proves physicalism wrong - then you are making a circular argument.

I notice that such terms as "real", "objective" and their opposites are pretty bad at capturing the nuances of philosophical positions. It's one of the issues of conventional philosophy, the lexicon is flawed thus there are these endless arguments about definitions.

Classical LW framework of map-territory distinction is more helpful here. Some elements of the map can be wrong - have no referent on the territory and serve no utility. Some can directly (1 to 1) reference the elements of the territory. Some can reference the elements of more detailed maps, be useful and make sense in the context of a map, have some kind of referent on the territory in principle, but in a convoluted way.

This framework isn't perfect. But it's better. Less wrong, if you will. And this is my general experience as a person who has been engaged with philosophy since my early teens. LW philosophy just seems to be generally better at actually resolving confusion.

Anyway. Here are couple of mistakes that you make.

We can't accept that morality is real the same way we assume that reality is real. With reality we have an optimisation process, ensuring that our senses correspond to the outer world. With morality - not so much. There is no causal history to explain why our ethical feelings would correspond to some external moral truths of the universe.

Also, not sure whether you are already biting this bullet or not, but you have the same reasons to assume that aesthetics is real as with ethics.

As for zombie argument and qualia inversion, it was already mentioned in the comments that they are begging the question. Your attempt to make a stronger non-epiphenomenal version of zombism also fails. As soon as you add a new physical law that makes zombies behave as if they are consciousness without actually having consciousness in a zombie world, you have destroyed the symmetry between two words. Now we can't say that they are physically the same. Btw, Eliezer mentioned this case, calling it zombie master.

Here how the argument works in a nutshell (or rather, doesn't):

I can imagine that physicalism is wrong without noticing any contradiction -> Physicalism is wrong

This doesn't work, unless there actually is no contradiction. So we have to either implicitly assume that our inability to notice a contradiction is in general a true signal of there being no contradiction (which is false), or smuggle the whole assumption that in this specific case, our intuition is correct. But this would be begging the whole question, namely, we have to assume that physicalism is wrong in order to conclude that it's wrong. Thus it's circular reasoning

Doesn't have to be a singular thing. The policy may consist of multiple ideas, this doesn't change the reasoning.

Geoengineering as an approach competes with reducing carbon emissions as an approach, in a sense that the more effective is geoengineering the less important it is to reduce carbon emissions. If you believe that reducing carbon emissions is very important you naturally believe that geoengineering isn't very effective. Mind you, it doesn't even have to be faulty reasoning.

I think this has less to do with the general factor of doom and more with priming on a specific preferable solution.

Experts who think our effort to fight climate change are unsufficient usually have an actual idea of what policy we need to implement instead. They think we need to implement this idea and they treat all the potential damages as a reason to implement this idea. Thus alternative ideas such as geoengineering are competing with their idea. And as they prefere their idea to geoengineering, they tend not to support geoengineering.

And yes, I think there is a similar thing going on with AI safety. People have a solution they prefere (a group of researchers cracking the hard technical problem of alignment). And thus they are pessimistic towards alternative approaches such as regulating the industry.

I think you are pointing at an important referent. There are probably a lot of people who will benefit from reading this post and thus I'm glad that you wrote it. That said, you appear to have written it in a deliberately confusing manner. You probably have your reasons. Maybe you believe that this way would be better for the people you are trying to help. I'm not an expert in Lacanianism, but I think this is wrong, both ethically and epistemologically. The are also a lot of people who will misunderstand this post incorrectly and for whom reading it will cause harm. To the best of my knowledge, the gains still outweight the losses, but you are leaving utility on the table by not trying to meet LW epistemic standards of clarity.

The meta-framework of memetics can be useful, but one have to be careful with it as with any other meta-framework in order not to lose the ability to talk about objective matters. The lesson of having a safe distance from your memes in order to stay sane is important. Likewise, the idea that you do not have to calibrate your feelings to the global grimness of the world. But you enshroud it in the smugness of "seeing through the game" while uncoupling memes from their truth predicate, which I find potentially harmful and quite tasteless. I hope it really serve some therapeutic purpose for the target audience.

People will always say that this is a story about crypto. In reality, this is a story about lending. It is a story about very poor risk management, poor governance, poor oversight, and poor due diligence.


Considering that crypto is an ecosystem with deliberatly poor risk management, poor governance, poor oversight, and poor due diligence... this is very much a story about crypto.

One can speculate that he had already sold his FTT and started shorting when writing the tweet.

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