All of bw2's Comments + Replies

Well, are you going to give us your answer?

But maybe an AI cannot in fact know the knowledge of something.

What possible reason would you have to assume that? If we're talking about an actually intelligent AI, it'd presumably be as smart as any other intelligent being(like, say, a human). If we're talking about a dumb program, it can take into account anything that we want it to take into account.

Well... I think we act diffrently from the AI because we not only know Pascals Mugging, we know that it is known. I don't see why an AI could not know the knowledge of it, though, but you do not seem to consider that, which might simply show that it is not relevant, as you, er, seem to have given this some thought...

What Hardin does there is really unparalleled in terms of thinking about what a scientific public policy would be. And it helps you see how democracy and rights are an impediment to that.

Does anyone have an electronic copy of Garrett Hardin, The Cybernetics of Competition?

She does not understand that life gives meaning to life. I am starting to wonder whether she is really as brilliant as I thought.

I find that Watson does not really understand intelligence. If intelligence is an ability to act in the world, if it refer to some external reality, and if this reality is almost infinitely malleable, then intelligence cannot be purely innate or genetic.

But I suspect that Eliezer and Robin will already have concluded it is an insoluble problem: you cannot act and include your full action in the reality upon which we act.

People are not really able to see their actions as part of reality rather than some immaterial force or holy ghost that changes reality from the outside. But can you blame them? You need a mirror for that sort of trick. So they will simply deny that reality with their actions included may be very different, that if health care is free people will seek it even when it is not needed. The problem here is thinking people will act as if you have not acted.

You have paid for your private insurance. Do you go to the doctor as much as you possibly could? When you are healthy, you have better things to do with your life, than travel the city from one appointment to the other.

I am not convinced. I write a column for a newspaper on political and economic matters, have tried making the case against development aid a few times and it elicits a strange kind of anger. I would think that a strong desire to help would be receptive to looking at the best way to do so. If a desire to help is all it is. Part of it is that people simply do not believe that it will not help, they think evidence to the contrary is false and manipulated for selfish purposes...

I agree with you, g, and I hope I made that clear, but some of the comments and I believe even the mention of stockholm syndrome seem to imply that the idea that death is meaningful does not qualify as rational, lies at a subrational level, instead of taking it, as I believe it deserves to be taken, as an idea that could be right or wrong.

I enjoyed this discussion very much and hope that Eliezer will excuse the distraction from the main topic, since he is after all very much interested in this. Will make one last point. What I find extraordinary is that most of you seem to assume the sophisticated, critical, elaborate thesis is that death should not be accepted, and that the contrary opinion is somehow primitive. This is silly. There is no living creature on earth who does not have the level of intelligence necessary to conclude that death is bad. Which of course does not mean the opinion is wrong. It could be right, but what it certainly is not is a testimony to great intelligence.

It is not a question of what you expect. Christians in the past expected to live forever and that did not detract from their lives. Thank you for your kind responses to my views.

What is the postulate of objectivity as for instance someone like Monod describes it? Seeing the world as if you were dead, as if you were not there to see it, seeing the world as it would be without your seeing it. Without death this possibility is not even conceivable. That in broad strokes. More generally, you simply cannot talk about what life will be like without death using a concept of life that only makes sense when death exists. Don't you see the bias, the radical bias, in this approach?

Of course if I could become immortal and not change anything else I would welcome it. There is not even any point arguing about that and I don't think anyone denies it would be desirable. The question is whether you can do that, because mortality is the most fundamental fact about us. Nothing will be the same afterwards, so it is rather touching but fundamentally misguided to speak how we would do the same things but have more time to do them well, etc. I for one do not see what the point would be in acquiring knowledge if I never died, which rather speaks... (read more)

That no matter how long you live, the exact same opportunity will never come again is a view I fear depends on the existence of death and would disappear without it; that is the nub; so there may some be anthropic bias in your view, Nick.

"And if your expected productive lifespan were a thousand years, there would still be challenges big enough that you'd only get one shot at them. They'd just be bigger, harder challenges."

Good point. I have nothing againt extending it to a thousand years after we have very carefully thought up a new life to go with the new lifespan. We haven't even done that for the current four score and ten years, for christs sake! Of course that makes my life better. Compare that moment of the missed opportunity with buying a pair of jeans. It is better because it cannot be iterated. And if religion talked about it so much, I would suggest transhumanists smoke out their cached religious thoughts more fully.

Only if you are immortal.

Why reduce it through technology? Take more risks. Go out with a bang. There is nothing that limits your ability to reduce your lifespan, only to extend it.

Evidently, you know, talking to people of average intelligence we are always going to sound deep, especially on social occasions when we tailor our conversation to the listener. But that has nothing to do with the particular view you defended. Someone defending that death gives meaning to life with better arguments than those people had would elicit the same response.