All of Damien_R._S.'s Comments + Replies

Failed Utopia #4-2

The story has problems, and it's not clear how it's meant to be taken.

Way 1: we should believe the SAI, being a SAI, and so everyone will in fact be happier within a week. This creates cognitive dissonance, what with the scenario seeming flawed to us, and putting us in a position of rejecting a scenario that makes us happier.

Way 2: we should trust our reason, and evaluate the scenario on its own merits. This creates the cognitive dissonance of the SAI being really stupid. Yeah, being immortal and having a nice companion and good life support and protect... (read more)


Catgirl doesn't play Settler of Catan or D&D or talk about politics.

Actually she probably can.

I think Way 2 was what the author intended - it's not actually meant to be a true utopia. Thus "failed utopia". But the story raises a couple interesting questions, that I don't notice an answer to. How did the AI do all this, given the confines of human technology at the time it was set? And if the AI could do it... what's stopping a human from doing the same? I envision someone having those precise thoughts on either Mars or Venus, and (either swiftly or gradually) discovering the methods needed to alter reality the same way the AI did. Soon, everything is set, if not "right", at the very least back to "normal". ... although perhaps the "perfect" mates are given their own distant world to live on, and grow without worry of human intervention anytime soon. ... it probably says something about me that I'd also, if I were this person, want to restore the AI to "life" just to trap it in a distant prison from which it can observe humanity, but not interact with anything... as a form of poetic justice for the distant prisons it tried to place humanity within.
Rationality Quotes 19

Sweet! I'd lost a copy of my exact syllogistic wording.

Faster Than Science

I hate that Planck quote. It's full of "truthiness". I think it is in fact falsified by the histories of relativity, quantum mechanics, and continental drift/plate tectonics. I'm pretty confident about the latter, trusting Hofstadter's class lectures more for the former two.