All of danlowlite's Comments + Replies

Does Your Morality Care What You Think?

Just a typo alert:

"But if my taste in pizza changes, that changes the consequneces of eating, which changes the moral justification, and so the moral judgment changes as well."


Lonely Dissent

OK. I'll follow up. They might want to, but what events would that trigger? The benefits might be clear, but for what costs?

Firstly, you would add another person to the population pool. That addition, in and of itself, is probably a negligible effect. Humans do this with some regularity. It is unlikely that the addition of one specific historical figure would push us over some theoretical tipping point.

What would be a greater cost would be one of rights: does the resurrected "owe" anything for being plucked from history, financially or metaphori... (read more)

2Fergus_Mackinnon11yPresumably the capital investment everyone frozen gives to the Cryonics Institute would pay for their revival, or perhaps just for the revival and re-education of some of the more interesting people, who would then, hopefully feeling some empathy for the remaining popsicles, pay to have them reanimated later. I'll just try to be interesting, and somewhat self-sacrificing so someone who reads any of my work might feel guilty enough to have me reanimated. Or we might just be reanimated to serve as soldiers in a future war as our coping mechanisms leave us just the right type of crazy to stay mostly sane in harsh environments. Who knows?
Rationality Quotes: March 2011

Miracle Max: Whoo-hoo-hoo, look who knows so much. It just so happens that your friend here is only MOSTLY dead. There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there's usually only one thing you can do.

Inigo Montoya: What's that?

Miracle Max: Go through his clothes and look for loose change.

7CronoDAS11yI personally added "Cryonics patients" to the Only Mostly Dead [] TV Tropes Wiki page. (I am not responsible for the current wording.)
Evaluability (And Cheap Holiday Shopping)

Depending on the mass of the former, it might have been a better deal in material costs.

The Hidden Complexity of Wishes

Material sciences can give us an estimate on the shattering of a given material given certain criteria.

Just because you do not know specific things about it doesn't make it a black box. Of course, that doesn't make the problems with complex systems disappear, it just exposes our ignorance. Which is not a new point here.

Say Not "Complexity"

It could be built in. I agree. But the child is curious about it's texture and taste than how the pieces fit together. I had to show my child a puzzle and solve it in front of her to get her to understand it.

Then she took off with it. YMMV.

Good point, though.

0bigjeff511yBut as you see, there was an initial curiosity there. They may not be able to make certain leaps that lead them to things they would be curious about, but once you help them make the leap they are then curious on their own. Also, there are plenty of things some people just aren't curious about, or interested in. You can only bring someone so far, after which they are either curious or not. It would be very interesting to do the same thing with an AI, just give it a basic curiosity about certain things, and watch how it develops.
Fake Morality

If your neighbor uses the bathroom more often, they use more water (not only by flushing, which may be considered inevitable), but by washing their hands perhaps more than necessary (going to the bathroom twice instead of once) and using anti-bacterial soap, which could lead to stronger, resistant bacteria. Of course, the use of said soap might result a long-term difficulty and the results would not be immediately apparent. So not only must an act have consequences, but those consequences must be reasonably immediate and apparent (and, as stated in Eliezer... (read more)

Configurations and Amplitude

This is very cool. I know that's just in my head, but now I just want a half-silvered mirror to test this with my kids.

Feeling Rational

"It is not thought wise to have anyone 'emotional' in any position of importance."

By whom? People who would like to "be able to have a beer" with a President?

I think Vassar is a little more accurate here, but that people only apply the lack of emotion within a narrow field that relates to their specialty at work. It would not be beyond the pale to see someone cheering enthusiastically for a sports team, for example.

Epistemic Luck

But that means that people cannot change their mind and realize when they are wrong.

Perpetual Motion Beliefs

I suspect the people who suspect a real problem with the lottery have never played it.

I don't play regularly, or at all anymore. I can actually count on one hand the number of times I have, but in all those occasions the primary joy from that was not the possibility that I might become more wealthy. It was because it was fun to engage with my peers in a group discussion of "What If."

From what I have witnessed, this seemed to be a popular activity: the discussion of fantasy. This didn't mean that anyone had any illusions about the possibility of ... (read more)

7Vaniver11yYou may find a waste of hope [] interesting. Like taryneast suggests, everyone plays the "what if?" game- what matters is what you play it about. "What if Brad Pitt leaves Angelina Jolie for me?" is a less profitable question to think about than "What if I talk to the cute guy at the coffee shop?". And since you only think about one or two of those questions at a time, there is a real trade-off involved with planning for the first instead of the second.
4taryneast11yThe "what if" game can be played even if you don't buy the ticket. What's more, there's another "what if" game that you're neglecting... that's the "what if I invest this money in something actually achievable here and now?" This is the game that investors and entrepreneurs play, and if you actually put money into the end-result of that game you have a higher expected payoff than that with the "lottery ticket what if" game
Don't Believe You'll Self-Deceive

Truth has a beauty all its own.

Not that false things can't have beauty, but we usually call those things art.

On Expressing Your Concerns

I've been in a meeting where this was done and an openly designated "contrarian" was appointed. The specific instance where this was performed was a "diversity" training, so YMMV.

He didn't do anything. He was too new and high in the organization to be effective. His position, when he did speak up, made it unlikely that someone would contradict his contradictions. While eventually he became effective at his job (replacing a much-loved person, no easy task), it was still simply not like him to do this; we all saw it and he didn't work out in this contrarian role.

See also: Good Cop/Bad Cop.

Hold Off On Proposing Solutions

Yes, but while those two topics may be interesting to me, other "easy" problems (home and car maintenance, farming) are not so much even though I recognize their importance. I'm not going to learn how to do everything basic before I am going to learn something complicated. Am I?

Is an AI?

And these problems aren't even easy, really. Like the person who knows how to make an AI, one imagines they "know" how to play guitar. There's a competence level and there is a deeper mastery/creation level. I know three chords; I am not .

Unless that was your point.

The Logical Fallacy of Generalization from Fictional Evidence

What about marrying one? or having children with it (or should I type "her")?

Depends. What does the robot identify as?

Priming and Contamination

Same here. I had to look at the HTML source for the color code: #ff3300. But I figured that it wasn't green before I looked, because I guess I had been primed to expect it not to be the case. At least I think I did.

Lonely Dissent

I would imagine (and, I see poke below has mentioned this off-hand) that people are...not that interesting.

Oh, I am sure you are. Like, personally. But, really, would you want to resurrect a random 1850s person? Aside from kitsch or perhaps historical interests (if they were an interesting or influential personality), there are certainly better ways to spend your time.

It's not going to be like Encino Man, I am pretty sure.

Edit: I don't think I agree...but I'm not sure yet.

2[anonymous]9yThree years later reply: People who chose cryonics are very likely to be unusual people, as evidenced by their choosing cryonics. I also dispute your premise, on the grounds that people aren't complete jerks.
0Ender11yActually, I think that historians would love to wake up random people from way back when, whether or not they were famous or influential at the time.
0Ender11yActually, I think that historians would love to wake up random people from way back when, whether or not they were famous or influential at the time
0Ender11yActually, I think that historians would love to wake up random people from way back when, whether or not they were famous or influential at the time
0Ender11yActually, I think that historians would love to wake up random people from way back when, whether or not they were famous or influential at the time.
0Ender11yActually, I think that historians would love to wake up random people from way back when, whether or not they were famous or influential at the time.

Actually, I think that historians would love to wake up random people from way back when, whether or not they were famous at the time.

Guardians of the Gene Pool

Were/Are you joking? Seriously. I don't understand how one can own a word. Did I miss something?

I'm not disagreeing that it might involve activism (though I would define activism quite broadly), but how can one "own" a word?

Reductive Reference

"Anyways, I still hold that you can only define reductionism up to point after which you are just wasting time."

I agree that we might be wasting time. But what do you mean "up to a point"?

The flaw isn't in the idea, but rather in the way we express it. It appears like we're looking for the right analogy. I don't know if that's going to work. But I guess I could try anyway.

I think it might be more like a computer. We don't function at a "machine code" or even an "assembly language" level; rather, it's more like we're a scripting language on the operating system.

Of course, that's imperfect, too.

Initiation Ceremony

Because, as my daughter learned the other day, that still hurts. Also, the person could have been a non- or pre-op transsexual woman (leaving out other variants merely for brevity).

Maybe a different experimental method...

Edit: See also: Tim_Tayler's comment above re: hidden prior.

2wedrifid11yMy understanding is that while the pain is not all that different in degree it is different in nature. I haven't tested it but I suspect that taking a suitable sample would allow you to generate a reliable heuristic for differentiation. Yes, different tests are likely required for determining either private self concept or publicly acknowledged identity than those that determine physical characteristics.
Where to Draw the Boundary?

Sharks are considered fish of a certain type, in that they have a "full cartilaginous skeleton," at least per Wikipedia. Contrast with bony fish (e.g., tuna, catfish). Also considered fish are stingrays and such.

This is more of a tangent than a response:

I would suppose that because we are more specific about the shark subset, we can safely make more assumptions on it. I've been told always that sharks were cold-blooded. According to that Wikipedia article, that is a false belief; most sharks are but some are not.

I would agree that it is a tran... (read more)

3po8crg10yFish, like reptiles are paraphyletic. The cladistic revolutionaries want to abolish the category altogether, or reduce it to just the ray-finned fishes - excluding coelacanths, lungfish, the cartilaginous fish (sharks, rays, skates and chimaeras), and the cyclostomes (hagfish and lampreys). The result is that some sources will use fish as equivalent to the monophyletic group actinopterygii and others use the traditional polyphyletic pisces. Anytime you see a generalisation about fish that isn't true of sharks, there's a good chance that the original source was using fish to mean actinopterygii. In many ways, it's a more useful classification - 96% of fish species are in actinopterygii, and there is an awful lot of anatomy that is shared by the actinopterygii but not by the rest of the fish. If you're going to exclude cetaceans because they have more in common with land animals than with actinopterygii then why not exclude lungfish and coelacanths for the same reason?
Chaotic Inversion

[Citation Needed]

Knowing I am but one data point, I do not see myself as anything like an ADD personality, though I do see myself as creative (though not necessarily interesting). I can sit and work at a story for hours. This, unfortunately, is not the most efficient way to do things because I rarely have those kind of blocks of time.

I have no suggestions for anyone; for some reason I have the ability to clear my mind and work. I must confess that I have not bothered to find out why.

Say Not "Complexity"

Wouldn't the AI have to discover that it is something to be solved, first? Give a kid such a puzzle and she's likelier to put it in her mouth then even try.

Unless I'm being obtuse.

-1bigjeff511yCuriosity could be built-in, I don't see the problem with that. It seems to be built-in for humans - we don't learn to be curious, though we can learn not to be.
4NickiH11yYou're right, and I think that this is a mistake a lot of people make when thinking about AI - they assume that the fact that they're intelligent means they also know a lot. Like the child, their specific knowledge (such as the fact that there is something to solve), is something they have to learn, or be taught, over time.
Attention Lurkers: Please say hi

Just registered to say hi. So, "Hi."

I'm a technical writer/ultra-part-time grad student at Northern Illinois University in Rhetoric & Professional Writing (working on my thesis so slowly). I also write stories and other such things.

Followed the wave from Overcoming Bias.