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I recommend being wary of a point that needs to exist as part of a dialectical pair. What's orthogonal to cynicism vs. idealism. What's completely outside the set? What encompasses both? What has elements of both? What subversive idea or analytical framework is muted by discussing cynicism vs. ideal...(read more)

Although I think you're overstating and misapplying your case, Eliezer (like Robin implies, a "cynical" critique of both cynicism and idealism seems to me to yield more fruit than an idealist critique of both), I agree with Richard that cynicism is a poorer epistemological framework than skepticism....(read more)

I encourage you to do one with Koch on consciousness, free will, and zombies. Be agressive with him like you were with that AI researcher with the dreads (not deferential like you were with Aubrey de Gray. I think it'll be very useful.

"Here's an odd bias I notice among the AI and singularity crowd: a lot of us seem to only plan for science-fictional emergencies, and not for mundane ones like economic collapse. Why is that?"

One hypothesis: because the value in the planning (and this may be rational, if nontransparent) is primari...(read more)

Very good job, Eliezer. I recommend you do a BHTV tour of all the big blogging names in cryonics, life extension, and existential risk minimization. Kurzweil, Bostrom, and Hanson too, of course. They're probably asking you to do this already.

"However, if any professor out there wants to let me come in and just do a PhD in analytic philosophy - just write the thesis and defend it - then I have, for my own use, worked out a general and mathematically elegant theory of Newcomblike decision problems. I think it would make a fine PhD thesis...(read more)

His predictions were much better than I expected. Your headline is misleading given this data point.

wow there's some haters in this thread. You can tell when Caledonian feels compelled to defend Eliezer. Peter? Apt name.

Some interesting, useful stuff in this post. Minus the status-cocaine of declaring that you're smarter than Robert Aumann about his performed religious beliefs and the mechanics of his internal mental state. In that area, I think Michael Vassar's model for how nerds interpret the behavior of others ...(read more)

There's a corallary mystery category which most of you fall into: why are so few smart people fighting, even anonymously, against policy grounded in repugnancy bias that'll likely reduce their persistence odds? Where's the fight against a global ban on reproductive human cloning? Where's the fight t...(read more)