All of HopefullyCreative's Comments + Replies

I have to admit that I greatly enjoyed this topic because it introduced me to new concepts. When I clicked on this discussion I hadn't a clue what Neo-Reactionaries were. I knew what a political reactionary is but I hadn't a clue about this particular movement.

The thing that I have found fascinating is the fundamental concept of the movement (and please correct me if I am wrong) is that they want a way out. That the current system is horribly flawed, eventually doomed and that they want to strike a new deal that would fix things once and for all. The reco... (read more)

Why do ancaps and ancaps even argue? The only way I can see anarcho communism being realised is via reform from contemporary society to increasingly libertarian then anarcho capitalist society. Then, potentially, but unlikely, a voluntarist society, then unlikely, but also potentially, an anarchocommunist society.
"God" is a more appropriate name.

I tend to consider Exit and We Want a King as different theories.

Except that they somehow believe no democracy can ever accomplish this goal.

The problem is that you cannot be quite absolutely certain that someone will in fact fail. You can express any likelihood of them amounting to anything other than "normal" or "average" is frighteningly small, but that's not quite the same as an absolute fact that they will not succeed ever, nor does any of this mean that the effort to reach their goal on some level wouldn't make them happy even if they never succeed. The effort to reach that goal also can be also very socially and economically productive.

I think the better advice is &q... (read more)

I think we have a misunderstanding. My post didn't argue against all big ambitions, see the part about positive-sum games. Also, even if it's good to try risky things, that doesn't mean it's good to be biased about your chances. The post pointed out specific biases, like survivorship bias or sunk cost fallacy, that lead people to take more risks than they would choose to take if they saw things clearly.

The problem is what is "correct thinking"? Is "correct" telling people to never try? Is "correct" sticking to safe, sure bets always? Is correct giving up on something because the challenge will be great and the odds long? What kind of world would we live in if everyone took that mentality? I would argue that ambition is powerful, it shapes this world and builds monumental things. Its irrational to expect people to be completely rational, that can only result in depression, stagnation and death. This all does remind me of a st... (read more)

It's a fair point that many important changes in our world were caused by people who took big risks. But I have a hard time believing that it was the best way to achieve these changes. If a million people stayed home instead of taking a one-in-a-million chance each, who knows how much good they could do at home? Probably more than one lucky person could achieve. And if some risky actions genuinely lead to collective benefit, then in a saner world some people would still take these risks, because others would invest in them appropriately. That's all speculative, though, because we don't live in such a world. Here and now, the purpose of my post is to benefit the person reading it, not set them up for almost certain failure because it might benefit others. I think that's the right attitude when giving advice.

Statement Retratcted: I should sit and think on this a bit more just to be sure I am posing the correct response.

[This comment is no longer endorsed by its author]Reply

Human alteration certainly wont magically improve human being's mental capabilities all on their own. That's why I put the qualifier that education "is and will be the primary means of improving the human mind"

I was point out when faced with an artificial intelligence that can continually upgrade itself the only way the human mind can compete is to upgrade as well. At some point current human physical limitations will be to limiting and human beings will fall to the wayside of uselessness in the face of artificial intelligence.

A weapon is no more than a mere tool. It is a thing that when controlled and used properly magnifies the force that the user is capable of. Due to this relationship I point out that an AGI that is subservient to man is not a weapon, for a weapon is a tool with which to do violence, that is physical force upon another. Instead an AGI is a tool that can be transformed into many types of tools. A possible tool that it can be transformed into is in fact a weapon, however as I have pointed out that does not mean that the AGI will always be a weapon.

Power is ne... (read more)

My nightmare was a concept of how things would rationally likely to happen. Not how they ideally would happen. I had envisioned an AGI that was subservient to us and was everything that mankind hopes for. However, I also took into account human sentiment which would not tolerate the AGI simply taking nuclear weapons away, or really the AGI forcing us to do anything.

As soon as the AGI makes any visible move to command and control people the population of the world would scream out about the AGI trying to "enslave" humanity. Efforts to destroy the machine would happen almost instantly.

Human sentiment and politics need always be taken into account.

What exactly the AGI will be subservient to? A government? Why wouldn't it tell the AGI to kill all its enemies and make sure no challenges to this government's power ever arise? A slave AGI is a weapon and will be used as such. The common assumption on LW is that after a point the humanity will not be able to directly control an AGI (in the sense of telling it what to do) and will have to, essentially, surrender its sovereignty to it. That is exactly the reason why so much attention is paid to ensuring that this AGI will be "friendly".

Education can allow someone access to a platform from which to stand upon that is certain. I was unconcerned because even if you spend thirty years educating someone they are still limited by their own intelligence when it comes to discovery, creativity, and decision making.

Spending time studying philosophy has greatly improved my ability to understand logic structures and has helped me make better decisions. However there are still limits set upon me by my own biological design. More than that, I am limited with how much education I can receive and still... (read more)

The point is not about educating faster but educating better. You also can't magically solve problems with genetic engineering or cybertech. When I speak about education I don't mean "getting a college degree" I speak about actual learning. About improving structures of reasoning. Hands on experience is also providing education.

The existence of a super intelligent AGI would not somehow magic the knowledge of nuclear ordinance out of existence, nor would that AGI magically make the massive stockpiles of currently existing ordinance disappear. Getting governments to destroy those stockpiles for the foreseeable future is a political impossibility. The existence of a grand AGI doesn't change the nature of humanity, nor does it change how politics work.

This goes the same with the rich and the working classes, the existence of a super intelligent AGI does not mean that the world will m... (read more)

I think most people here envision a full-blown AGI as being in control and not constrained by politics. If a government were to refuse to surrender its nuclear-weapons stockpile, the AGI would tell it "You're not responsible enough to play with such dangerous toys, silly" and just take it away.

You actually hit the nail on the head in terms of understanding the AGI I was referencing.

I thought about problems such as why would a firm researching crop engineering to solve world hunger bother with paying a full and very expensive staff? Wouldn't an AGI that not only crunches the numbers but manages mobile platforms for physical experimentation be more cost effective? The AGI would be smarter and run around the clock testing, postulating and experimenting. Researchers would quickly find themselves out of a job if the ideal AGI were born for this purp... (read more)

I had to laugh at your conclusion. The implementation is the most enjoyable part. "How can I dumb this amazing idea down to the most basic understandable levels so it can be applied?" Sometimes you come up with a solution only to have a feverish fit of maddening genius weeks later finding a BETTER solution.

In my first foray into robotics I needed to write a radio positioning program/system for the little guys so they would all know where they were not globally but relative to each other and the work site. I was completely unable to find the math... (read more)

I had drawn up some rather detailed ideas for an atomic powered future: The idea was to solve two major problems. The first was the inherent risk of an over pressure causing such a power plant to explode. The second problem to solve was the looming water shortage facing many nations.

The idea was a power plant that used internal sterling technology so as to operate at atmospheric pressures. Reinforcing this idea was basically a design for the reactor to "entomb" itself if it reached temperatures high enough to melt its shell. The top of the sterli... (read more)

I certainly liked this post for the fact that you noticed that the AGI would probably figure out all the pros and cons for us. I did however figure it would be enjoyable for us in our world that currently lacks any AGI to discuss them though :).

Anyway I cannot really relate with the desired goal for an AGI. I much rather do an eternity in hell with all its cognitive stimulation than rot in "heaven". Look at our experiences with the elderly that we resign to homes where their minds literally rot from lack of use.

I am merely pointing out the horr... (read more)

What I was fundamentally wondering with the above post was the relationship of developmental education and eventual I.Q. Such as given identical genetic characteristics would heightened mental stimulation during early brain development greatly improve the I.Q. over the control?

Suppose we created an AGI the greatest mind ever conceived and we created it to solve humanities greatest problems. An ideal methodology for the AGI to do this would to ask for factories to produce physical components to copy itself over and over. The AGI then networks its copies all over the world creating a global mind and then generates a hoard of "mobile platforms" from which to observe, study and experiment with the world for its designed purpose.

The "robbery" is not intentional, its not intending to make mankind meaningless. The ... (read more)

I don't disagree with you- this would, indeed, be a sad fate for humanity, and certainly a failed utopia. But the failing here is not inherent to the idea of an AGI that takes action on its own to improve humanity- it's of one that doesn't do what we actually want it to do, a failure to actually achieve friendliness. Speaking of what we actually want, I want something more like what's hinted at in the fun theory sequence than one that only slowly improves humanity over decades, which seems to be what you're talking about here. (Tell me if I misunderstood, of course.)

That's more or less what I stated was the only solution to the problem of finding meaning in a world with such an AGI. This really all comes down to the purpose of the AGI in the first place. w

OK, so the second half of your post discussing the pros and cons of mechanical and biological modification assumes a world without AGI? Otherwise, the endeavor is useless because the AGI could simply figure it out for us. My primary purpose of AGI: to create a perpetual state of bliss for all current humans (maybe future generations and other sentient beings as well, but that's a longer discussion). I'll trade "creative glorious work" for Heaven any day of the week. Even if you require the satisfaction from working to achieve bliss, the AGI can oblige you.

This is a statement that is deeper than it first appears. It actually poses the question, are the current limits on human intelligence due to the human being's genetic design or is it due to poor education?

As in are I.Q. limitations as we observe them due to lack of education?

Of course education is already improving. What is at issue is eventually we will have a world populated with magnificent artificial intelligences that make us look stupid. Its highly probable that our minds will have physical limits well below the sea of intelligence we are about to... (read more)

Focusing on IQ even misses the point. Most bad decisions that humans make are not due to low IQ but do to insufficient knowledge or bad mental habits. CFAR is focuses on education that allows people to make better decisions but it doesn't focus on increasing IQ. Making better decisions is not about keeping the decision making methods the same but turning up the IQ knob.
Education can't make dumb people smart, but it can work wonders for naturally smart people. The other day I suggested that if we had to put a badly run country into receivership and straighten it out, I would pick North Korea because of the natural experiment that has happened on that peninsula. Their cousins to the south show that the extended Korean tribe has the genetic goods to benefit from the investment.

I long pondered on the concepts above. I had come up with the conclusion "Every movement needs a poet." In your discussion Jesus was one such poet. Its one thing to issue a command to a man's mind, it is quite another altogether to issue a command to a man's soul.

You used examples of revolutionary America, lets look at the details of that a bit more. We had a combination of excellent leaders leading up to that war all of them experts in the field of politics, including George Washington (whom claimed he didn't want the post of commander of the c... (read more)

Except Paul corrupted and coopted Jesus' message, radically transforming the Christian faith into something entirely foreign, indeed unrecognizable to Jesus' direct disciples. I'm not sure Jesus would have wanted, much less needed that.
I called it "Every Paul needs a Jesus" rather than "Every Jesus needs a Paul". My thesis is that Jesus had something in mind, and Paul (and some others; when I say "Paul" I'm being ambiguous about whether I mean Paul-the-person or Paul-the-collection-of-authors-who-wrote-the-books-ascribed-to-Paul) came along, took what Jesus had started, and built something else out of it. I don't see Paul as faithfully continuing Jesus' program. He might have meant to, but that wasn't the result. Though the larger deviations from Jesus' message, what we think of today as Christianity's institutionalized hypocrisy (e.g., caring more about homosexuality than poverty or cruelty), came later, after Paul.

Actually I argue that there was less change in the 1930's than most people realize. Anti Semitism goes back in Germany for centuries. This is a trend going back to the black death when whole Jewish communities were wiped out. This sentiment remained strong even in the 1930's.

Further, the Nazi party was not expressing anything the German people had not already had a connection with. An example is that the Nazi party expressed the need for an autocratic central figure or group to command and lead the nation. Germany's experience with democracy was fresh and... (read more)

Antisemitism was neither central for Hitler getting power nor was pre-1930 antisemitism much different in Germany then elsewhere in Europe.
That's a VERY low bar :-) No, the moral compass in Germany in the 1930s did not rotate 180 degrees -- for that you usually need to kill a lot of people (see bolsheviks and such). But your scenario with which you started was transhumanism -- it does not require major surgery on the society's moral compass either. The magnitude of change is probably comparable to what Germany did in the 30s...

So supposing my objective is to successfully express the pro-transhumanism cause in the government. We have already discussed "Is it possible to start a new party along these lines?" We have recognized because transhumanism even accepted by the populous is a "lesser virtue" therefore if it the central virtue of said new party the new party will remain a minor actor on the political scene. When viewing the political situation without bias as a pragmatic man the question then arises "can I subvert a major party to my ends?"

We r... (read more)

Look at Germany in the 1930s.

I think your not giving some basic mechanics enough credit here. Yes, many people certainly only vote for the main parties because they feel that their vote may be "wasted" on a minor party. However this poses the question "How did the main parties become the main parties anyway?" When considering how to succeed as a minor party that question should inevitably be something that one must answer.

If you look at the behavior and voting patterns of people they are actually quite unconcerned about empirical data. Instead they are concerned w... (read more)

I certainly don't disagree with your analysis, but I think I might not have been clear enough with the endgame of this potential strategy; I don't think this is a good strategy to succeed as a minor party, because no matter how virtuous you make transhumanism sound, people are always going to care more about the economy or defence. But I think you can probably find enough people who care more about transhumanism than they do about the marginal difference between the economic policy of the two main parties. So the 'transhuman' party will never get off the ground, but it may have enough power to swing a marginal seat for one of the two main parties, in exchange for agreement to vote a certain way on a certain issue. Whether or not you could parley that into a successful minor party is a much harder question!