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Stopping aid to Africa? It won't happen. Even people who fancy themselves rationalist still follow the Christian ethic that it's better to give something you earn to someone else than to keep it for yourself.

This ethic is irrational because to follow reason is to follow cause and effect, therefore...(read more)

Religion is possibly to blame for the idea that suspended judgment = superiority. Only God is omniscient, so only He knows things for sure, everyone else must act unsure and tentative.

Priests are allowed to pass judgment and still retain their authority, because they are the voice of God on earth....(read more)

Value is fragile - isn't that what conservatives/republicans believe? And the liberal/democrat side believe they can undermine little bits here and there of their society's value system and not have the whole thing collapse. Who is right?

Evolution (as an algorithm) doesn't work on the indestructible. Therefore all naturally-evolved beings must be fragile to some extent, and must have evolved to value protecting their fragility.

Yes, a designed life form can have paper clip values, but I don't think we'll encounter any naturally occ...(read more)

How are we meant to interpret the name? At first blush, I would take it to mean "Posts here are less wrong than average, but still wrong," which is not really encouraging for potential posters...

Also a workaround for anonymous posting might be to make an actual account called "anonymous" and publi...(read more)

There were a number of anti-Bush comments in that video. Whatever you thought of him, there were no terrorist attacks for 7 years. Let's hope Obama can beat that record.

"Why does anything exist in the first place?" or "Why do I find myself in a universe giving rise to experiences that are ordered rather than chaotic?"

So... is cryonics about wanting to see the future, or is it about going to the future to learn the answers to all the "big questions?"

To those who...(read more)

The idea of making a mind-design n-space by putting various attributes on the axis, such as humorous/non-humorous, conceptual/perceptual/sensual, etc. -- how much does this tell us about the real possibilites?

What I mean is, for a thing to be possible, there must be some combination of atoms that ...(read more)

But if the brain does not work by magic (of course), then insight does not either. Genius is 99% perspiration, 10,000 failed lightbulbs and all that...

I think the kind of experimental approach Jed Harris was talking about yesterday is where AI will eventually come from. Some researcher who has 10...(read more)

Eliezer, I'm sure if you complete your friendly AI design, there will be multiple honorary PhDs to follow.