Short answer: strong AI is both possible and highly probable. That being the case we have to think about the best ways to deal, with a virtually impossible to avoid outcome of the internet. That is, at some point it basically starts to build itself. And when it does... what will it build?
Upcoming writers should try to chase trends, then step themselves a foot forwards of that trend. Current trends: interconnection, futorology, threat of conflicts that often don't realize, surveillance, and of course new years day and selfies. : )
Very interesting, I default to the same behavior. I notice it working best when I 'play in game mode' in bar situations and other highly social events where high risk/reward behavior has multiple advantages.
Other than that I seem to default about 70% of the time to a non game mode way of thinking.
What are the primary other perspective/framings you have found to be beneficial?
So recently I've been toying with a new idea. It seems that for many of us -- at least for my friends and I -- living a maximally efficient rational life is difficult as one's irrational emotions tend to get the best of us.
To overcome this I have been experimenting with living my life as if I were in a game.
Let me explain:
If I view my life as a (potentially) single shot 'spawn' in an open ended MMORPG, I seem to be able to do more high risk/high reward things with much less irrational restraint.
My first method is to set up a HUD in my head. By visualizing a simple HUD (compass of where I want to go, health meter, and symbols representing notes of goals) and then viewing day to day decisions as mere choices within a game world where I will always ultimately end up 'OK' (ie alive, able to influence the world in a small way, able to make an income to eat and sleep in comfort) I am able to force myself to increase the predicted value of high success variables (financial status, etc).
If making these high risk decisions, it seems paramount to stick to a personal policy of absolute honesty. This gives me less variables to keep in my head at any one time. By being transparent and honest with people, yet continually racking up my own pre set achievements (financial, social, etc.) I am able to move quickly through career positions, financial income levels, quality of social circle, and other variables that have a large degree of influence on one's day to day happiness scores.
By writing notes in this method I am able to make my mind process complex ideas much faster.
Has anyone experimented with similar ideas, and if so what are your outcomes?
PS I find reddit.com/r/outside very interesting for this way of thinking.
Ultimately it's just a matter of choosing to feel a certain way. Find things you really like (for me, sex and cigarettes), then just do EVERYTHING to get that in every situation you're in. Most people chase money. Break the mould. Chase something else. Realize that you can get everything you want if you know how to play the situation right. If you'd like to PM me we can discuss a 'training' programme that matches your lifestyle perfectly. (Context: I used to be a NLP trainer/dating coach)
Thats an example of one method of switching your mindset completely. Ultimately many mindsets can be imagined then enjoyed by the invividual if so chosen. Its simply a matter of self will primarily.
That's a very complicated question but I'll try to do my best to answer.
In many ancient cultures, they used two words for the mind, or for thinking, and it is still used figuratively today. "In my heart I know..."
In my opinion, in terms of expected impact on the course of life for a given subject, generally, more important than their understanding of Bayesian reasoning, is what they 'want' ... how they define themselves. Consciously, and unconsciously.
For "reasoning", no I doubt there is a better system. But since we must (or almost universally do) follow our instincts on a wide range of issues (is everyone else p-zombies? am I real? Is my chair conscious? Am I dreaming?), it is highly important, and often overlooked, that one's "presumptive model" of reality and of themselves (both strictly intertwined psychologically) should be perfected with just as much effort (if not more) as we spend perfecting our probabilistic reasoning.
Probabilities can't cover everything. Eventually you just have to make a choice as to which concept or view you believe more, and that choice changes your character, and your character changes your decisions, and your decisions are your life.
When one is confident, and subconsciously/instinctively aware that they are doing what they should be doing, thinking how they should be thinking, that their 'foundation' is solid (moral compass, goals, motivation, emotional baggage, openness to new ideas, etc.) they then can be a much more effective rationalist, and be more sure (albeit only instinctively) that they are doing the right thing when they act.
Those instinctive presumptions, and life-defining self image do have a strong quantifiable impact on the life of any human, and even a nominal understanding of rationality would allow one to realize that.
Maximise your own effectiveness. Perfect how your mind works, how you think of yourselves and others (again, instinctive opinions, gut feelings, more than conscious thought, although conscious thought is extremely important). Then when you start teaching it and filling it with data you'll make a lot less mistakes.
In a highly chaotic system like our society, small differences (e.g. a reputation in some circles as cultish) can decrease the odds of something gaining influence or acceptance incredibly.
People spend their whole lives researching sales, and any time someone is spreading an idea, sales comes into it. If you think any marketing department of a major company would accept the idea that some website likely visited by many, many, potential members discusses their organization in such a negative light, you are very mistaken. When even the regular members are discussing openly, are we getting a reputation as a cult, that is a terrible 'branding' failure.
For LW to achieve the potential most of it's members (I would assume) hope it will... yes there are consequences.
Any time a large group of potential members or future 'rationalists' (not to confuse LW with rationalism) is skeptical or inclined to disinterest in LW because they heard it had some sort of 'cultish' reputation, is a massive potential loss of people who could contribute and learn for the betterment of themselves and society as a whole.
Don't underestimate the impact of small differences when you are dealing with something as complex, and unpredictable as society and the spread of ideas.
Complete is a strong word that I should have qualified. Mastery is a better word. Control over it. Where your emotions bend to the will of your rational mind, not vice versa.
Don't limit yourself without reason. As humans we are agents of change in an incredibly complex, chaotic system (society). Mastering emotional control allows us to become much more effective agents. Someone half as smart but with twice the self control in every area can easily beat the more intelligent opponent. Not every time, but it is a massive advantage. http://scienceblogs.com/cognitivedaily/2005/12/14/high-iq-not-as-good-for-you-as/
I didn't say that it's predictable, or that it is super easy, but it's not particularly difficult and only takes a few months of commitment of a few hours a week, to bring a lifetime of reward.
I'm surprised that as a "rationalist" you suggest mastery of the emotions may not be desirable. Awareness of one's emotions, sure. But letting them dictate your actions in any way, why? Be rational.
And one without mastery of their emotional state (that is, the experiential drag of depression, or impulsive actions of rage, or hurtful actions of uncontrolled lust, etc), one is at a disadvantage in almost any situation,
I assume an educated reader will infer the massive negative social connotations of any movement or organization that has a reputation, no matter how small at this point, as being 'cultish' -- such a reputation inevitably makes achieving goals, recruiting members, etc., more difficult.
Thus being careful not to create that image is very important (or should be) to the membership of the site.
The biggest weakness, in my opinion, with purely (or almost purely) probabilistic reasoning is the fact that it cannot ultimately do away with us relying on a number of (ultimately faith/belief based) choices as to how we understand our reality.
The existence of the past and future (and within most people's reasoning systems, the understanding of these as linear) are both ultimately postulations that are generally accepted at face value, as well as the idea that consciousness/awareness arises from matter/quantum phenomena not vice versa.