Joseph_Hertzlinger

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Three Worlds Decide (5/8)

I'm surprised the Super Happy People are willing to allow pre-sentient Baby Eaters to be eaten. Since they do not distinguish between DNA and synaptic activity, they might regard the process of growing a brain as a type of thought and that beings with growing brains are thus sentient.

Building Weirdtopia

Food Weirdtopia: We see the same type of taboos or enthusiasms that we see about sex in this world. The Catholic Church declares that artificial sweeteners are a perversion; there are pro-starvation articles at feministing; the Republican Vice-Presidential candidate weighs 300 pounds...

Qualitative Strategies of Friendliness

How does a nation ensure that in several generations its government will pursue current values.

I'm reminded of the openining of Leviathan, which sounds like it's about AI, but is actually about government: "For what is the heart, but a spring; and the nerves, but so many strings; and the joints, but so many wheels, giving motion to the whole body, such as was intended by the Artificer? Art goes yet further, imitating that rational and most excellent work of Nature, man."

The things that can go wrong with an AI (behaving in accordance with the rules as written instead of the will of the designer) even resemble things that can go wrong in a legal system.

Quantum Mechanics and Personal Identity

On the other hand, the "no-cloning" theorem might imply that exact duplicates cannot be created.

Einstein's Speed

If we take a statistical analysis of the scientists who tried using Einstein's method, what percentage would have been right? Aristotle was mentioned earlier. You can make a case that Marx and Freud tried using a similar style of reasoning without much success.

Heat vs. Motion

Of course it's possible to have heat that's unrelated to molecular motion. Just consider frozen mustard or red peppers.

Question: How much of today's psychology will look to future scientists like attempts to measure the hotness of jalapeno peppers by thermometers?

The Allais Paradox

This may be related to the phenomenon of overconfident probability estimates. I would not be surprised to find that people who claim a 97% certainty have a real 90% probability of being right. Maybe someone who hears there's 1 chance in 34 of winning nothing interprets that as coming from an overconfident estimator whereas the 34% and 33% probabilities are taken at face value.

On the other hand, the overconfidence detector seems to stop working when faced with asserted certainty.

The Amazing Virgin Pregnancy

One way to look at the Christmas story is to compare it to another story (Easter) in the same religion. The Easter story looks coherent even when the serial numbers are filed off. The experiment was done by C. S. Lewis, who was able to write a coherent story (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe) that included a disguised version of the Easter story. As far as I know, that hasn't been done for Christmas. This makes the Christmas story look less coherent.

Guardians of the Gene Pool

There are, of course, many different future visions that could be guarded.

Guardians of the Gene Pool

The example of Communism shows that being future-oriented will not always eliminate the "Guardians of Truth" syndrome. Sometimes it will produce people who guard a specific view of the future.

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