My studies are in Philosophy (I am a graduate of the University of Essex), and Ι work as a literary translator (English to Greek). Published translations of mine include works by E.A. Poe, R.L. Stevenson and H.P. Lovecraft. I sometimes post articles at


I agree. Although my question was not whether 3d is real/independent of the observer. I was wondering why for us it had to be specifically 3d instead of something else.

For all we know, maybe "3d" isn't 3d either, in that any way of viewing things would end up seeming to be 3d. In a set system, with known axioms, examined from the outside, 3d just follows 2d. But if as an observer you are 3d-based, it doesn't have to follow that this is a progression from 2d at all and it might just be a different system.

About a local variation of Rock-Paper-Scissors and how it self-negated its own problematic dynamic

You are confusing "reason to choose" (which is obviously not there; optimal strategy is trivial to find) with "happens to be chosen". Ie you are looking at what is said from an angle which isn't crucial to the point.

Everyone is aware that scissors is not be chosen at any time if the player has correctly evaluated the dynamic. Try asking a non-sentence in a formal logic system to stop existing cause it evaluated the dynamic, and you'll get why your point is not sensible.

About a local variation of Rock-Paper-Scissors and how it self-negated its own problematic dynamic

Thank you, I will have a look!

My own interest in recollecting this variation (an actual thing, from my childhood years) is that intuitively it seems to me that this type of limited setting may be enough so that the inherent dynamic of 'new player will go for the less than optimal strategy', and the periodic ripple effect it creates, can (be made to) mimic some elements of a formal logic system, namely the interactions of non-sentences with sentences.

So I posted this as a possible trigger for more reflection, not for establishing the trivial (optimal strategy in this corrupted variation of the game) ^_^

About a local variation of Rock-Paper-Scissors and how it self-negated its own problematic dynamic

Edit (I rewrote this reply, cause it was too vague in the original :) )


Very correct in regards to every player actually having identified this (indeed, if all players are aware of the new balance, they will pick up that glue is a better type of scissors so scissors should not be picked). But imagine a player comes in and hasn't picked up this identity, while (for different reasons) they have picked up an aversion to choose rock from previous players. Then scissors still has a chance to win (against paper), and effectively rock is largely out, so the triplet scissors-paper-glue has glue as the permanent winner. This in turn (after a couple of games) is picked up and stabilizes the game as having three options for all (scissors no longer chosen), until a new player who is unaware joins.

Essentially the dynamic of the 4-choice game allows for periodic returns to a 3-choice, which is what can be used to trigger ongoing corrections to other systems.

Reply to Paul Christiano on Inaccessible Information

" Presumably the machine learning model has in some sense discovered Newtonian mechanics using the training data we fed it, since this is surely the most compact way to predict the position of the planets far into the future. "

To me, this seems to be an entirely unrealistic presumption (also true for any of its parallels; not just when it is strictly about the position of planets). Even the claim that NM is "surely the most compact [...]" is questionable, given that obviously we know from history that there had been models able to predict just the position of stars since ancient times, and in this hypothetical situation where we somehow have knowledge of the position of planets (maybe through developments in telescopic technology) there is no reason to assume analogous models with the ancient ones with stars couldn't apply, thus NM would not be specifically needed to be part of what the machine was calculating.

Furthermore, I have some issue with the author's sense that the machine calculating something is somehow calculating it in a manner which inherently allows for the calculation to be translatable in many ways. While a human thinker inevitably thinks in ways which are open to translation and adaptation, this is true because as humans we do not think in a set way: any thinking pattern or collections of such patterns can - in theory - consist of a vast number of different neural connections and variations. Only as a finished mental product can it seem to have a very set meaning. For example, if we ask a child if their food was nice, they may say "yes, it was", and we would have that statement as something meaning something set, but we would never actually be aware of the set neural coding of that reply, for the simple reason that there isn't just one.

For a machine, on the other hand, a calculation is inherently an output on a non-translatable, set basis. Which is another way of saying that the machine does not think. This problem isn't likely to be solved by just coding a machine in such a way that it could have many different possible "connections" when its output would be the same, cause with humans this happens naturally, and one can suspect that human thinking itself is in a way just a byproduct of something not tied to actual thinking but the sense of existence. Which is, again, another way of saying that a machine is not alive. Personally, I think AI in the way it is currently imagined, is not possible. Perhaps some hybrid of machine-dna may produce a type of AI, but it would again be due to the DNA forcing a sense of existence and it would still take very impressive work to use that to advance Ai itself; I think it can be used to study DNA itself, though, through the machine's interaction with it.

Thank you all for your answers... I will be taking this piece out, cause ultimately it isn't anything good :)

Cthulhu ^_^

Well, this is only an introductory part. The glyphs are to be described later, and they stand for the meaning of the intense emotion. Much like the idol symbolizes the emotion as a whole, the glyphs on it are specks which may be analyzed.

If I may, to address both yours and MakoYass gist of the replies:

-I do feel that the summation of the excerpt is not loyal to the idea I had - which, to be sure, means I did fail, cause I cannot ask of the reader to see just what I aimed. That said, my own summation would be as follows:

1) vengeful acts seem to be usually not very analyzed, particularly by their agents

2) even in the case of calculative agents, this doesn't change in the crucial part (the calculative agent still won't examine the actual emotion, it is just that in their case they are more able to distance themselves from it).

The piece would then move on to examining whether the emotion which tends to lead to vengeful action (in cases where it is potent enough; eg to lead to murder in reciprocation) was actually tied to the event which triggered it; and therefore to examine if such an agent is actually negating the source of injury. The main idea is that no, it isn't much tied, but it is felt as tied and due to lack of ability to analyze the mental phenomenon it is usually the case that seeking to just negate the idol of it (the emotion) suffices here for the individual.

Emotions can serve as a block. The metaphor of the idol is tied to the one about the barrier mentioned earlier on. The underlying issue, however, is that if you are presented with an emotional wall, you would have to undertake more complicated steps to approach the matter differently; in a way, reacting to the emotion is like throwing back a ball you got into your yard, from someone who threw it behind a tall wall. But you can also try to go to the area from where it got sent to you - yet, for whatever reason or balance, apparently this was not the automatic development of this situation.

" People don't live merely to survive: we're hardwired to propagate our genes. If you cannot think abstractly and articulate your ideas well, you will have difficulty attracting a mate. People who have disabled their ability to examine themselves will be quickly eliminated from the gene pool. Hence, it seems unlikely that such an illness will occur because it goes against how natural selection has shaped us. "

I don't disagree with the gist of the above. However it is tricky to assign clear intentions to a non-human agent, assuming one views biological undercurrents as an analogue to an agent in the first place. Which brings us to:

" This reasoning seems to rely on the assumption that the mind was designed by some kind of agent. Who do you think is deciding whether it "makes sense" to allow an expansion of the ability to think? Our best theory is that cognitive expansion resulted as a series of mutations that improved the ability of our ancestors to survive. One does not need to appeal to the fact that "Day Zero illness" does not "make sense" to argue for its implausibility. It is implausible simply by the fact that it is a priori highly unlikely for any novel previously unobserved phenomenon to exist in the absence of a very strong theory that predicts it. "

If I assume such an illness can exist, it doesn't mean I can pontificate on the way in which it would be triggered. Certainly some mental illnesses seem to be more common in modern times - despite the ability to account for them and measure number of patients more efficiently. Some slightly related illnesses that do exist are those which have aphasia as a core part. Usually in pre-modern times one finds more elaborate personal accounts by poets and other authors, of such sensations or states; eg in the case of an aphasia-like state, there are two good examples, one from Baudelaire (the french poet) and his sense that he was "touched by the wing of idiocy" etc, and the very dramatic story of the deterioration of Guy De Maupassant (important story-writer), who in the end "reverted to an animal state".

However, as I noted, the hypothetical illness I wrote about is not just an individual case with elements of aphasia. Primarily my background for asking the question has been that any human is not primarily (in my view) an outward/social oriented being, but in the vast majority of cases humans are indeed social agents (due to a variety of reasons; usually having to do with clear rewards). However, below all that there is the person in their world of consciousness, as part of the greater world of the mind. It may be, therefore, that a risk can be picked up (more on by what it will be picked up later) as serious enough if it somehow attacks the inner world, that even a massive exodus from formations about anything closer to a surface (like interests in the external world) may occur. In such case, assuming it is possible, it would be easier to cause not a full erasure of memories or skills, but a negation of the ability to stabilize them, as briefly presented in the definition of the new illness in the OP.

As for your point about all this having to allow for the mind being created by an agent - no, that isn't so. I certainly have no reason to think the mind was created as a set work, nor (of course) that it existed a priori or may be sensed as existing a priori even figuratively. The way in which it developed (mutations etc) doesn't by itself have to cancel the possibility of a non-yet seen illness appearing. After all, as you agreed, not much of the final (such a thing cannot even exist) form of a mind can manifest, given this system of connections cannot exhaust all its possible rearrangements during the person's lifetime (likely not even if the person could live for 1000 years). I do approach this from a more literary (which, sadly, at times means even less literal...) point of view, given literature and philosophy is where my interests and studies lie.

I should also give at least one parallel (it won't be perfect, and it may lead to problems as well...) with a procedure which allows for a new development on a larger scale, while it wasn't picked up individually up to then. Given that if something like the DZI would exist, it wouldn't have been picked up before, it can be said that what was doing the picking-up or noticing certainly would not act on the same level as an individual (eg some individual sufferer or some aphasia-like condition). This would perhaps be possible, if the complexity of both the trigger and the formations which pick up the trigger were again far larger. In effect, in my hypothetical, the general idea was that some core pattern or patterns - not created by any agent; not conscious and not accounted for - does exist, which would signal due to special relation to the unconscious mind some particular and grave danger. Such patterns do not even have to be intelligible to an individual in the first place. In that, perhaps, it deteriorates somewhat to the realm of fiction; yet most complicated patterns aren't making a full impression on someone who views them. In fact we can be said to be surrounded by patterns which are not picked up, due to our position or lack of related interest to notice. Maybe - that is the hypothesis - a slight difference will lead to the unintended formation of a curious pattern which happens to be related not to the thinker but to some scheme in the mental world. After all - here comes the parallel - it isn't rare to see the opposite happen, for humans project math formations into external objects (eg the fibonacci and other φ related patterns, on shells etc). If we can project math onto the external world (which isn't anthropic or mathematical; math is not cosmic, in my view), why shouldn't some formation there present us with other elements and balances of our own mental world?

That such would be catastrophic, or cataclysmic, is just an assumption.

" The idea that consciousness is an phenomenon unrelated to brain structure and neural connections, is not helpful" is something I agree with. My question meant to have you argue in what way this hypothesis prerequisites a duallistic view.

Load More