Good point.. Easy to imagine a lot of biologically good designs getting left unexpressed because the first move is less optimal.
Hmm, I agree, except for the last part.
Blindly trying (what genetic mixing & mutating does) it like poorly guided forecasting. (Good simulation engineers or chess players somehow "see" the space of likely moves, bad ones just try a lot) and the species doesn't select, but the environment does.
I need to go read "evolve to extinction."
The world we find ourselves in would never expect the doctor to cut the guy up. Few people are doing that consequentialist math. Well, maybe a few long thinkers on this site. So, the supposed long view as reason for not doing it is baloney. I think on that basis alone the experiment fails to come up recommending the conventional behavior it's trying to rationalize.
Well, they could EVOLVE that reticence for perfectly good reasons. I'll dare in this context to suggest that evolution IS intelligence. Have you heard of thought as an act of simulating action and forecasting the results? Is that not what evolution does, only the simulations are real, and the best chess moves "selected?"
a species thereby exhibits meta-intelligence, no?
"philosophy tries... to agree with our ...intuition..."? Bravo! See, I think that's crazy. Or if it's right, it means we're stipulating the intuition in the first place. Surely that's wrong? Or at least, we can look back in time to see "obvious" moral postulates we no longer agree with. In science we come up with a theory and then test it in the wind tunnel or something. In philosophy, is our reference standard kilogram just an intuition? That's unsatisfying!
I had fun with friends recently considering the trolley problem from a perspective of INaction. When it was an act of volition, even (say) just a warning shout, they (we) felt less compelled to let the fat man live. (He was already on the track and would have to be warned off, get it?) It seems we are responsible for what we do, not so much for what we elect NOT to do. Since the consequences are the same, it seems wrong that there is a perceptive difference. This highlights, I suppose the author's presumed contention (consequentialism generally) that the... (read more)
Your doctor with 5 organs strikes me as Vizzini's princess bride dilemma, "I am not a great fool, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you."
So it goes, calculating I know you know I know unto silliness. Consequentialists I've recently heard lecturing went to great lengths, as you did, to rationalize what they 'knew" to be right. Can you deny it? The GOAL of the example was to show that "right thinking" consequentialists would come up with the same thing all our reptile brains are telling us to do.
When you throw a ball... (read more)
Surprised not to find Pascal's wager linked to this discussion since he faced the same crisis of belief. It's well known he chose to believe because of the enormous (inf?) rewards if that turned out to be right, so he was arguably hedging his bets.
It's less well known that he understood it (coerced belief for expediency's sake) to be something that would be obvious to omniscient God, so it wasn't enough to choose to believe, but rather he actually Had To. To this end he hoped that practice would make perfect and I think died worrying about it. this is d... (read more)
For reasons I perhaps don't fully understand this, and threads like it are unsettling to me. Doesn't high status confer the ability (and possibly duty, in some contexts) to treat others better, to carry their pack so to speak? Further, acting high status isn't necessary at all if you actually have it (it being the underlying competence status (supposedly, ideally) signifies. I am a high status athlete (in a tiny, circumscribed world) and in social situations try to signify humility, so others won't feel bad. They can't keep up, and if made to feel so, ... (read more)
Most excellent. Now, glasshoppah, you are ready to lift the bowl of very hot red coals. Try this
Nice example of Bliks in action. Literature is powered by such dramas, where people's individual mindset shifts the spectrum of every photon right or left of the reader, or the other protagonists, and the tragedy is that too few rays of light fall true, through a clear eye.
Ferris I suppose has seceded, too advanced to bother with the various foolish repercussions she knows will ring through the world under her feet from this new data. That's fine, she's too far ahead to go back anyway. ()
I worry that we (denizens of this website) are too confident that OU... (read more)
You correctly decry popularity as a non-rational measure of veracity, but to the extent that it expresses a sort of straw poll, it may be a good indicator anyway. The idea of expert futures markets comes to mind.
My point is related: is it not also a fallacy to assert it's GOT to be simple? That's awful close to demanding (even believing?) something's true because it ought to be, because we want it so bad. Occam's razor has worked like a champ all these years but inference is risky and maybe now, we find ourselves confronted with some hard digging. I too hope some crystalline simplification will make everything make sense, but I don't think we've a right to expect that, or should. What you and I want doesn't matter.
I suggest you pay me $50 for each week you don't get and hold a job. Else, avoid paying me by getting one, and save yourself 6mo x 4wk/mo x $50 -$100 = $400! Wooo! What a deal for us both, eh?
Saying there are white arts as well as dark ones is conceding the point, isn't it? One should be allowed to be persuasive as well as right, and sometimes just being right isn't enough, especially if the audience is judging the surface appeal of an argument (and maybe even accepting it or not!) prior to digging into it's meat. In such situations, attractive wrapping isn't just pretty, it's a prerequisite. So, I love your idea of inventing a protocol for DAtDA.
The neurology of human brains and the architecture of modern control systems are remarkably similar, with layers of feedback, and adaptive modelling of the problem space, in addition to the usual dogged iron filing approach to goal seeking. I have worked on a control systems which, as they add (even minor) complexity at higher layers of abstraction, take on eerie behaviors that seem intelligent, within their own small fields of expertise. I don't personally think we'll find anything different or ineffable or more, when we finally understand intelligence, ... (read more)
Jonathan, I'll try again, with less flair...My comments were to the original post, which asks if "dark arts" are justified and I say simply, yes. I think lots of otherwise very smart people who like to communicate with bare logic and none of the cultural niceties of linguistic foreplay can actually alienate the people they hope to persuade. You may have just done that, assuming you were trying to persuade me of something.
Re: losing the audience that demands respect, firstly I was trying to be illustrative in a funny, not disrespectful way, and ... (read more)
I guess I'm for persuasion, think the ends justify in this case. Otherwise you're all bringing knives to a gunfight and crying foul when you get shot down. Could there be a degree of "sour grapes" here resulting from finding one's self inexplicably unpersuasive next to a velvet tongued dummy? Are we sure we eschew the tactics of rhetoric because they're wrong? Is it even fair to describe "dark arts" as wrong?
I say rather that speech is meant to be persuasive. Better speech would then be more persuasive. As such persuasion backed by t... (read more)
Hi! Vectored here by Robin who's thankfully trolling for new chumps and recommending initial items to read. I note the Wiki would be an awesome place for some help, and may attempt to put up a page there: NoobDiscoveringLessWrongLeavesBreadcrumbs, or something like that.
My immediate interest is argument: how can we disagree? 1+1=2. Can't that be extrapolated to many things. I have been so happy to see a non-cocky (if prideful) attitude in the first several posts that I have great hopes for what I may learn here. We have to remember ignorance is an imp... (read more)
I love your thesis and metaphor, that the goal is for us all jointly to become rational, seek, and find truth. But I do not "respect the opinions of enough others." I have political/scientific disagreements so deep and frequent that I frequently just hide them and. worry. I resonated best with your penultimate sentence: "humanity's vast stunning cluelessness" does seem to be the problem. Has someone written on the consequences of taking over the world? The human genome, presumptively adapted to forward it's best interests in a co... (read more)
"The conservatism of a religion - it's orthodoxy - is the inert coagulum of a once highly reactive sap." -Eric Hoffer, the True Believer
Love your post: religion as virulent namb-shub. See also Snow Crash by Stephenson.
I love this site. Found it when looking at a piece of crackpot science on the internet and, wondering, typed "crackpot" into google. I am trying to argue with someone who's my nemesis in most every way, and I'm trying to do it honestly. I feel his vested interest in the preferred answer vastly biases his judgment & wonder what biases do I have, and how did they get there. You seem to address a key one I liken to tree roots, growing in deep and steadfast wherever you first happen to fall, whether it's good ground or not.
Not unlike that analogy, I landed here first, on your post, and found it very good ground indeed.
Wecome to LessWrong!
If you want another couple threads to start exploring, one very good starting place is What Do We Mean By Rationality? and its links; then there is the massive collection of posts accumulated in the Sequences which you can pick over for interesting nuggets. A lot of posts (and comments!) will have links back to related material, both at the top and throughout the text.