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Epistemic vs. Instrumental Rationality: Approximations

Why does it sound more like 1 than .5? If I believed the probability of my home getting struck by a meteorite was as high as .5, I would definitely make preparations.

What's in a name? That which we call a rationalist…

That sounds like someone who rationalizes, which is something we should be avoiding.

It's weird that trying to rationalize something can go against rationality, but that's English for you.

Edit: I assume this was downvoted so heavily because I failed do the constructive thing by providing a suggestion of my own. Sorry about that.

How about something based on the name of the site? LWite, LWer, LWan? Or maybe a more pronounceable version like Lewite, etc.

This Didn't Have To Happen

I also think the farther into the future you get the less interested future people will be in reviving (by comparison) the mentally inferior.

This sounds possible but not at all obvious. It seems to me that so far, interest in historical people and compassion for the mentally inferior have if anything increased over time. This certainly doesn't mean they'll continue to do so out into the far future, but it does mean I'd need some really good reasons to support expecting them to.

This Didn't Have To Happen

Cost of facilities per person should go down significantly as the number of people gets large, right?

This Didn't Have To Happen

It's counterintuitive to say that being dead is basically null value. If I'm choosing between two courses of action, and one difference is that one of them will involve me dying, that's a strong factor in making me prefer the other option.

I can think of possible explanations for this that preserve the claim that being dead has value zero, but I'm not seeing a way that would do so only in non-cryonics cases.

LessWrong Boo Vote (Stochastic Downvoting)

Right. The whole point is that what karma really controls for is appearing useful to the community, not being useful to the community.

I agree that it has a purpose, and that we're better off with it. I don't think it's sufficient on its own, and we shouldn't fool ourselves into thinking that obsessing over it is the same as focusing on improving the community. At best, it improves only a small aspect of the community; at worst, the subgoal "think about karma and get points" takes over at the expense of all else.

This Didn't Have To Happen

But you wouldn't choose to die rather than walk through the city, would you?

It's hard for me to take the nightmare science fiction scenarios too seriously when the default actions comes with a well established, nonfictional nightmare: you don't sign up for cryonics, you die, and that's the end.

This Didn't Have To Happen

That's starting to sound like a general argument for shorter lifetimes over longer ones. Is there a reason this wouldn't apply just as well to living for five more years versus fifty? There's more room for extreme positive or negative experiences in the extra 45 years.

LessWrong Boo Vote (Stochastic Downvoting)

We are all attempting to make ourselves appear more useful to the community

That gets to the heart of why I don't think the karma system is worth too much emphasis. Shouldn't we instead be attempting to make ourselves more useful to the community?

Like so many things, it feels like it trivializes but it is there for a purpose.

That's true. I do think we're better off with it than we would be without it, but it shouldn't get attention disproportionate to its purpose. It's a means to an end, nothing more.

This Didn't Have To Happen

Describing this as being averse to risks doesn't make much sense to me. Couldn't a pro-cryonics person equally well justify her decision as being motivated by risk aversion? By choosing not to be preserved in the event of death, you risk missing out on futures that are worth living in. If you want to take this into bizarre and unlikely science fiction ideas, as with your dystopian cannon fodder speculation, you could easily construct nightmare scenarios where cryonics is the better choice. Simply declaring yourself to have "high risk aversion" doesn't really support one side over the other here.

This reminds me of a similar trope concerning wills: someone could avoid even thinking about setting up a will, because that would be "tempting fate," or take the opposite position: that not having a will is tempting fate, and makes it dramatically more likely that you'll get hit by a bus the next day. Of course, neither side there is very reasonable.

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