Roko, very interesting post that you wrote. Thank you for alerting me to it.
My likening cryonics, etc. to religion isn't that I don't recognize scientific rigor to some aspects of cryonics. It is that some of the participants on this blog seem to make Kuhnian leaps of faith with respect to those areas as the scientific support doesn't justify the conviction with which they believe in those things.
EY writes, "The best current knowledge says that the "real world" is a perfectly regular, deterministic, and very large mathematical object which is highly expensive to simulate."
What about free will?
I want to apologize for juxtaposing this blog with Brad DeLong's blog. I referenced DeLong's blog as an extreme caricature of intellectual dishonesty and delusion. This blog rises above that more than any other site I have come across, and I was only cautioning against the tendency here to occasionally demonstrate the negative traits with which DeLong's blog is characterized. I in no way meant to directly compare the two and apologize if it came off that way. I shouldn't have used such an extraordinarily distasteful example.
The comment I wrote yesterday was motivated by how Eliezer blithely mocks traditional religion while promoting the cryonicism / life-extensionism / trans-humanism / singularity religion.
The people I know of the cryonicism / life-extensionism / trans-humanism / singularity faith are libertarians, which seems like a non sequtur. What does the apotheosis of Aubrey de Grey have to do with a political philosophy premised on the protection of private property? To be a full-fledged member of the cult maybe you have to adopt both. Similarly there are Republicans that adopt an incoherent party platform that conflates religious fundamentalism with lower income taxes. Would a rational, unbiased person migrate to both beliefs, or does a blend of intellectual dishonesty and imitating the group bring someone there?
A pet peeve of mine that manifested itself in what I wrote is that I'll visit a left-leaning politics/economics blog and some very smart people will act as if they are holders of Truth regarding the nefariousness of the political Right and the divinity of the political Left. Then I'll go to a right-leaning blog and those very smart people with similar overconfidence will make diametrically opposed assertions. On this blog that putatively is about overcoming bias I thought it hypocritical that Eliezer mocks all traditional beliefs while then arbitrarily promoting his own "religion."
Why do we believe what we believe? I think Robin Hanson says you should optimally shade your view towards the crowd wisdom to avoid bias. Does Eliezer have a strong enough basis for his iconoclastic belief in the cryonicism / life-extensionism / trans-humanism / singularity religion? Has he avoided the biases he so very eloquently writes about here? Does this site do for philosophy what Brad DeLong's site does for political economics where a bunch of likeminded smart people get together and to the point of delusion overconfidently reinforce each others' worldviews when equally smart people do the same thing with opposite views elsewhere? Who is right, and how is the disagreement reconciled?
If the transhumanist movement is successful by February 21st I will upload my brain to a computer and send that to the dinner. The computer will have the same culinary tastes as me so would like to eat osso bucco.