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Intelligence enhancement as existential risk mitigation

not helpful, but not worth negative ten points either. negative five at worst. upvoted.

Ask LessWrong: Human cognitive enhancement now?

I take ritalin and a single cup of coffee most days. Physical exercise is supposedly helpful as well.

Open Thread: June 2009

Thanks very much for your thoughts, and for making a top level post on the topic. Yes, her contribution to social welfare is something I find very attractive, and you help me remember just how important and rare that is.

Open Thread: June 2009

Thank you very much for this data point.

Open Thread: June 2009

Part of what motivates this post is that research on happiness suggests that people have a hard time predicting how happy they will be in various possible futures. Gilbert has suggested that introspection is so poor that we better off just asking people in that situation how they feel.

Open Thread: June 2009

Its interesting that people seem to a) be as skeptical of my rationality as they seem to be, and b) think that is the crux of the matter.

Regarding a), if someone tells me that they've been reading OB/LW for quite a while and that they think they are considerably more rational than their romantic partner, I think it is very likely that they are correct. But maybe if I was on the other side I would react differently. If I knew of an easy way to prove my rationality I would, but I don't. Even writing an original rational essay wouldn't prove much because I could easily be irrational in other domains.

Regarding b), I'm not sure exactly how important it is that potential advice-givers have a very accurate estimate of my rationality (and my girlfriend's rationality). Perhaps it would be helpful to focus on more specific aspects of our beliefs and approaches to experiencing and acting in the world.

I lean towards preference utilitarianism, though I don't walk the walk as well as I should. I attempt to calculate the costs and benefits of various choices, she does this too sometimes, but doesn't like applying it reflexively. She believes in spirits, I'm into Dennett and Dawkins (though I see positive aspects to religion/spirituality)

My partner and I both agree that: She is much more emotional and I am more rational. She is more prone to depression. She has more faith in intuition, I'm more skeptical of it.

Lets say you've read everything I've written here and you think I'm probably no more rational than my partner. ok, that's fine, I'd be happy to hear advice that works for two equally irrational people with different beliefs/values/approaches to experiencing and acting in the world.

Open Thread: June 2009

My advice is first, to talk to her a lot about sex and make it clear how important that is to you.

If that doesn't work, consider asking her for permission to sleep with other women. That option would satisfy me in your situation temporarily, but I'd have to think about whether it would satisfy me longer term.

Open Thread: June 2009

Thank you, this sounds like very good advice for how to lead someone down the path.

But given that she is reluctant to go down the path, do I want to lead her down it? She already believes that I can defend my views better than she can her's. She probably even believes that my views are closer to the truth.

My guess is that she is reluctant to discuss and evaluate the fundamental facts of existence and our values, precisely because she cherishes certain aspects of her current worldview that she correctly believes she is likely to lose. I think its plausible that she'll end up less happy, and maybe less productive, after hearing about the preference utilitarianism and the opportunity cost of spending $80 to have flowers delivered to a friend (note: I'd never try to stop her from doing it, I'd just like to explain why I'm not going to) or after explaining why the idea that people have souls is incoherent (note: I would never say something that strongly. As you suggest I'd want to build up to it slowly, by asking questions and letting the conclusions fall out of the discussion.)

Religious people report being happier. By many measures they also do more "good works." I wouldn't be surprised if the same were true of deontologists vs. consequentialists.

Do I really have reason to believe she'll benefit from serious detailed discussion of our respective worldviews?

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