RomanDavis

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Rationality Quotes August 2013

I don't know how this happened. My comment was supposed to be a reply to:

When the axe came into the woods, many of the trees said, "At least the handle is one of us.

Rationality Quotes August 2013

Is this just supposed to be a demonstration of irrationality? Can some one unpack this?

Humans are utility monsters

What? Of course people care about the lives of dogs and cats.

Anecdotal Evidence: All the people I've seen cry over the death of a dog. Not just children, either. I've seen grown men and women grieve for months over the death of a beloved dog.

Even if their sole reason for caring is that their cute, that wouldn't invalidate the fact that they care. There's some amount of "organized lying" in most social interactions, that doesn't imply that people don't care about anything. That's silliness, or puts such a high burden of proof/ high standard of caring (even when most humans can talk about degrees of caring more or less) as to be both outside the realm of what normal people talk about and totally unfalsifiable.

I attempted the AI Box Experiment (and lost)

Under the circumstances of the test (Hours to work and they can't just ignore you) then yes, captain obvious. Without that, though? Much less sure.

And the way Eliezer seems to have put it sometimes, where one glance at a line of text will change your mind? Get real. Might as well try to put the whole world in a bottle.

Sensual Experience

Well, I still think it made a valid point about being careful about engineering humans and other optimizing.

What I said could be easily boiled down to "What's so great about programming?" To which one could easily reply, "What's so great about running from tigers?"

The point is that programming really is an awesome intellectual activity that could help the human race survive so we might want to maximize the sensuousness of that, but if someone just wants to code that's just as useless as wanting to run from tigers (If that, say lead you to find and taunt tigers.) or having a huge amount of sensuousness involved in running (If running doesn't help survival much.). Ideally, you want to engineer human minds so that they can focus with their full minds on their own terminal goals, which is a super hard problem.

But no one here seems to like it when I put things the way I did in the post. It may be a mental hygiene thing, trying to avoid the illusion of transparency. It may be that the tone is slightly antagonistic, although only in good fun. And it might be a dislike some members have for memes.

I stand by the post, but there's also some fuzzy thinking/ logical rudeness going on as sensuousness isn't the same thing as enjoyment.

How minimal is our intelligence?

So every time a business gains on account of departures from the free market, that's a travesty, but every time it loses, that's the way things are supposed to work. No wonder you think academics are the only ones who do any good. Besides, TBTF isn't an economic problem, this is a political problem. They had too many lobbyists to be allowed to fail, that's all.

He didn't say that. You're being a troll.

The Fabric of Real Things

I would expect not exist in a way that suggests causality, e.i. being born and then expecting death, rather than the other way around. This is hard for me to imagine because I didn't really evolve for that world. It's possible that our universe doesn't work that way at the smallest level, but it seems might suspicious that random events lead to a largest world that operates very deterministically. Still, it is possible that this is just the manifestation of probabilistic laws at the smallest level. It's definitely paying rent so far,(for those who do the experiments) so that's we're going with, and there hasn't been a good argument or experiment against it yet.

Infintesmal "violations" of causal laws as manifestations of probabilistic laws don't seem to effect me very much. Large ones that would pay rent haven't happened on the level that would pay rent on an evolutionary or personal level, and, as I understand it (which is not terribly well) these probably won't happen unless the universe ran from the big bang to heat death a couple hundred times.

I can make models in my head where the universe (on my scale) is really chaotic, but looks deterministic because of a conspiracy by matrix gods or whatever, but that seems to violate Occam's Razor, for what that's worth when matrix gods control your life.

The Fabric of Real Things

I'm not sure. And am not sure how you would you do an experiment to check. My rules aren't data typed into a computer program on which the universe runs, they're descriptions of the universe as experienced through my senses and processed through my mind be things like "inference" and colored by things like the "expectation of beauty", and "Occam's Razor."

The reason I don't believe in the epiphenomenal theory of consciousness is because of the evidence against it, starting with my awareness, the existence of all this talk about awareness, and ending with fuzzier sort of thinking like, "Animals seem awake and aware and aware that they're aware."

Oh, that and saying that consciousness doesn't cause anything you can sense seem a violation of Occam's Razor, while consciousness not effecting anything, ever, even in principle, seems to be a rejection of causality itself.

The Fabric of Real Things

Well first of all, we're not perfect philosophers of perfect emptiness. We get our beliefs from somewhere. So it's true that all sorts of things are true that we have no evidence of. For instance, it's very, very likely there's life outside our solar system, but I don't have any evidence of it, so I act as if it's not true because in my model of the universe, it's very unlikely that that life will affect me during my natural lifetime.

I would even go far as to say that there may be matter beyond the horizon of the matter that expanded after the big bang, or that we're all running on an alien matrix, or that God is real but he's just hiding, and I act as if it's false. Not because they're untrue, or unlikely to be true, as I have no way to tell. But because I am very, very unlikely to ever, ever get evidence about any of those things, and they probably will never, and probably could never (especially in the near future) affect me. Not so much a "Nuh uh," as a "So what?"

You know your partner loves you based on evidence. If you have no evidence (from past experience or otherwise), then you are very likely wrong. Love operates according to mechanisms, and we understand some of those mechanisms.

Similarly, just because you don't understand the mechanism by which your psychic cousin works, doesn't mean there isn't one. He could be getting unbelievably lucky, or he could be playing a trick, or there could be things we don't know yet that really truly give him psychic powers. You don't know what the mechanism is, but you haven't really investigated either, have you? Even if you never find out what the mechanism is, how much evidence is that that there is no mechanism?

Lastly, I'm not sure, "no mechanism" even makes sense. What does it mean for something to have no mechanism? What does a thing that doesn't have a mechanism look like? How would you tell?

So, from the top: A Priori, Making Beliefs Pay Rent, No One Knows What Science Doesn't Know, What is Evidence?, Fragility of Value (Why something is unlikely to be true without evidence of it), Uh what was that one about you failing the art and not the other way around?, and Not Even Wrong.

Weekly LW Meetups: Melbourne, Canberra, Zurich, Mountain View

My Dad's a retired airforce officer. Living with him. right now. Studying nursing. I do some digital painting and programming and I'm going to see if I can make some money at it (online, wages are terrible here!).

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