All of tavaton's Comments + Replies

I use the formula engagement + meaning + enjoyment to calculate happiness. Children may well be a net negative to enjoyment at times. Whether or not I decide to have them depends on whether I believe that's going to be outweighed by engagement and meaning most of the time.

The cause of my having these values doesn't really make a difference to what my values are. The values I'm conscious of is all that matters to me. I have no moral or emotional commitment whatsoever to reproductive efficiency. That is not one of my values.

I don't want to be happy because that increases the likelihood that I'll have lots of happy, well-fed grandchildren. I want lots of happy, well-fed grandchildren because I believe that would increase the likelihood that I'm happy. My desire for grandchildren may change, especially if I think they would be unhappy. My desire for happiness will not change. This is not an error or a case of messed up priorities or me making decisions based on faulty assumptions, it's just how my values are.

0PhilGoetz9y
These are values you consciously have. But the reason for all your values, if traced back far enough, lies in genetic fitness. Your not being conscious of that doesn't change it.
0Vaniver9y
It is not clear to me that you're using "happy" in the way that most people use "happy." Specifically, the things that people enjoy and the things that people pursue are often different, and whether or not people are pleased in near mode or far mode are different things. It could very well be that you pursue children but they decrease your enjoyment of life, and yet you pursue them despite knowing that.

Precisely. So human values, terminal or not, are divorced from genetic terminal values. We may be survival machines, but that doesn't mean we're aware of it or think like we're aware of it, so that fact is only related to what our actual values are. It doesn't dictate it.

I'm confused.

Why would human terminal values necessarily have to encompass or be compatible with genetic terminal values? Doesn't this assume whatever mental algorithm determines which instrumental values are most conducive to reproductive efficiency in any environment has access to explicit and accurate information about the genetic endgoal? If it's using heuristic proxies instead, and of course it is, since it's not possible to directly observe reproductive fitness, the proxies would then be human terminal values.

2PhilGoetz9y
The genetic values are terminal because they don't serve other values and hence don't change. Human preferences serve genetic terminal purposes, so human preferences change with the environment. Also, they're heuristics more than values, so they're likely to be inconsistent and to sometimes counter terminal values.
0[anonymous]9y
Because sometimes giving oneself existential angst is more important than having reflectively coherent definitions for concepts. Well that's the first-level notion rather than the considered-on-reflection-and-full-information version we're actually aiming at, but yes. But just go along for the ride and pretend to be scared when Azathoth jumps out at you. Don't you know darkness and terror are just more philosophical than mere knowledge?

There does not seem to be an argument for why removing social pressures is not necessary here.

If I read this post correctly, you're iterating the conventional wisdom that team players are not less important or less necessary than star players even though the status is less glamorous. (They are, perhaps, more interchangeable, but also definitely indispensable on much shorter timescales than star players.) Only you are framing it in terms that make it sound as if this was not generally agreed upon by everyone not suffering from the malignant form of ambition.

Nuance matters. "Sidekick" is not meant to refer to actual humans, but to second g... (read more)