So human brains are themselves models of reality.
Do you have a deterministic view of the world, i.e. believe reality is there, independently of our existence or of our interactions with it?
Have you ever wondered what is information, at the physical level.. what is it that our brains are actually modelling?
EY: "I am amazed at how many commenters entirely ignore this issue, which was explicitly the whole focus of my original post."
It's very difficult really to answer this issue. I think that yes, if we hand't come to use nuclear wheapons, if we were living in a nuclear-free world, it would certainly be safer.
However, don't forget.. it's not the wheapons that kill people, but the people who use them. This war is a clear demonstration that people are unable to resolve issues rationally and in a civilized manner all of the time.
So I think your question should really be 'would we be capable of living in a world without such threats'? And my answer to that question is no. Power has too much appleal to people. History doens't teach us enough. Humanity often comes second.
That is unless we change, this world will never be that safe. No matter what wheapons are available. That's why teaching history in schools is so important. It allows us to learn from our mistakes and change.
Actually what is striking is that when confronted with this issue, most people feel superior enough to it to bluntly state what is the right thing to do and the wrong thing to do in this situation, forgetting that wrong and right are actually only relative to the people in question, and there are millions people in question.
That's sort of like setting a standard, and expecting people to fit in this standard, and neglecting those that don't. Who knows that the Hiroshima bomb didn't actually kill the next ten scientists and Nobel Prize winners who would have revolutionized the world, and made it a totally better place to live in? Who knows the real reason why the bombs were dropped anyways? Isn't it bias, that compells you to think that people who did it would have done it for the same reasons you would have done it?
And what was the war about anyways? Isn't it just the result of people putting too much power into a handful of individuals, stupidly believing that their choices are cleverer then their own, forgetting that they are just human, and just biased as them?
Isn't that why democracy is supposedly better?
But everyone prefers to believe that their opinion is the righest one about anything. This is just TOM bias though.
Huhm, thanks Eliezer, now I start seeing your point. It's amazing that you can imagine a mind that doens't run on emotional architectures like our own. I honestly can't. No matter how hard I try I keep being biased by my own humanity. And yet I've lived in very different cultures and in various extremes of human nature.
Doug S.: I don't agree, I found some autistic people to be far more 'human' (or should I say humane) than the average person. If you look for an example of a non-human human, how about Hitler? Serial killers? Rapitsts? They obviously lack some basic human(e) emotions.