RE: META: Molloy (was: Friendly AI)

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Sat Nov 25 2000 - 14:07:42 MST


> I've often heard that tolerance has something to do with creativity, but I
> think that this is a myth that gets repeated because it's a socially
> acceptable thing to say. I think that intolerance, especially
> self-intolerance, of even the least little compromise of thought quality,
> is the way by which we make qualitative improvements in our personal
> philosophies. I think it's intolerance that leads us to make major
> changes in ourselves, and tolerance of imperfection which leads to staying
> where you are, possibly making slight improvements every now and then, but
> nothing drastic; not really going anywhere.
> I think that the really creative people tend to be totally intolerant of
> imperfection within themselves, and this leads them to be intolerant of
> imperfections caused by others. This is not the politic attitude to take,
> perhaps - and indeed, what I've described is a strictly internal attitude,
> saying nothing about external speech. But whenever I see a genuinely
> creative person advocating tolerance and openness as an aid towards
> "brainstorming", my first impulse is to think "meme infection".

I am speaking from personal experience, not repeating what I've heard or

The point is that no one's judgment is perfect, and if one suspends one's
to reject what one finds senseless, a certain percentage of the time one
will later
find that it actually wasn't so senseless after all....

Of course, one can't accept EVERYTHING indiscriminately, but often, one is
wisest to
somewhat temper one's instinctive intolerance and give things that seem
worthless the
benefit of the doubt...

I think this perspective has been particularly useful to me because my
instinct is to
judge a LOT of things worthless...

> Noise and chaos, yes - but *quality* noise and chaos. Not all noise and
> chaos are useful just because they can be described by the "noise" and
> "chaos" category labels.

Here we just disagree, but this is no longer a discussion about the list,
about philosophy of mind.

"Quality noise" is almost an oxymoron that defeats the concept of "noise" --
not totally ... I guess that a string of random 0's and 1'st posted to the
list wouldn't
enhance creativity that much (unless it was decoded into some more
interesting form)....

My point is that a certain nonzero percentage of things that seem off-topic
actually can
enhance discussion of a given topic...


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