From: Deniz Sarioz (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Jun 12 2001 - 17:02:46 MDT
This will be my only post of a personal nature, and since it's a JOIN one,
can't flak me. I didn't use PGP for this message, although I can if you
really really want--I just don't see the point, and don't really see other
people use it either.
-- Best way to pronounce name: D. PSA: Never, ever spell my first name with an S or two Ns. Education: High School: Robert College '97 College: Middlebury '02 (Math), Columbia SEAS '02 (Comp Sci--AI and Theory) Work: Currently underemployed as research assistant in Natural Language Processing group hacking Perl on better days, no off-campus US work permit. Gender: Male Intelligence: 99%ile (says some test) Slowness: occasional Attitude: Usually unpretentious. Try to be not-rude, telling the truth never qualifies as "rude" in my definition. Learned not to point out some people's mistakes although it helps them on the long run--convincing myself that those who can't take that kind of a favor do not have ethical significance. I have no place among people who burst into tantra when you show them their deficiency. Or so I realized recently. Political Orientation: volatile. But always have been in favor of personal liberties. One that I am iffy about is the right to believe in and spread obviously false things. I am ethically kaput as far as the benevolence/builtin-morality discussion goes. Religious Orientation: very vocally atheist and anti-(paganism/sprituality/newage). Shock Level: I'm a mathematician, enough said! I find some of the methodology in Eliezer's and Ray Kurzweil's writings unscientific, but overall, I approve. My hesitation is not about what can be done as much as what should be done. Propaganda: immune since 15 years old. Make a point of seeing through every ad/commercial (almost, e-mail or ICQ me if you are interested in talking about them), deconstructing every song, and every scene in every popular movie/sitcom from a "how's this supposed to take over my brain" point of view. Chomsky says most people don't do that, to my incomprehension (although it makes sense in an a priori way, since propaganda would probably phase out automatically if no one buyed in--since it takes resources to support, whoever uses it would use their resources otherwise unless it generated revenue). One of the things I am usually bad at is not overestimating other people (probably does not apply to most of you here). Outlook: usually cynical. I see no reason why transitions to SI would not just fall into the hands of major corporations, which would do as they pleased with them. I don't see why the BIG ones would not buy out any attempt of building some sort of worthy AI. I don't understand why anyone in the world would invest to set up an ethical sysop (a huge investment). I see a lot of potential for human slavery--which already exists (humans of humans) IMO. "My political orientation" means my reaction to my assessment of the world--my overall assessment of how the world works does not change year to year. Well, I am very cynical about issues not pertaining to AI as well, so I ain't no technophobe (duh!). Hobbies: reading books, magazines, good stuff on the web; music, arguing (civilly, not as opposed to some widespread sense of the term), hanging out with intelligent people. Taste in books: Isaac Asimov rules. Also, some sciency non-fiction. (a textbook on QM, i.e.) Bash: I should read more. Are fun: abstract algebra, graph theory, AI, learning languages (human and programming), sex. Philosophy: Scientific materialism. I'll never be a Randian "man" (see above: oh my Freud, i'm guided by my animal instincts!) since I can not find a goal using reason only. (How can I define "self-interest" if I don't have goals? Money means nothing to me, as long as I have enough to eat and a place to stay. Reproduction of my memes is also instinctive and do not see it as self-interest, although it can serve to reduce my stress level by making me get along better with other people if they spread enough.) Finding goals using reason sounds to me like a contradiction anyway--there has to be seed desires (I use desire in a generic term which includes ethics, what I really means is a utility function) in order to build one that is guided by reason (i.e., not totally random). I could just devote the rest of my life to, say, increasing the racially Asian percentage of the US population (this is just an example, I'm not Asian) but I guess that would not be a "rationally-derived" utility function. Because nothing can. Survival and reproduction blah blah are good for the organism, which I see myself as a function of--therefore have no obligation towards it except for sustaining me, etc. I believe that rationality can come into play only for satisfying a (might be implicit or even quasi-defined) utility function (and based on observation). I don't understand this talk about using reason to find our real goals--and as my father has advised, ideally speaking, I am a hedonist, but philosophically it's not very fulfilling. I believe in the mind as well as the brain. So there! ICQ UIN: 1517804 (I'm not always on.) Relationship with parents: I like them, they're pretty bright folks, although a little bit narrow-minded. "Why are you still making such an effort for me?" "You're our child--we love you." "But how can you love me without understanding me?" "We do understand you." "How can you understand me if you don't even know what recursion is?" Reason to join, etc: read Eliezer's stuff on the web. Sounded a bit too much like me and my thoughts, and ever since I've been lurking here and on extropians, realized that I was not the only person thinking about weird stuff--in fact, I had independently thought of a lot of similar concepts. I, on the other hand, have managed to have a traditional education with a 3.0+ GPA despite my energetically/moodwise low points, thanks to self-imposed dictatorship in stressful situations. Having fun lurking so far. Till later, Deniz http://www.columbia.edu/~ds1058
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