Re: Bad memes Re: Opting out of the Sysop scenario?

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Sun Aug 05 2001 - 12:50:18 MDT

Gordon Worley wrote:
> This whole post really illustrates my frustration in trying to
> communicate about the Sysop. I've worked through it in my mind and
> have a good idea of what it should be like (though I hope to refine
> it more and eventually have the actual Sysop really refine it (yes,
> Eli, this is simplified wording because I'm lazy, but I probably
> spent more effort to explain myself than to say the correct thing
> clearly)), but explaining this complex idea in a way that makes sense
> and doesn't scare people is tough. Good thing I have the list to
> warn me when I start sounding like 'Uncle Joe' Stalin. ;-) Oh, and
> maybe a few more years to write about the Sysop and come up with good
> wording before lots more people start to notice doesn't hurt, either.

There is, I believe, a rule to the effect that you must write a million
fully polished words to throw away before you can sell anything. Writing
has become considerably easier for me with time, but despite having sold,
I sometimes have the feeling I'm still working on my million words. If
you haven't read a few how-to-write books, you should probably do that as
well. (If you already have, then you probably know most of what you need
to know... I grew up reading "How to write science fiction" books, which
formed most of my knowledge base for writing, plus "The Elements of Style"
later on.) Just keep plugging and remember that polished sentences are
only the first step toward good writing...

Brian Phillips wrote:
> try using an economic analogy..contrasting the Sysop with the InvisibleHand.
> It's just there in the background you know..... (flawed yes, soothing..also
> yes)

Disagree, that one's even worse than analogizing between the Sysop and the

-- -- -- -- --
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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