Re: Time and Minds

From: Xavier Lumine (
Date: Sun Sep 23 2001 - 10:45:34 MDT

Basically what I wanted to say in not quite so many words.
Thanks for filling in the gaps I left in my extremely hurried post.


>Xavier Lumine wrote:
> >
> > I don't really see why a Greater-than-Human Artificial Intelligence
> > a simulation would ever deem necessary to insert an event such as the
> > Trade Center. Frankly, exterminating members of a simulation does not
> > into the goal-system of a simulation-controlling GIAI.
>Not Friendly minds, at any rate, or any minds with the least concern for
>human feelings. It is possible to construct plausible scenarios in which
>the world is a simulation of noninterventionist and utterly uncaring
>superintelligences. Trying to construct a scenario in which there is any
>degree of interaction between us and the superintelligence runs into the
>basic fact that this world does not look like there are any
>superintelligences active in it. If interacting with a hostile
>superintelligence, I expect the world to look a lot worse; if interacting
>with a benevolent superintelligence, I expect the world to look MUCH
>better. The fact that our world looks like it is being run strictly by
>the laws of physics almost completely disconfirms the hypothesis that it
>is being run by a benevolent interventionist superintelligence - the
>Bayesian probability goes to almost zero.
>Rationalized religious theories often need to invent exotic scenarios in
>which it's okay to split the Red Sea a few thousand years ago, but not to
>save a cancer victim in the present day. In other words, rationalized
>religious theories naturally give rise to highly inconsistent and
>inexplicable theories of when a superintelligence will intervene and why;
>pain and death are "natural tests" in one instance, and horrors in
>another; a miracle is an unacceptable giveaway of intervention today, but
>was a great proof to the glory of God a few centuries ago. Now
>superintelligences may of course be inexplicable, but the problem is that
>these inconsistencies are *not* inexplicable. They have a very clear and
>obvious pattern. They are the result of trying to rationalize a religion
>whose testified miracles are all memetically generated false stories about
>past events. In an Internet-connected world it's much harder to generate
>false stories about current events, so the religion's account of the
>present and the past will be inconsistent. Similarly, if you have a world
>entirely governed by the laws of physics, intelligent entities that evolve
>will be stuck in a world that is painful and inconvenient until they fix
>it, and until they fix it, their fuzzier thinkers will try to rationalize
>it - given a certain cognitive architecture, anyway.
>Everything I see is consistent with a strictly-physics world full of
>unnecessary pain - including the people trying to explain why it isn't
>really unnecessary.
>-- -- -- -- --
>Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
>Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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