Re: New Revisions, New Home

From: Emil Gilliam (
Date: Thu Feb 14 2002 - 02:46:48 MST

On Wednesday, February 13, 2002, at 07:59 PM, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:

> Mitch Howe wrote:
>> "Mr. Yudkowsky asserts that it may be possible to create software
>> without
>> any of the kinds of flaws traditionally exploited by hackers. The
>> truth
>> today is that imperfect humans find this level of security difficult to
>> produce, and even more difficult to verify when the only hackers are
>> more or
>> less evenly matched. But if there is a point at which software can be
>> said
>> to be 100% secure, then a superintelligence might be able produce a
>> cleanly
>> secure system that could not be perverted or hacked into by any mind,
>> even
>> if the attacker were vastly more intelligent than this system."
> I really would prefer "discusses the possibility" to "asserts". My
> species is
> too young for me to be asserting anything at this point.

Why? The "possibility" you are discussing is already covered in the
phrase "it may be possible to ..." Otherwise you would have the
following redundant wording:

"Mr. Yudkowsky discusses the possibility that it may be possible to ..."

The phrase "may be possible" means that given our present state of
knowledge, the probability of something being true is strictly between 0
and 1. It is perfectly fine to assert that something may be possible; it
amounts to asserting how little we know, and our much-smarter future
selves will not fault us for asserting this now.

- Emil

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