Re: Self-modifying FAI (was: How hard a Singularity?)

From: James Higgins (
Date: Wed Jun 26 2002 - 12:38:06 MDT

At 01:15 PM 6/26/2002 -0400, you wrote:
>James Higgins wrote:
> >
> > A human can understand the words "The intention that was in the mind of
> > programmer when writing this line of code", but they could never fully
> > UNDERSTAND it. This is why I think you need to have more real life
> > experience, Eliezer. Those of us that are married can easily understand
> > why the above is not possible. You can never FULLY understand what
> > else intends by something.
> >
>I am married, and I disagree with you. It is entirely possible to fully
>understand what someone else intends by something... especially if they have
>open and honest personalities and take the time to communicate thier mental
>state as completely as they can.

Always, never. Sometimes, yes. Exactly? I doubt anyone ever knows
EXACTLY what someone else knows/believes/intends, but it is possible to be
in synch it to a very large degree. But for complex issues it is
difficult, takes much time, the participants generally must know each other
well, and it still frequently fails to fully synchronize the participants.

>The life experiences gained by marriage can be complex and useful and
>emotionally significant... but they come at a cost: you miss-out on other
>experiences that are not marriage or marriage-related. In your above quoted
>post, you seem to be positing that there is some crucial experience that
>married people have that is unavailable to unmarried people: that of knowing
>if you can understand someone's intentions fully. This is false. Knowledge
>of intentions has to do with communication and honesty, accurate
>introspection and completion-of-effort. Marriage is not a prerequisite for
>these activities, and in fact often hinders them.

Naw, I was just using marriage as an example because, in theory, married
couples are about as close and intertwined as it gets. Thus, they should
be a good reference point on how much people can potentially understand
each other. And frequently they don't.

I'd love to hear your theory on why marriage "often hinders" knowledge of

James Higgins

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