Re: Metarationality (was: JOIN: Alden Streeter)

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Mon Aug 26 2002 - 01:49:57 MDT

Cliff Stabbert wrote:
> Monday, August 26, 2002, 1:37:34 AM, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:
> ESY> Cliff Stabbert wrote:
>>>I think Eliezer is saying that Mind manifests throughout the universe
>>>-- all complex systems tending towards Mindness over time.
> ESY> No, that statement would not be rational. I.e., its support would consist
> ESY> of the pleasure generated by contemplating it, rather than evidence. The
> ESY> pleasure generated by contemplating it is not "evidence" because we have
> ESY> no reason to believe that this statement is pleasurable to contemplate
> ESY> only in those possible universes where it is true. Ergo, under the
> ESY> Bayesian Probability Theorem, the self-observation of the comfort
> ESY> generated by this statement is not evidence about the statement's truth or
> ESY> untruth in external reality.
> OK, so everything contains or represents or ends up representing
> Rationality as you define it,

Not *everything*. Just everything that *works* - including, but not
limited to, everything that nonaccidentally accomplishes any kind of
evolutionary, moral, or cognitive purpose. I don't know that the universe
is constructed such that everything tends to contain more and more of the
Force (rationality) as time goes on. John Smart might argue this; I'm
not. I'm just saying that wherever something *does* work,
nonaccidentally, it's because the Force (rationality) is at work.

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

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