Re: "friendly" humans?

From: Kevin (
Date: Thu Jan 01 2004 - 19:57:17 MST

It would appear from this latest round of posts that many of us should be
focusing on being friendlier humans than fantasizing about superhuman,
friendly AGI's. ;)

Peace Out,

----- Original Message -----
From: "Wei Dai" <>
To: <>
Sent: Thursday, January 01, 2004 9:43 PM
Subject: Re: "friendly" humans?

> On Thu, Jan 01, 2004 at 06:51:14PM -0500, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:
> > What does "better" mean when you say type A memes will do "better"?
> Better means having more copies of the meme in existence.
> > And
> > why would they do better? Memetic fitness and evolutionary fitness are
> > not the same reason. Carrying meme A might contribute to reproductive
> > fitness, but it's not obvious to me why meme A would do better
> > memetically.
> You're being unexpectedly dense here. If meme A contributes to genetic
> fitness, and memes are mostly transmitted between relatives, then the
> increased genetic fitness implies more relatives for carriers of A and
> therefore also helps increase A's frequency in the meme pool. On the other
> hand, if memes are mostly transmitted between non-relatives, then the
> increased genetic fitness does not help A's memetic fitness much. Instead,
> type B memes do better because their carriers spend less resources on
> childcare and more on propagating the memes in other ways.
> > Also, why hypothesize a gene that discriminates childcare
> > promoting *memes* as such and promotes greater susceptibility to them,
> > rather than a gene that makes people like children, and hence (as a side
> > effect) memes that tap into people's liking for children?
> There's no reason why these genes can't both exist, is there? I see plenty
> of memes that try to promote child rearing as an obligation and also memes
> that try to promote it as an enjoyment, which I count as evidence that
> both of these kinds of genes exist.
> If you think it's not plausible that a gene can discriminate between a
> type A meme and a type B meme and promote the former, consider the
> hypothesis that the earlier in life that you encounter a meme, the more
> likely it is to be a type A meme. If this is true (and I think it probably
> was in our environment of evolutionary adaptation, because in childhood
> your parents tend to keep you away from type B meme carriers), a gene can
> promote type A memes simply by making the brain credulous in childhood and
> then increasingly skeptical as one grows older.

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