Re: The dangers of genuine ignorance (was: Volitional Morality and Action Judgement)

From: Eliezer Yudkowsky (
Date: Thu May 27 2004 - 00:48:18 MDT

Marc Geddes wrote:
> Ooh, ooh, can I have a go at explaining consciousness?
> It has to be some deep 'self-referential' property of
> the universe itself I think. So I would lean towards
> panpsychism: there has to be some 'ground state' of
> pure awareness in everything.

Another interesting lesson of scientific history is that when people are
faced with apparent mysteries, they postulate mysterious substances as
explanations, rather than specific complex mundane processes. Biology
becomes "elan vital", molecular chemistry becomes "phlogiston".

Only a true Bayesian will notice that these "explanations" have no internal
detail and cannot concentrate their probability mass - cannot make advance
predictions, even in retrospect.

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

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:47 MDT