META: External reference semantics

From: Eliezer Yudkowsky (
Date: Fri May 28 2004 - 20:42:37 MDT

Thomas Buckner wrote:
> Now we have a president who is truly illegitimate
> ( has the details) and rampantly
> corrupt, surrounded by blatant crooks, etc., etc. yet
> he cannot be charged or impeached because all the
> mechanisms that are legally empowered to deal with his
> crimes are controlled by forces friendly to him. If he
> is reelected, the transition to a one-party state will
> be complete. The democracy will exist in brand name
> only.

I'm not saying it's true, I'm not saying it's false, I'm saying, take it to
the Extropians list or wta-talk.

Saving the world requires sacrifices. One of those sacrifices is wrenching
our attention away from the things that our evolved psychologies tell us
are important. This is not a hunter-gatherer tribe of two hundred people.
  Angrily condemning a president, or praising him, has a lot less effect
than anger directed at your local tribal chief. Here's an exercise: Each
time you're tempted to argue politics, require yourself to first donate $10
to the Singularity Institute (or the Extropy Institute, if you prefer).
Which of these actions will likely have a larger positive effect? And if
it's not worth $10, why is it worth your time or emotional energy?

Also, would everyone *please* change the subject line to something
appropriate, if you're not going to talk about Friendliness theory?

List Moderator Eliezer.

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

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