Re: Collective Volition: Wanting vs Doing.

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Sun Jun 13 2004 - 21:20:50 MDT

On Jun 13, 2004, at 2:58 PM, Eliezer Yudkowsky wrote:
>> That is my point. The information is not necessarily available from
>> the person[s] in sufficient quality to make wise decisions that
>> actually work for the good of humanity.
> Okay... how do you know this? Also, where do I get the information?
> Like, the judgment criterion for "wise decisions" or "good of
> humanity". Please note that I mean that as a serious question, not a
> rhetorical one. You're getting the information from somewhere, and it
> exists in your brain; there must be a way for me to suck it out of
> your skull.

Hmm. Is a claim that the information is not necessarily present a
claim to know something or a claim of ignorance as to whether such
information can be expected to be present or not? I would think it is
the latter. Let me rephrase. Why do you believe that the
information inside human skulls and able to be extrapolated from such
information is sufficient to make wise decisions for the well-being of

It may simply be the best we have.

> I realize it's currently a subjective judgment call, Samantha, but it
> looks to me like "knew more" and "thought faster" tend to preserve
> underlying invariants in a way that "more the people we wished we
> were" does not *necessarily* do (or at least, the necessity is subject
> to decision). Like... if I'd had access to, and been foolish enough to
> use, "more the people we wished we were"-class transformations, early
> in my career, I would have screwed myself up irrevocably. While
> thinking longer and learning more cleared up at least some of my
> confusion, I hope. That's why I would tend to put "knew more" and
> "thought faster" earlier in the order of evaluation.

Fair enough. That might be a mistake that I have made and continue to

- samantha

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