Re: Normative Reasoning: A Siren Song?

From: Thomas Buckner (
Date: Mon Sep 20 2004 - 00:27:14 MDT

--- Michael Wilson <>
> is a Nice Place To Live likely
> to insist that its volitional
> sentients have some selection of reasoning
> flaws in order to create a
> diverse and interesting society? This is
> something of a blow for
> rationalists, in that perfect rationality may
> indeed be hopelessly inhuman,
> but isn't there a way to hybridise normative
> and non-normative reasoning
> into a cognitive architecture that is both
> powerful and morally relevant
> (ok, perhaps this is my desire for Cosmic Power
> coming through :)?
I think there will always be room for 'flaws' of
certain sorts; there should be many flowers in
the garden, for it it were only a vast garden of
roses, that would be a kind of paperclip, a
monoculture. What is flawed in one context is
necessary in another.

And when you report a desire for Cosmic Power you
assert that you desire to experience A:)
something like your present ego structure,
experiencing the qualia of B:) a SAI as far
beyond normal human cognition as the combined
processes of your body exceed those of a cell. I
suppose what this would really mean is A:) a SAI
which is (metaphorically) vast as the ocean which
can, when ve wishes, experience B:) the qualia of
stuffing verself into the (metaphorical) teaspoon
of your human intellect/emotions.

For some reason, this makes me thing of Google.
Within certain limits, Google can kick out
results for any word or phrase you can think of,
so that it is as if you interface with the www
via Google. The whole of the web is like the
memory bank of the SAI, and although you can
access any part of it, you can usefully access
only a handful of web pages at any one time.
Infinity passes through you, but it is mediated
by time.

Apropos of this, see Borges' great short story
The Aleph (he was half a century ahead of the

> Friendliness
> ultimately comes down to a question of what
> sort of universe we want to
> live in).
Couldn't agree more. Even the SAI would end up
having to choose.

Tom Buckner

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