Re: Donate Today and Tomorrow

From: Slawomir Paliwoda (
Date: Tue Oct 26 2004 - 22:00:18 MDT

>> And no, I'm not trying to imply anything about cults here, but I'm
>> trying to point out the common factor between the two organizations which
>> is that, assuming it's next to impossible to truly understand CFAI and
>> LOGI, commitment to these projects requires faith in implementation and
>> belief that the means will lead to intended end. One cannot aspire to
>> rationalism and rely on faith at the same time.

> But it is not impossible to understand CFAI or LOGI. Some stretches in
> places, lots of questions that might be answered but the answer is not
> immediately obvious, but certainly not impossible to understand.

It isn't impossible to understand CFAI and LOGI, but only *next* to
impossible. Obviously, it's possible to understand both, but there is an
awful lot of prerequisite material one needs be familiar with to comprehend
the papers. Far too much for any average donor who doesn't plan on becoming
a Seed AI programmer. As I said before, I suspect there are only two people
on this list who seem to truly understand the theory of AI and Friendliness.
One of them is Eliezer, and the other is not me. The rest is hoping
everything will turn out fine.

> But why exactly is full comprehension necessary? Isn't all that is really
> necessary sufficient understanding to see the rightness of the Cause plus
> a reasoned believe that SIAI can actually achieve or take a good stab at
> achieving it?

Not when you start thinking about the consequences of the cause you are
supporting. SIAI failing to build safe and humane SI is not the worst thing
that can happen. The worst thing that can happen is, actually, SIAI
succeeding at making SI that would later turn Unfriendly. It makes sense to
support the cause when it is shown how the project won't lead to UFAI in a
way potential donors can understand. In absence of comprehension, the only
thing left is trust.

>> Increased donations give you greater power to influence the world. Do you
>> see anything wrong in entrusting a small group of people with the fate of
>> entire human race? What would you tell people objecting to that idea? Do
>> we have the right to end the world as we know it without their approval?
> Do you see anything wrong with people going about their merry way without
> bothering to note or respond to imminent disaster?

What's the imminent disaster?

> Do you see harm in those that do see it coming deciding to do nothing at
> all?

Depends on what they see. If the threat of disaster is real and imminent,
then, yes, they should be doing something about it. However, what if the
threat isn't real or likely?

> Do you require that a very large group be present and democratically
> accountable to everyone, including all those you said were incapable of
> understanding, before anything can be done to address the situation?

I'm just saying that there's something wrong with letting 10-15 people who
we barely even know, let alone trust, decide the fate of all humanity while
120 million people will soon have their voice heard on the issue as trivial
in comparison as 2004 U.S. presidential election.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:49 MDT