RE: 'Collective Volition' ripped to pieces

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Sat Aug 13 2005 - 06:54:29 MDT


> The value of X is not *the number of bits in X*. That
> would be a very crude definition of value!

Yes, I know that is not what you're proposing --
but I was suggesting that your definition of value is,
like this one, too crude... ;-)

However, now that you've clarified a bit, I can see that
what you're suggesting is not *that* crude after all...
> I'd say that the value of X would be *how close the
> inductive and deductive procedures used to represent X
> in ones mind came to 'optimal' induction and deduction
> in the given domain of knowledge which is X is classed
> under*.
> Let me give an example. Suppose a super-intelligence
> was trying to objectivity determine the aesthetic
> value of a painting. To simplify the example I'll
> consider only the aesthetic value of the *design* (i.e
> the visual-spatial patterns). I'll also only look at
> Induction here.
> To apply my system, the sentient determines how close
> the inductive procedures used to recognize all the
> patterns making up the painting came to the 'optimally
> efficient'. An 'optimal' procedure for inducting
> spatial patterns is one that that would be 'optimally
> efficient' in the sense of the most compact
> representation. The 'objective aesthetic value' would
> simply be this figure.

OK... so when we get down to it, what you're suggesting
is that entities with more compact representations are
"better" -- where the representation language is defined
in terms of inductive and deductive operations.

You still haven't been terribly precise about this aspect,
but I think I grok your intuition.

This matches up well with my own thinking; in
I note that according to the "Growth, Choice and Joy"
ethic I've proposed, "more pattern is generally good."
Along with the definition of a pattern as "a representation
as something simpler", this basically agrees with your

In effect, you are saying that "pattern is good" whereas
my growth ethic says "increase is pattern is good."

While this sort of ethical principle is universal in scope,
however, it's not "objective" in any strong sense.
Do you agree with this?

-- Ben

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