Knowledge considered harmful (was Re: Faith-based thought vs thinkers)

From: Philip Goetz (
Date: Wed Feb 22 2006 - 08:49:37 MST

David Alvarez wrote:

>I'd agree with you except for the qualifier "sometimes". I'd say knowledge
>is most often good, and when it conflicts with happiness it is still often
>preferable. I didn't choose that example as proof, just as illustration.

I think Mike's point was that knowledge will not ALWAYS make one
happier, and thus, an AI that was programmed to be Friendly by telling
everyone things that

- they were unaware of
- were important to them, and
- were not the confidential information of other people

could cause quite a ruckus, contrary to intent. Sounds like the basis
of a 1950s science fiction short story.

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