Re: Maximize the renormalized human utility function!

From: Jef Allbright (
Date: Fri Aug 11 2006 - 14:13:16 MDT

On 8/11/06, Keith Henson <> wrote:
> At 06:13 PM 8/10/2006 -0700, Jef Allbright wrote:
> (In reply to Eliezer)
> >Mightn't it be reasonable in such a scenario
> >to exert influence by beginning as early as possible to promote the
> >amplification of human morality?
> >
> >On the other hand, if you expect proliferation of a diverse range of
> >AI and IA technology leading up to the big FOOM, then again, mightn't
> >it be reasonable to exploit this growth of intelligence toward
> >development of a framework for increasingly moral social
> >decision-making?
> I may be wrong about this, but I think what we consider to be "good" moral
> social decision-making is highly dependent on the perception of the
> society's members about future prospects.

Yes, moral concerns gain importance with increasing scope of time,
interactees, or types of interactions.

> A *long* time of relatively positive prospects allows anti war and social
> justice memes to become dominate. That's more or less the situation in the
> western world today.

True, but I would say it's not the length of preceding "positive"
time, but rather the resulting expectation of future "positive" time
that drives the effect you are describing here.

> On the other hand, bleak prospects (or being attacked) causes xenophobic
> memes to become dominate. I suspect the trip into negative memes can be
> much faster than the rise of memes for social tolerance and social justice.

Restated: Similarly, perception of a shortened time horizon reduces
the scope, and thus the importance of moral concerns.

> A set of xenophobic memes dominates in a substantial sector of the world today.
> When you think about it, it makes sense for those you treat well to be
> dependent on future prospects. Bad enough and it shrinks down to immediate
> family. Good enough and it incorporates all peoples your group might
> possibly obtain wives from.
> All in the interest of the genes.

But the underlying process of evolution (in the broad sense) has
agency moving beyond the limitations of the genes.

- Jef

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:57 MDT