Re: Morality simulator

From: Thomas McCabe (
Date: Fri Nov 23 2007 - 18:33:57 MST

> > Here's the link again:
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> Truly - I must follow my own advice and point out contradictions in
> Elizier's writing to contribute to his work as I expect it from others
> myself. And although I have done so on numerous occasions and his posts are
> rather long at times, I seldom got a response from him how the
> contradictions pointed out by me could be resolved from his point of view.

It's "Eliezer", gosh darn it, "Eliezer".

> I read his post again and shall point out some contradictions and potential
> improvements once more - but frankly it is not fun not to get a response on
> how to resolve the contradiction. Here we go:
> "Outcomes don't lead to Outcomes, only Actions lead to Outcomes."
> Action: work -> Outcome: life
> According to the above statement life does not lead to work. This is a
> contradiction.

Where do you see a contradiction? A contradiction is not just a false
statement, or a statement you disagree with; to show a contradiction,
you must point out where Eliezer (or anyone else) said both A and ~A.
Also note that we're talking about utilities here, not physical

> "[...] in this formalism, actions lead directly to outcomes with no
> intervening events."
> Action: define! action = solution -> execute action -> outcome: solution
> This is very convenient. Like catching all lions in a desert by building a
> 3x3 meter cage and defining the outside as inside. You can do that - but
> what is achieved by it? A laugh of a forgiving audience. But we are not here
> to make fun of ourselves - at least not primarily.
> "Being ignorant of your own values may not always be fun, but at least it's
> not boring"
> So ignorance is bliss? I personally do not agree that that is the case.

Ignorance may not be a good thing, but that doesn't mean you can't
have any fun with it. Particularly other people's ignorance. :)

> The
> way I see it, ignorance is the set of false implications based on chosen
> axioms.

Er, what? Ignorance is a high entropy probability distribution over
possible states. Mathematical statements, formally derived from
axioms, do not have a probability distribution: they're either true or

> Ignorance is caused either by uncertainty in regards to a cause or
> an effect or rationalized contradictions. Ignorant people are unaware of the
> consequences of their actions and the harm it causes themselves as well as
> others.

It's nonsensical to try and label some people as "ignorant" and others
as "not ignorant". Human knowledge is so vast that any one person
cannot internalize more than a tiny fraction of it. Ignorant of what?
Transhumanism? FAI theory? Rationality? Russian pop culture?

> The idiom 'ignorance is bliss' can thus be interpreted to mean that people
> unaware of their actions causing self destruction will see no reason to
> change what they are doing. Personally, I prefer knowing my values.
> Or are surprises fun? A surprise is something you you do not expect. You are
> unexpectedly hit by a car. That's not fun...

You're mangling the argument. "Surprises are fun" is not logically
equivalent to "all surprises will always be fun all the time". That's
not how the English language works.

> I think I demonstrated the willingness to review, interpret and understand
> the work of others. Can I get the favor of pointing out contradictions in my
> work returned now?

(sigh) Please Google "contradiction" and find out what the word means.
If I proclaim that the Moon is made of green cheese, this is not a
contradiction, because I have not *also* asserted that the Moon is not
made of green cheese. Yet people would be foolish if they believed me.

> Here is the link again:
> Please do not get me wrong - I think he is a brilliant writer and I have a
> lot of respect for him and science in general. But I respect critical
> rational discourse even more. Further I do not merely contradict by playing
> advocatus diaboli. No. I developed my own model that provides a better
> understanding. Please contradict it and I will work harder to improve it
> further. Or understand it - recognize its value and move forward to find and
> solve the next contradiction.
> Many thanks,
> Stefan
> --
> Stefan Pernar
> 3-E-101 Silver Maple Garden
> #6 Cai Hong Road, Da Shan Zi
> Chao Yang District
> 100015 Beijing
> Mobil: +86 1391 009 1931
> Skype: Stefan.Pernar

 - Tom

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