Re: Happy Box

From: Mikko Rauhala (
Date: Thu May 01 2008 - 12:24:20 MDT

to, 2008-05-01 kello 09:28 -0700, John K Clark kirjoitti:
> On Thu, 1 May 2008 "Stathis Papaioannou" <> said:
> > all goals can change over time with new experiences,
> > at least in biological organisms.
> Yes, in fact we’ve never seen an intelligence (much less a
> super-intelligence!) behave any other way. A top desire or goal just
> means you can’t think of anything more important right now, but when you
> come into possession of new information you may be able to think of
> something more essential.

Top desire maybe, top goal, that would be trivializing "goals" (or
alternatively giving way too much credit to the conscious mind).

> For example, your top goal may have been to
> continue to live, but then to your great surprise you discover that
> pain, physical or mental, can exist at a magnitude you did not think
> possible before, so now you have a new top goal: Do everything you can
> to make the pain stop, everything up to and including blowing your
> brains out.

This only means that you had an incomplete and/or faulty understanding
of your goal system, which is, frankly, only to be expected given the
hodgepodge brain evolution stuck us with. Your actual goal system is
more in the background, taking input (such as your new painful
situation) and determining desired actions (make it stop). That you've
never encountered that top desire before doesn't mean it's not in line
with your existing goal system.

One could of course say that one's conscious goal system construct is
one's "Real" goal system (and therefore the top goal you're aware of is
your "Real" top goal). In the general case, we call this "kidding

To be fair, said hodgepodge is susceptible to actual goal drift as well,
which is nice considering the priorities of infants and toddlers. Just
that simple evaluation of a novel situation isn't, even if it gives a
novel result.

Mikko Rauhala   -     - <URL:>
Transhumanist   - WTA member     - <URL:>
Singularitarian - SIAI supporter - <URL:>

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