Re: [sl4] Re: Uploads coming first would be good, right?

From: Vladimir Nesov (
Date: Tue Mar 03 2009 - 12:48:50 MST

On Tue, Mar 3, 2009 at 10:27 PM, Johnicholas Hines
<> wrote:
> Yes, that is my example exactly! Abstract philosophical discussions,
> such as the one that we are having right now, can change culture (the
> group's utility function), and via culture, emotions (the individual's
> utility function).

Note that utility function is something you don't want to "change". To
be more precise, by changing utility function I mean a process that
results in future being optimized for different criteria than was
desired (in decision-theoretical sense) by agent in the past. You may
want to learn to recognize as desirable those patterns that lead to
what you want, thus changing their instrumental utility in your eyes,
but you don't want to actually change the utility function seen in
decision-makers (unless you come to a point where you start
utility-optimizing the optimization algorithm itself).

Of course, real cultural changes may be considered as changing utility
function, where you can't fine-tune the changes, so if you had that
power, you would be bound to choose from the available attractors
where the culture stabilizes after culture-changing decision is made.

Vladimir Nesov

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