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Comment author: PhilGoetz 17 December 2017 04:02:04PM 0 points [-]

But you're arguing against Eliezer, as "God" and "miracle" were (and still are) commonly-used words, and so Eliezer is saying those are good, short words for them.

Comment author: PhilGoetz 17 December 2017 02:10:13AM 0 points [-]

Great post! There is also the non-discrete aspect of compression: information loss. English has, according to some dictionaries, over a million words. It's unlikely we store most of our information in English. Probably there is some sort of dimension reduction, like PCA. There is in any case probably lossy compression. This means people with different histories will use different frequency tables for their compression, and will throw out different information when encoding a verbal statement. I think you would almost certainly find that if you measure word use frequency for different people, then cluster the word use distributions, some clusters would correspond to ideologies. The interesting question is which comes first, the ideology, or the word usage frequency (caused by different life experiences).

Comment author: malo 15 December 2017 08:17:26PM 2 points [-]

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Comment author: entirelyuseless 15 December 2017 02:04:35PM 0 points [-]

Right. Utilitarianism is false, but Eliezer was still right about torture and dust specks.

Comment author: Dacyn 15 December 2017 01:49:28AM 0 points [-]

I'm not a utilitarian. The argument that 50 years of torture is preferable to 3^^^3 people suffering dust specks only presumes that preferences are transitive, and that there exists a sequence of gradations between torture and dust specks with the properties that (A) N people suffering one level of the spectrum is always preferable to N*(a googol) people suffering the next level, and (B) the spectrum has at most a googol levels. I think it's pretty hard to consistently deny these assumptions, and I'm not aware of any serious argument put forth to deny them.

It's true that a deontologist might refrain from torturing someone even if he believes it would result in the better outcome. I was assuming a scenario where either way you are not torturing someone, just refraining from preventing them from being tortured by someone else.

Comment author: ArisKatsaris 14 December 2017 01:02:43AM 1 point [-]

Makes sense, I'm betting many members of the wider rationalist community have seen their assets increase because of the significant rise of Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies this year.

Comment author: g_pepper 12 December 2017 02:39:34PM 0 points [-]

On the other hand, maybe you should force them to endure the guilt, because maybe then they will be motivated to research why the agent who made the decision chose TORTURE, and so the end result will be some people learning some decision theory / critical thinking...

The argument that 50 years of torture of one person is preferable to 3^^^3 people suffering dust specs presumes utilitarianism. A non-utilitarian will not necessarily prefer torture to dust specs even if his/her critical thinking skills are up to par.

Comment author: Dacyn 10 December 2017 10:26:13PM 0 points [-]

The only people who would consent to the dust speck are people who would choose SPECKS over TORTURE in the first place. Are you really saying that you "do not value the comfort of" Eliezer, Robin, and others?

However, your argument raises another interesting point, which is that the existence of people who would prefer that SPECKS was chosen over TORTURE, even if their preference is irrational, might change the outcome of the computation because it means that a choice of TORTURE amounts to violating their preferences. If TORTURE violates ~3^^^3 people's preferences, then perhaps it is after all a harm comparable to SPECKS. This would certainly be true if everyone finds out about whether SPECKS or TORTURE was chosen, in which case TORTURE makes it harder for a lot of people to sleep at night.

On the other hand, maybe you should force them to endure the guilt, because maybe then they will be motivated to research why the agent who made the decision chose TORTURE, and so the end result will be some people learning some decision theory / critical thinking...

Also, if SPECKS vs TORTURE decisions come up a lot in this hypothetical universe, then realistically people will only feel guilty over the first one.

Comment author: arundelo 09 December 2017 05:58:09PM *  0 points [-]


This account has been posting spam since April 2017 (though all of their old comments have been deleted and are visible only on their overview and comments pages).

Comment author: malo 08 December 2017 06:49:25AM 1 point [-]

Awesome! Thanks so much :)

Comment author: iceman 08 December 2017 06:03:26AM 8 points [-]

I donated about $20,000, most of that in ETH. (Employer matching programs add another $12,000 on top of that.)

Comment author: xkwwqjtw 08 December 2017 03:32:33AM 0 points [-]

Please don’t build a machine that will torture me to save you from dust specks.

Comment author: Chriswaterguy 08 December 2017 02:55:06AM 0 points [-]

Fair enough, and taking it that way, I think the reasoning does hold up.

Comment author: Chriswaterguy 08 December 2017 02:37:16AM *  0 points [-]

Thanks - ahntharhapik seemed obvious but I missed khanfhighur. (Khanfhighur is much more obvious now when I imagine it with an American accent.)

Re my original question, I'm still curious whether there are any clues about the language itself (other than that there are obvious cognates with English and what those cognates are). Does it relate to other stories/worldbuilding

I'm probably overthinking it.

Comment author: malo 07 December 2017 06:35:05PM 3 points [-]

We just passed the 1/4 mark towards our first target! Fun fact, of the ~$200k raised so far in the fundraiser, ~65% of that has come from cryptocurrency dontions.

In response to How Much Thought
Comment author: roland 05 December 2017 01:19:33PM *  0 points [-]

thinking has higher expected utility when you're likely to change your mind and thinking has higher expected utility when the subject is important.

Conditioning on you changing your mind from incorret to correct.

Comment author: Reaper19 03 December 2017 07:49:18PM 0 points [-]

nice article!

Comment author: SteveJordan 30 November 2017 02:55:30AM 1 point [-]

I know this is way past its expiry date, but I have to ask:

Exactly how much dysfunction / argument / neglect / abuse would it take to make you happy? Your organic brain just isn't that complex compared to an artillect like that Genie. It sounds like that would be baked in to your Verthandi. If she's a modified em, then she's functionally as "human" as any of us.

Or perhaps you'd need her to come after you with a carving knife to persuade you she's genuinely hurt by your rejection?

Comment author: Benquo 29 November 2017 05:12:46PM *  0 points [-]

Not all wrongness is innocent error. Sometimes people are lying, consciously or unconsciously. This is violence directed at the listener to control their behavior. Even advertising that makes no false claims is often in this category, when it raises the salience of something for basically adversarial reasons. (Hard sells and infomercials are less like this, branding is more like this.) If it never ever never for ever gets bullet, then eventually a bunch of thugs barge into your <a href="http://lesswrong.com/lw/c1/wellkept_gardens_die_by_pacifism/">nice unwalled garden</a> (walls being a form of structural violence) and ruin it.

Second, some types of dissent undermine the political order that enables us to interact with one another peacefully. The Deuteronomy quote is very specifically about introducing the worship of foreign or novel gods.Conflating this with a general decree to punish critics is a totally implausible reading to anyone who’s actually bothered to pay attention to the Bible; ancient Israelite prophets frequently claimed that Yahweh’s instructions had been wrongly construed, and that the dominant power structure (including both kings and the priesthood) was in error. They seem to have been a sufficiently protected class that kings and priests would sometimes yell at them, but rarely physically injure them.

The correct modern analogue to advocating the worship of a foreign god, is advocating cooperation with a foreign government. The contemporary analogue to stoning the person introducing the worship of foreign gods, would be imposing legal sanctions against Facebook for colluding with Russian intelligence services to manipulate American election results. If you can’t tell the difference between that and punishing criticism, then you don’t know how to have a sane walled garden.

Comment author: IlyaShpitser 25 November 2017 07:44:29PM 1 point [-]

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