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David_Gerard comments on Confidence levels inside and outside an argument - Less Wrong

129 Post author: Yvain 16 December 2010 03:06AM

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Comment author: David_Gerard 22 December 2010 04:05:19PM *  10 points [-]

I wonder how the anti-LHC arguments on this site might look if we substitute cryptography for the LHC. Mathematicians might say the idea of mathematics destroying the world is ridiculous, but after all we have to trust that all mathematicians announcing opinions on the subject are sane, and we know the number of insane mathematicians in general is greater than zero. And anyway, their arguments would (almost) certainly involve assuming the probability of mathematics destroying the world is 0, so should obviously be disregarded. Thus, the danger of running OpenSSH needs to be calculated as an existential risk taking in our future possible light cone. (Though handily, this would be a spectacular tour de force against DRM.) For an encore, we need someone to calculate the existential risk of getting up in the morning to go to work. Also, did switching on the LHC send back tachyons to cause 9/11? I think we need to be told.