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steven0461 comments on Politics is the Mind-Killer - Less Wrong

72 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 18 February 2007 09:23PM

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Comment author: steven0461 26 January 2012 12:06:42AM 7 points [-]

Would you consider writing a discussion post on it?

Just in case the uncle comment by thomblake hasn't driven home the point, please don't do this.

Comment author: Bugmaster 26 January 2012 12:28:45AM 4 points [-]

What shouldn't I do, and why ?

It looks to me like we have two conflicting opinions:

  • Most LW members: Politics is not worth talking about (at best).
  • Jake_Witmer: politics is important, and may constitute an x-risk.

I myself am on the fence about this, and I want to be persuaded one way or the other, because the fence is uncomfortable to sit on.

Comment author: steven0461 26 January 2012 12:31:25AM 3 points [-]

I meant Jake shouldn't write the post; sorry for the confusion. Note that the two positions you list could be compatible.

Comment author: Bugmaster 26 January 2012 12:52:09AM 4 points [-]

OIC, sorry for the misunderstanding.

Note that the two positions you list could be compatible.

True, but it could be a fine line to walk. If I believed that politics constitutes an x-risk, then, given the fact that most people do engage in politics in some way (even if merely by talking about it), I have a choice to make: do I engage in politics, or not ? If I engage, I might make matters worse; if I fail to engage, I might fail to make matters better and then it will be too late, because politics in its current state will destroy us all.

I can see parallels between this issue and AI research: engaging in AI research increases the probability of an unboxed UnFriendly AI converting us all into computronium (or paperclips); and yet, failing to engage decreases the probability that the AI will be Friendly (assuming that I'm good at AI and concerned about Friendliness).

Comment author: Jack 26 January 2012 01:10:50AM 4 points [-]

I think a discussion of what, if any, political involvement is optimal could be a productive one. But I don't think the post that begins such a discussion should be written by someone whose mind has already been snatched by political ideology.

Comment author: thomblake 26 January 2012 02:59:25PM 1 point [-]

I agree with steven0461. It does sound like a potentially-interesting post, ideally with a mind-killing disclaimer at the top, but it should be written by someone sane. But then, I'm pretty sure political problems were already addressed in Bostrom's x-risk work, though they were some of the less-exciting ones (not likely to completely wipe out humanity or even civilization).