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HalFinney comments on Archimedes's Chronophone - Less Wrong

20 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 23 March 2007 05:43PM

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Comment author: HalFinney 23 March 2007 11:36:23PM 13 points [-]

It's a great thought experiment, but a little confusing. I'd suggest that a better name for this is the "metaphone", in that whatever you say it maps to the analogous concept in the recipient's mind and worldview. It's an interesting concept even beyond the specifics of time travel. I don't know if it could really work though, as it is too hard to figure out what would correspond in people's minds, in enough detail.

There's also a question of how meta it goes. Tom's idea is a good one if it just maps space exploration to naval exploration (assuming that that is in fact something we want to encourage). But maybe the phone would go meta even on the concept of exploration, and map that concept to something more analogous in Archimedes' world view. We come from a culture which is based on centuries of success via exploration, so maybe the phone would map that to something that had provided centuries of success for the greeks, like philosophy or something.