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Nick_Bostrom2 comments on Archimedes's Chronophone - Less Wrong

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

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Comment author: Nick_Bostrom2 24 March 2007 08:01:08PM 7 points [-]

I'm not sure I understand exactly how the chronophone works. It sounds a bit like the only useful ideas a person can transmit are ideas that she herself has independently worked out or discovered; in which case not the same ideas but some analogous and similarly useful ideas gets delivered to Archimedes. In this case, I guess I might try to read out some of my research papers, hoping that they contain some useful original insights. It might also work if I transmit ideas that have originated with others but whose merits I have grasped through my own independent judgement.

It seems if you subtract all the information advantages that we moderns have, all that remains in this exercise are the organic qualities of our brains and the amount and quality of intellectual labour that our brains have performed.