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HalFinney comments on Tsuyoku Naritai! (I Want To Become Stronger) - Less Wrong

111 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 27 March 2007 05:49PM

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Comment author: HalFinney 27 March 2007 06:41:55PM 16 points [-]

That's a great saying about the angels and donkeys. I've read that most ancient civilizations had the same kind of view of history. They did not have our notion of progress; rather, they saw mankind as having fallen from a primordial "golden age", and heading pretty much straight downhill ever since. No doubt this was aided by the near-universal agreement among old people that the young generation just doesn't measure up to how people were in the old days.

So if we go back to the "chronophone" thought experiment, Archimedes might have been spectacularly uninterested in information from the future (especially through such a garbled connection). Unlike today where we would assume that future civilizations would be sources of tremendous knowledge and wisdom, he would have imagined a future of near-bestial creatures who had long lost whatever vestiges of grace mankind had still retained in his age.

Comment author: pnrjulius 30 June 2012 03:01:32AM 0 points [-]

Though he might change his mind as we explained how to cure a whole bunch of diseases he thought were intractable.

Comment author: MugaSofer 06 March 2013 10:36:16AM 0 points [-]

Through a chronophone? Wouldn't that just repeat the nonsense ancient doctors believed, and cures to diseases he already knows how to deal with?

Comment author: milindsmart 15 October 2014 12:44:43PM 1 point [-]

I can corroborate that. Indian Hindus believe that there are eons (longer) and numerous eras (shorter) consisting of 4 "yuga"s, during each of which humans generally become worse off... all great traits are part of the first yuga, and goes downhill to the last one (in which we exist, obviously). After each era, a "pralaya" takes place destroying everything. Then start afresh.