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Nornagest comments on Knowing About Biases Can Hurt People - Less Wrong

71 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 04 April 2007 06:01PM

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Comment author: Nornagest 14 October 2013 02:55:59AM *  1 point [-]

Neither truth-finding nor goal-achieving quite captures the usual sense of the word around here. I'd say the latter is closer to how we usually use it, in that we're interested in fulfilling human values; but explicit, surface-level goals don't always further deep values, and in fact can be actively counterproductive thanks to bias or partial or asymmetrical information.

Almost everyone who thinks they terminally value truth-finding is wrong; it makes a good applause light, but our minds just aren't built that way. But since there are so many cognitive and informational obstacles in our way, finding the real truth is at some point going to be critically important to fulfilling almost any real-world set of human values.

On the other hand, I don't rule out beneficial self-deception in some situations, either. It shouldn't be necessary for any kind of hypothetical rationalist super-being, but there aren't too many of those running around.