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ChristianKl comments on The Virtue of Narrowness - Less Wrong

56 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 07 August 2007 05:57PM

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Comment author: ChristianKl 22 November 2012 04:48:10PM 0 points [-]

As Alfred Korzybski said, the map is not the territory. If you say Wikipedia is an "Artificial Intelligence" you have a map of Wikipedia that's not the standard map that people use to understand Wikipedia.

That map let's us see things in Wikipedia that might be interesting. If someone responds and argues that Wikipedia isn't an "Artificial Intelligence" that might lead to valuable insight into what it means to be an "Artificial Intelligence".

If you ask yourself on how well Wikipedia fulfills it's role as an "Artificial Intelligence" you get a list of things where Wikipedia fails. That list might be valuable if you want to further understand how to interact with Wikipedia. It can lead to creative thoughts.

If you hire a janitor you won't expect him to do creative things like wishing the floor with window cleaner. On the other hand a modern artist might want to make a creative statement by wishing the floor on purpose with window cleaner. Without knowing the context it's very hard to say that the artist who washes the floor on purpose with window cleaner is wrong.

To make his statement the artists has to know about the ideas that his audience has about floors and window cleaner. The artist is different from a person who simply knows nothing about floors or window cleaner. If you just know that someone washed the floor with window cleaner you don't know whether the person is simply stupid or whether they make a profound statement.