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Grant comments on To Spread Science, Keep It Secret - Less Wrong

37 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 28 March 2008 05:47AM

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Comment author: Grant 28 March 2008 07:04:53AM 0 points [-]

I love most of your posts, but I think you might be off on this one.

Why successful cultures reward people who tried to discover and understand knowledge that was already known? I don't think they would; I think they'd reward people who go after secrets, mysteries, etc. People who make use of knowledge (preexisting or otherwise) for their own gain are of course rewarded anyway, but for the most part I don't think that describes science very well, does it?

What would be the purpose of rewarding people (who cannot make use of the knowledge) to 'discover' things already in the public domain? Wouldn't we rather have them striving to solve puzzles? I know its enjoyable for many of us to 'discover' science on our own, but for your average person I think thats a waste of time. In other words, I think scarcity in knowledge is beneficial for society, though maybe not for science nuts.

Can't you usually audit courses in most universities for free?