Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

TheOtherDave comments on GAZP vs. GLUT - Less Wrong

33 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 07 April 2008 01:51AM

You are viewing a comment permalink. View the original post to see all comments and the full post content.

Comments (166)

Sort By: Old

You are viewing a single comment's thread. Show more comments above.

Comment author: TheOtherDave 17 May 2012 05:06:21PM 1 point [-]

I would agree that if what I want to do is increase my understanding regardless of my ability to communicate effectively with other people (which isn't true of me, but might be true of others), and if communicating effectively with others doesn't itself contribute significantly to my understanding (which isn't true of me, but might be true of others), then choosing definitions for my words that maximize my internal clarity without reference to what those words mean to others is a pretty good strategy.

You started out by asking why EY doesn't do that, and I was suggesting that perhaps it's because his goals weren't the goals you're assuming here.

Reading between the lines a bit, I infer that the question was rhetorical in the first place, and your point is that maximizing individual understanding without reference to other goals, preferences, values, or communication with others should be what EY is doing... or perhaps that it is what he's doing, and he's doing a bad job of it.

If so, I apologize for misunderstanding.

Comment author: Monkeymind 17 May 2012 10:41:59PM *  0 points [-]


Anotherblackhat said :

How can you be 100% confident that a look up table has zero consciousness when you don't even know for sure what consciousness is?

In response Monkeymind said :

Why not just define consciousness in a rational, unambiguous, non-contradictory way and then use it consistently throughout?

Not being100% confident what consciousness is, seemed to be a concern to anotherblackhat. Defining consciousness would have removed that concern.

No need to "read between the lines" as it was a straight forward question. I really didn't understand why the definition of consciousness wasn't laid out in advance of the thot experiment.

Defining terms allows one to communicate more effectively with others which is really important in any conversation but essential in presenting a hypothesis.

I was informed by Dlthomas that conceptspace is different than thingspace, so I think get the jest of it now.

However, my point was, and is, that the theorist's defs are crucial to the hypothesis and hypotheses don't care at all about goals, preferences, and values. Hypotheses simply illustrate the actors, define the terms in the script and set the stage for the first act. Now we can move on to the theory and hopefully form a conclusion.

No need to apologize, it is easy to misunderstand me, as I am not very articulate to begin with, and as usual, I don't understand what I know about it!

ADDED: And I still need to learn how to narrow the inferential gap!

Comment author: TheOtherDave 17 May 2012 11:41:31PM 1 point [-]

Agreed that hypotheses don't care about goals, preferences, or values.
Agreed that for certain activities, well-defined terms are more important than anything else.