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pnrjulius comments on That Alien Message - Less Wrong

111 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 22 May 2008 05:55AM

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Comment author: pnrjulius 09 April 2012 04:49:11AM 0 points [-]

Interesting. And to use a more poignant example: Could we have invented fusion power if we had never invented the atomic bomb?

It does seem plausible to say that technological growth is necessarily (or if not necessarily, at least typically) incremental; it doesn't proceed in huge leaps and breakthroughs, but in slow accumulations of tinkering.

Of more concern is the equally plausible inference that tinkering requires making mistakes, and as our technology improves, the mistakes will have larger and larger stakes on which to miss.