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TheOtherDave comments on That Alien Message - Less Wrong

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

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Comment author: TheOtherDave 20 October 2013 12:46:19AM 0 points [-]

I'd say that the primary belief-affecting value of this sort of fiction is to counteract the (common human) tendency to treat incredulity as evidence... the "I can't easily think of how X could possibly be true, therefore X can't be true" syndrome.

Comment author: [deleted] 20 October 2013 04:03:25AM 0 points [-]

Agreed. I like the story, and I frequently point people to it. I just wouldn't hold it up as evidence in an argument, unless the other person was specifically committing the fallacy of anthropomorphizing the speed of thought of a machine intelligence, in which case, yes, this story helps inoculate against the incredulity of alternatives.