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PK comments on Traditional Capitalist Values - Less Wrong

38 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 17 October 2008 01:07AM

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Comment author: PK 17 October 2008 03:37:00PM 0 points [-]

Ok, maybe my last post was a bit harsh(it's tricky to express oneself over the Internet). I will elaborate further. Eliezer said:

"So here are the traditional values of capitalism as seen by those who regard it as noble - the sort of Way spoken of by Paul Graham, or P. T. Barnum (who did not say "There's a sucker born every minute"), or Warren Buffett:"

I don't know much about the latter two but I have read Paul Graham extensively. It sounds like a strawman to me when Eliezer says:

"I regard finance as more of a useful tool than an ultimate end of intelligence - I'm not sure it's the maximum possible fun we could all be having under optimal conditions. I'm more sympathetic than this to people who lose their jobs, because I know that retraining, or changing careers, isn't always easy and fun. I don't think the universe is set up to reward hard work; and I think that it is entirely possible for money to corrupt a person."

So if we come back to Paul Graham, while reading his essays I've never got the impression that he... -regards finance as the ultimate end of intelligence, -thinks capitalism is the maximum possible fun we could all be having under optimal conditions, -is not sympathetic to people who lose their jobs, -thinks the universe is set up to reward hard work(proportionately as a physical law), -or that money doesn't corrupt people.

That's why I think the post gives off the vibe of a strawman. Look, capitalism isn't perfect but you need better arguments to dismiss it. Am I being too harsh again? Alright, maybe Eliezer isn't trying to dismiss capitalism in his post but then what is he actually trying to say? All I got from the post was a weak attempt at refuting things nobody actually believes. If I misunderstand please explain.

Comment author: taelor 01 January 2012 07:55:54AM 1 point [-]

As a matter of fact, Graham explicitly denies that the universe is set up to reward hard work. Then again, we know what Eliezer thinks about the universe:

Unfortunately the universe doesn't agree with me.  We'll see which one of us is still standing when this is over.