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RobinHanson comments on ...Recursion, Magic - Less Wrong

13 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 25 November 2008 09:10AM

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Comment author: RobinHanson 25 November 2008 10:27:29AM 4 points [-]

You really think an office worker with modern computer tools is only 10% more productive than one with 1950-era non-computer tools? Even at the task of creating better computer tools?

Many important innovations can be thought of as changing the range of things that can be changed, relative to an inheritance that up to that point was not usefully open to focused or conscious development. And each new item added to the list of things we can usefully change increases the possibilities for growing everything else. (While this potentially allows for an increase in the growth rate, rate changes have actually been very rare.) Why aren't all these changes "recursive"? Why reserve that name only for changes to our mental architecture?