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Phil_Goetz6 comments on Prolegomena to a Theory of Fun - Less Wrong

27 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 17 December 2008 11:33PM

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Comment author: Phil_Goetz6 18 December 2008 12:53:48AM 1 point [-]

You're solving the wrong problem. Did you really just call a body of experimental knowledge a political inconvenience?

Oh, snap.

Still, expect to see some outraged comments on this very blog post, from commenters who think that it's selfish and immoral ... to talk about human-level minds still running around the day after the Singularity.

We're offended by the inequity - why does that big hunk of meat get to use 2,000W plus 2000 square feet that it doesn't know what to do with, while the poor, hardworking, higher-social-value em gets 5W and one square inch? And by the failure to maximize social utility.

Fun is a cognitive phenomenon. Whatever your theory of fun is, I predict that more fun will be better than less fun, and the moral thing to do seems to be to pack in as much fun as you can before the heat death of the universe. Following that line of thought could lead to universe-tiling.

Suppose you develop a theory of fun/good/morality. What are arguments for not tiling the universe in a way that maximizes it? Are there any such arguments that don't rely on either diversity as an inherent good, or on the possibility that your theory is wrong?

Your post seems to say that fun and morality are the same. But we use the term "moral" only in cases when the moral thing to do isn't fun. I think morality = fun only if it's a collective fun. If that collective fun is also summed over hypothetical agents you could create, then we come back to moral outrage at humans.

The problem brings to mind the colonization of America. Would it have been the moral thing to do to turn around and leave the Indians alone, instead of taking their land and using it to build an advancing civilization that can support a population of about 100 times as many people, who think they are living more pleasurable and interesting lives, and hardly ever cut out their neighbors' hearts on the tops of temples to the sun god? Intellectuals today unanimously say "yes". But I don't think they've allowed themselves to actually consider the question.

What is the moral argument for not colonizing America?

Comment author: DSimon 11 January 2011 01:44:30AM *  9 points [-]

Would it have been the moral thing to do to turn around and leave the Indians alone, instead of taking their land and using it to build an advancing civilization that can support a population of about 100 times as many people, who think they are living more pleasurable and interesting lives, and hardly ever cut out their neighbors' hearts on the tops of temples to the sun god?

Dude, false dichotomy. What if the colonists had just colonized America without being such total dicks about it?

I bet there are plausible scenarios leading from such a policy that would've led to about the same level of awesomeness on the American continent that we see today, or possibly more awesomeness.

Edit: I see this has already been addressed below. These pre-threading conversations are disorienting.