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Kaj_Sotala comments on High Challenge - Less Wrong

22 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 19 December 2008 12:51AM

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Comment author: Kaj_Sotala 20 December 2008 11:46:32PM 8 points [-]

Emile: A wireheaded brain is basically a hacked brain that doesn't work any more.

Sure, if you want to define it that way... but I'd be wary of that kind of thinking. Doesn't work for what anymore? It certainly still works for experiencing phenomenal sensations. Doesn't work for the evolutionary purpose of maximizing fitness? Well, we should try to get past that anyhow. Doesn't work for self-preservation? That's just a poorly implemented wirehead. If one were, say, running as code, you could relatively easily have a subprogram that monitored the environment and brought the wirehead out of the Nirvana state for as long as needed to defend itself.

(For the record, I wouldn't want to be wirehead, nor would I particularly wish that anybody else became one, but this is a position I find immensly difficult to justify on intellectual grounds. Permutation City -style hardwired bliss out of certain tasks might be okay, though.)