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Eliezer_Yudkowsky comments on Living By Your Own Strength - Less Wrong

23 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 22 December 2008 12:37AM

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Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 22 December 2008 02:59:14AM 10 points [-]

Robin, I'm not blaming the problem on each of us not knowing everything. To restate my thesis:

(1) The current scenario isn't set up for eudaimonic living; (2) Newton had more fun discovering calculus than you had reading about it; (3) A lot of the reason why people think of technology as a Grey Death Force has to do with their estrangement from their own tools; (4) The future need not be one of opaque gadgets with buttons to press that do complicated things.

Also, I had to learn to distrust knowledge that had only been told me; I could only wish it had been instinctive.

Tom, so long as the AI isn't sentient and would in fact be superintelligent enough to regenerate all the knowledge it has learned, we need be concerned neither with its eudaimonia nor its overreaching.

Comment author: kilobug 31 October 2011 02:33:48PM 4 points [-]

(2) is true, but forgets about opportunity costs. Newton had more fun discovering calculus than I do reading about it, but Newton took much longer in doing it, huge amounts of that time not necessarily being fun. In density of fun (amount of fun per time), I would say I had much higher density of fun reading the Sequences, or reading about physics (or maths or biology or economics) in books that if I would have to discover just one of the things by myself - at 30 I probably wouldn't have discovered more than one of the great insight, at best.

I love to be able to rebuild my tools by myself if needed - at school they made us re-implement malloc() and similar functions and that was a lot of fun. I would hate to be given a blackbox that does something, and not being able to known anything about how it works. But that doesn't mean I want to make all my tools myself, reinvent/rediscover everything. There is joy in the making/discovery, but there is also joy in using, and one shouldn't depend on the other.

You seem to consider that burrowing someone else's strength is a weakness, I consider it to be our greater strength. So together we can do more than any of us alone could do. And since we have different tastes and skills, everyone can do what he likes the most and/or what he's better at, the other burrowing his strength. A great composer may not be a great player, a great player may not be a great luthier. But when the three combine, they give everyone a lot of fun.