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Philip_Goetz 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: Philip_Goetz 22 December 2008 10:21:44PM 0 points [-]

This post has an enormous noise to content ratio. You gave only one example of a cost from using borrowed strength, and it was unsupported:

"But if no one had been able to use nuclear weapons without, say, possessing the discipline of a scientist and the discipline of a politician - without personally knowing enough to construct an atomic bomb and make friends - the world might have been a slightly safer place."

This is not clear; I would even say it's less than 50% probable. Many scientists, using heuristics against bias that turned out to be wrong in this case, underestimated the aggressiveness of the Soviet Union. Think Bertrand Russell, Albert Einstein, and maybe Oppenheimer. I am cherry-picking; but I don't think a Union of Concerned Scientists could have gotten us through the 1960s without a war with the Soviet Union.