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Eliezer_Yudkowsky comments on Harmful Options - Less Wrong

23 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 25 December 2008 02:26AM

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Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 25 December 2008 04:10:57AM 5 points [-]

Robin, if people could always be trusted to say when they themselves could be trusted, the problem would have a very simple solution at the meta-level. So if you're going so far as to ask that question, then people can't trust their choices, or trust themselves to know when to trust their choices, or meta-meta-trust, etc. And this goes for everyone having the conversation. Not going anywhere in particular with this, just making the observation as a starting point.

It seems to me that adult humans, dealing with other adult humans, are very rarely justified in removing the choices of people who haven't chosen to trust them.

But we recognize e.g. parents and children as an exception, where the parents are expected to have a hugely superior epistemic position, to have (brainware-supported) motives to care for the child's best interests, and finally we have large amounts of historical experience with the situation. (It doesn't always work perfectly, but on the whole, it still seems like trusting children to know when to trust their parents would be worse.)

Not that this is a metaphor for anything. It's different out in the transhuman spaces.

Comment author: Dojan 21 January 2013 12:58:46PM 4 points [-]

... and finally we have large amounts of historical experience with the situation.

This would be the mother of all sampling biases (read the mouse-over text)...

Though I won't dispute your conclusion, we are the ones who survived after all.

Comment author: MugaSofer 21 January 2013 04:05:11PM 0 points [-]

For those of us who can't view XKCD, could someone comment with what it said?

Comment author: ygert 21 January 2013 04:27:57PM 3 points [-]

The bit that Dojan was referring to, the mouse-over text, is:

On one hand, every single one of my ancestors going back billions of years has managed to figure it [parenting] out. On the other hand, that's the mother of all sampling biases.