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Eliezer_Yudkowsky comments on Dunbar's Function - Less Wrong

27 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 31 December 2008 02:26AM

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Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 31 December 2008 08:00:57PM 3 points [-]

Virtually everyone in today's world is influential in absolute terms, and should be respected for their unique contribution. The problem is those eager to be substantially influential in percentage terms.

Not sure what you refer to here - is it that we're alive at a time when there are only ~6 billion people in the whole universe? If people realized that and made it part of their identities - which is something I've occasionally advocated - then it might help on one score. But I'm not sure people would really respect each other on just that basis, if otherwise they're still doing the same sort of paperwork every day as 200 other people in a multinational corporation. And if you can't identify the mark that you're leaving on the universe, does it really help that much to know that you had some kind of effect you can't identify?

Obviously percentage influence is a zero-sum game, just like percentage wealth, but I'm not sure the underlying pie is of fixed size here.