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Carlos_Bueno comments on Eutopia is Scary - Less Wrong

33 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 12 January 2009 05:28AM

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Comment author: Carlos_Bueno 16 January 2009 07:46:40PM 2 points [-]

"Let's hear what sort of shocking development you think might result in a better future in which you would be out of place."

I think what you are getting at is the difference between the timid shocking things teenagers think up and actual "thoughts that cannot be unthought", like when a child fully grasps death. It's hard but fun to try to knock down all of the pillars of your rationality and discover yourself still floating there. I wouldn't worry about driving people insane. You are more likely to get lynched first.

1) A "fun" one I lifted from Heinlein: monarchy wasn't too bad as stable governments go, and is relatively efficient. The biggest problems were succession and selection. So future kings & queens could be a) trained thoroughly in creche and b) scientifically cross-bred and culled like racehorses.

2) A stone-soup Eutopia, in which Eliezer has only one idea (science kept secret to encourage participation) but claims to have more so shocking he can't repeat them, and then encourages others to guess what they might be. After 6 months it collapses in a singularity of self-reference, or blossoms into a diseutopia so dire we all move to a collective farm and cut our tongues out.

3) Archiving and history is important to me. I've always thought that if I took a time machine FFWD 500 years, I might find that the natives had thrown all that stuff out because they had something better. (Such as time machines.)

4) Put all sociopaths on an island, give them material help, and let them work it out. I'm talking the real high-functioning sociopaths, the "Mask of Sanity" ones, the 0.5% that cannot be helped by anything we know. I suspect this would work out even better than Australia for improving the species, and the act of refining our means of identifying them (poor and rich!) will help our understanding of the mind tremendously. I'm actually unsure whether I'd rather live on the island or not.

Comment author: lessdazed 07 April 2011 08:38:18PM 6 points [-]

So future kings & queens could be a) trained thoroughly in creche and b) scientifically cross-bred and culled like racehorses.

Paradox interactive's Crusader Kings computer game is an empire/dynasty building game with enough heritability, information about personal traits, and control over marriages that executing optimal strategy resembles playing the Sims much more than a Civilization or war-type game. In a sense it is a reverse "Robot Unicorn Attack" that granted permission to play the Sims.

I believe that computer games are a genre with an untapped ability to influence people's thought. Doing is a powerful mode of learning. Likewise, if students were required to create an original computer program that evolved cars to navigate random terrains, they would find it hard not to believe in evolution. Require them to perform magic tricks, and they will likely not believe in supernatural magic.