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ArisKatsaris comments on Building Weirdtopia - Less Wrong

28 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 12 January 2009 08:35PM

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Comment author: ArisKatsaris 14 December 2010 10:18:18AM 11 points [-]

Technological weirdtopia: (This is slightly similar to Eliezer's description of scientific weirdtopia but not quite.)

Each piece of technological equipment is only allowed to those people who've displayed sufficient mastery of the corresponding technology of the previous level. Nobody's allowed a car or motorbike, unless they've mastered driving a horsecart or riding a horse (or atleast a mule). Pens are only allowed if someone can write sufficiently well with quill-and-ink, matches and lighters are only permitted to those who've mastered usage of the flint-and-tinder. Pocket calculators are restricted to those mathematical operations that their user could (given sufficient time) work out with pen-and-paper.

The idea behind this is to increase appreciation of technology, and to also maintain an adequate level of knowledge in the population about former technical levels if there's a catastrophic collapse/decline in civilization that destroys more modern technology.

Comment author: wedrifid 14 December 2010 11:42:38AM 2 points [-]

That sounds like hacker heaven!

(Although I rather hope life a safety net of supporting technologies is in place!)

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 14 December 2010 12:29:54PM 2 points [-]

Would this be worth it if lifespans aren't extended?

What do you need to master to be allowed to use life extension tech?

Enforcement of rules like that would be a challenge.

Comment author: ArisKatsaris 14 December 2010 12:41:41PM 6 points [-]

Probably not worth it, no -- though most kids would go through gramophones, casette players and CDs in a matter of weeks or months before they reached MP3s and music directly downloadable into your brain.

And we could say that life-extension tech and other health-supportive technologies are excluded from this requirement, so as to prevent this weirdtopia from being a simple dystopia.

Comment author: Strange7 17 December 2010 09:10:38PM 3 points [-]

Two explanations I can think of.

Simpler one is, having your life extended by medical interventions doesn't require proficiency because you're not /using/ the technology in question, just paying someone else to use it on your behalf (specifically, on your body). Same way that world wouldn't require someone to master calligraphy before dictating a letter to be written down by a secretary.

Weirder one is, failure to fast-track your kids through basic medical tech is considered a form of child abuse, on the same level as denying them social contact or nutrition, and for the same reasons.

Comment author: Peterdjones 12 December 2012 02:43:20PM 1 point [-]

Some things actually work like that. Pilots have to learn old-fashioned navigation before they are show how to switch on the autopilot.