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handoflixue comments on Building Weirdtopia - Less Wrong

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

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Comment author: handoflixue 09 July 2011 12:46:41AM 1 point [-]

Economic: Looking at the common factors, it's about high vs low barriers to entry. The idea of non-entry is thus an obvious place to look. The first thought is a "gift economy". Riffing off the idea of the Bayesian Conspiracy, we get furtive students exchanging notes in dark alleys: a world where economy is forbidden. The exact nature of what resources are available to each Bayesian Initiate are left as an exercise for our FAI Overlords, but should presumably be sufficient to avoid students being incapable of building the requisite experimental apparatuses for their latest project.

Sexual: Again, focusing on the common ground, the difference is "readily available" vs "tightly restricted". Thinking about fun theory, the idea of sex as some sort of reward seems obvious - presumably one related to self-understanding and building relationships. Everyone is situated such that they have a genuine route to satisfaction, whatever their desires may be. I'd suspect desires are also tweaked somewhat downwards - it's more a driving force like curiousity, not an urgent biological imperative. It's rewarding to pursue, not just to receive (but, like curiousity, it works best when you actually achieve the goal). Unsure what durations look like, but things are well-enough tweaked that there aren't violent break-ups when one partner loses interest. Probably sexuality is something that ebbs and flows over time, letting people focus on deep, intimate sharing with people at times, and letting them get lost in other challenges at other times.

Government: Centralization vs Democratization of power; the tyranny of the minority vs the majority. Both are seeking to enforce morality on those who desire to do "wrong". Both are seeking a universal system of moral authority. Certainly, a large chunk of disagreement can be resolved between the combination of being led to understand our own extrapolated volition, and the elimination of scarcity. When there are no factual disagreements, and no suffering from the status of others, then I think it would take a fairly abnormal human to still desire non-consensual violence. This still feels more like a fixed utopia than any sort of weirdtopia though.

Technological: Being lazy, we invoke the Bayesian Conspiracy: you start with next to nothing, and can benefit from those technologies you're able to implement yourself. Given a few thousand years, you ought to have computers back! Please consult economics for the question of resource scarcity; we probably don't want to hand anyone who asks for it a chunk of U-238, and it wouldn't be terribly polite to start the students off with nothing more than an unlimited supply of hydrogen (although if they were the omnipotent administrator of a simulated universe, and could thus build stars, then planets, then life, I'd find the resulting projects utterly fascinating!)

Cognitive: For this one, let's assume the Bayesian Conspiracy doesn't surpress anything developed 21st century or earlier. Computers offer prospective Initiates obvious ways to exponentially amplify their understanding of science, and at a certain Level of the Conspiracy, you have to start showing pretty impressive exponential growth. Since you have to understand a problem before you can build a tool to solve it for you, you now have the ability to automate large chunks of the "boring" parts of science. There's still the joy of discovering more-optimized algorithms, although this will only be relevant for programs with fairly long run times, or for the inherit beauty that comes with elegance. Any unfriendly AI, grey goo, etc. is stopped by the FAI overlords and thus the world is kept safe. This is considered a failing mark, and you are summarily stripped of all the knowledge you've learned from the Conspiracy and forced to start over as a Zeroth Level adept once again. Developing a Friendly AI is required to reach Level 10, at which point you can start doing "raids" (group-based adventures, for those unfamiliar with WOW :)). The FAI Overlords, for whatever reason, can only reproduce via this method, and place a strong value on the diversity this adds to their ranks. Guided AI research is, for whatever reason, unsatisfying to them - it has to be someone who went from pre-science to FAI all on their own. Fortunately, the FAI Overlords aren't omniscient, so some cheating does occur (see Economics). Higher level adepts are usually much better at cheating, which helps prepare them for doing raids.

Comment author: CronoDAS 09 July 2011 01:16:03AM *  0 points [-]

Economic: Looking at the common factors, it's about high vs low barriers to entry. The idea of non-entry is thus an obvious place to look. The first thought is a "gift economy". Riffing off the idea of the Bayesian Conspiracy, we get furtive students exchanging notes in dark alleys: a world where economy is forbidden.

Ever read The Disposessed by Ursula Le Guin? About half of it is set in a society in which "asking for something in exchange" is considered highly immoral.

Comment author: handoflixue 09 July 2011 06:44:43AM 0 points [-]

Interesting! I had not read it - it was mostly based on Burning Man's "gift economy", which has the same principle.