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RichardKennaway comments on Justified Expectation of Pleasant Surprises - Less Wrong

10 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 15 January 2009 07:26AM

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Comment author: RichardKennaway 15 January 2009 08:44:51AM 1 point [-]

I ask you to contemplate - not just which world you might prefer to live in - but how much you might want to live in the second world, rather than the first. I would even say that the second world seems more alive; when I imagine living there, my imagined will to live feels stronger. I've got to stay alive to find out what happens next, right?

I'll take the first. There's plenty of stuff you have to discover yourself anyway, without anyone hiding it, and other stuff you can only learn from experience and practice, it doing no good to merely be told. But having stuff withheld merely for the greater joy of receiving it later is ersatz fun. I want it all and I want it now, and there are enough genuine reasons that can't happen that there is no need to make an artificial scarcity.

Second Life has more in it to discover -- more Fun in it -- than any videogame. The videogame is artificial fun, substitute fun, a deliberately constructed time sink that sucks out people's life and pisses their hours on the floor, in return for seeing "You've Won!" at the end, which is just a suggestively named mental token. All you Won was a chance to scratch around for the easter eggs or do it all over again and again, the same but different.

My response to a demon offering a walkthrough of my life would be to aspire to have his abilities. Where is the walkthrough of his life? In real life, solving real problems always provides bigger real problems to solve. It is an inexhaustible source of challenge, novelty, and Fun. No matter much anyone tells you about it, you still have to stay alive to see what happens next.