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Mary 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: Mary 15 January 2009 03:08:23PM 2 points [-]

EY: "In the other world, anyone older than you will refuse to talk about certain aspects of growing up; you'll just have to wait and find out."

Ewwwww. I want to kick everyone in that world. I'm not saying I want no surprises or that surprise does nothing for me. Just not that much. At least, compared to EY. I prefer small surprises. Surprises that fit into my goals and desires.

Vizikahn: "When I watch a movie that I really like (and have already seen dozen times), I usually create some kind of imaginary persona that haven't seen the movie before and kind of pretend that everything surprises me. It works."

When I really like a movie and enjoy watching it multiple times, it's because the primary appeal of the movie has very little to do with surprise or "finding out what happens next". In fact, even if I'm only allowed to watch a movie once, I'd rather it not depend much on surprise for its appeal. As artistic qualities go, surprise is rather low on my scale.

When I first heard the term "spoiler" I was utterly confused. Finding out the ending of a movie/story spoils it? Well, I guess it does if it's a lame story.

Comment author: Strange7 10 January 2011 01:04:40AM 1 point [-]

In the worlds I imagine pleasantly, there are no deliberately-constructed surprises relevant to major decisions. Some things are simply incommunicable, of course, and there are trade secrets - you can't find out everything the priestesses do without becoming one and working your way up over the course of years, but if you're considering it, everyone involved will do what they can to help you figure out what it's like to become a priestess. That's important, since the ritual disembowelment takes a while to fully recover from. People need to know what they're getting in to, even if they can't really know it all.