Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

ShardPhoenix comments on Seduced by Imagination - Less Wrong

23 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 16 January 2009 03:10AM

You are viewing a comment permalink. View the original post to see all comments and the full post content.

Comments (18)

Sort By: Old

You are viewing a single comment's thread.

Comment author: ShardPhoenix 16 January 2009 03:43:26PM 1 point [-]

I feel that a lot of your discussion about Fun Theory is a bit too abstract to have an emotional appeal in terms of looking forward to the future. I think for at least some people (even smart, rational ones), it may be more effective to point out the possibility of more concrete, primitive, "monkey with a million bananas" type scenarios, even if those are not the most likely to actually occur.

Even if you know that the future probably won't be specifically like that, you can imagine how good that would be in a more direct and emotionally compelling way, and then reason that a Fun Theory compatible future would be even *better* than that, even if you can't visualize what it would be like so clearly.

Comment author: diegocaleiro 14 December 2010 06:32:48PM 0 points [-]

that is good for those who indirectly work on AI.

Those who do it directly cannot afford the cost of mis-representation.

Still, great idea.

Comment author: Error 02 October 2012 02:34:18PM 7 points [-]

"monkey with a million bananas"

Has anyone done this experiment? Actually put a monkey in an environment with the equivelant of a million bananas (unlimited food, uncontested mates, whatever puzzles we can think of to make life interesting in the absense of pain and conflict, etc.) and watched how it acted over a period of years for signs of boredom and despair?

Might be useful information about the real effects of certain kinds of "Utopias." Also might be horribly unethical, depending on how you feel about primate experimentation.

Comment author: thomblake 02 October 2012 02:58:23PM 0 points [-]

If giving a monkey some bananas is wrong, I don't want to be right.

Comment author: Error 02 October 2012 03:17:56PM 0 points [-]

I meant that in the context of the Fun Theory sequence, which I'm currently reading through. It seems to me to implicitly predict that a monkey given unlimited bananas, mates, etc., ought to turn out surprisingly unhappy, at least to the extent that its psych is not-too-dissimilar from humans. It would be interesting to see if that prediction is correct.