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Eliezer_Yudkowsky comments on In Praise of Boredom - Less Wrong

22 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 18 January 2009 09:03AM

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Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 18 January 2009 08:41:41PM 11 points [-]

Robin, do they eat the same foods every day? Drive to the same places every day? Buy the same things every time they shop? Have sex in the same position every time? Watch the same movie each time they go to the theater? Since you're standing back, you see them at a level of abstraction from which their life looks mostly "the same" to you, but I doubt they're playing the same level of the same video game over and over again "every time they sit at the computer".

Comment author: diegocaleiro 24 November 2010 08:47:38AM 3 points [-]

An easy way to differentiate the two kinds for those who like games is: People who can play Mario Kart thousands of times and have a lot of fun. People who must play the new final fantasy.

There are those who do both, and those who only enjoy games designed for doing the same thing, better and better, every five minutes.

Compare the complexity of handball with the complexity of bowling.

Maybe bowling is Eliezer::boring but it isn't boring for a lot of people.

It would be a waste of energetic resources if FAI gave those people Final Fantasy 777 instead of just letting them play Mario Kart 9.

The tough question then becomes: Are those of us who enjoy Mario Kart and bowling willing to concede the kind of fun that the Eliezer Final Fantasy, pro-increasing-rate-of-complexity find desirable? They will be consuming soooo much energy for their fun.

Isn't it fair that we share the pie half in half, and they consume theirs exponencially, while we enjoy for subjectively longer?

Comment author: Ghatanathoah 13 June 2012 07:25:21AM 1 point [-]

People who can play Mario Kart thousands of times and have a lot of fun. People who must play the new final fantasy.

Do you really play Mario Kart thousands of times because you love repeating the same thing? Or do you love it because you have a finer eye for small detail than the new FF player, and so are noticing new novelty each time you play? I know I can watch "King Kong" or "Halloween" over and over again partly because I notice something new each time I watch those films.

That being said, I think a proper fun theory would probably have some sort of error bars around the level of boredom that is acceptable. In other words a creature that gets bored x% less easily than the median human is might still be a worthwhile creature, but creating a creature x+1% less easily bored would be bad (unless such a creature is instrumentally useful, obviously).

Comment author: Ghatanathoah 14 June 2012 09:56:14PM 0 points [-]

Another question came to my mind while thinking about this today. How often do you play Mario Kart alone vs. with friends? Adding social interaction to the game vastly increases its complexity. Probably part of the reason it's more enduring than the FF games is that most of those games are single player, so the complexity is limited by your inability to play against other humans. Good multiplayer games are probably so replayable partly because they are venues for social interaction, which is a very, very complex form of novelty.