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Zubon2 comments on Sympathetic Minds - Less Wrong

25 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 19 January 2009 09:31AM

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Comment author: Zubon2 19 January 2009 04:51:24PM 0 points [-]

This was my problem reading C.J. Cherryh's Foreigner. Not that the protagonist kept making the mistake of expecting the aliens to have human emotions: that they sometimes did seem to act on human emotions that they lacked the neurology for. Maybe there is justification later in the series, but it seemed like a failure to fully realize an alien psychology, quite likely for the difficulties that would cause in relating it to a human audience.

Contrary to Cabalamat, I think empathy was explained for the Hive Queen, in the history of establishing cooperation between queens. The first one to get the idea even practiced selective breeding on its own species until it found another that could cooperate. Or maybe the bits about empathizing with other minds (particularly human minds) was just a lie to manipulate the machine-with-levers that almost wiped out its species.