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Eliezer_Yudkowsky comments on Failed Utopia #4-2 - Less Wrong

52 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 21 January 2009 11:04AM

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Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 22 January 2009 03:55:00AM 19 points [-]

Okay, just to disclaim this clearly, I probably would press the button that instantly swaps us to this world - but that's because right now people are dying, and this world implies a longer time to work on FAI 2.0.

But the Wrinkled Genie scenario is not supposed to be probable or attainable - most programmers this stupid just kill you, I think.

"Mehtopia" seems like a good word for this kind of sub-Utopia. Steven's good at neologisms!

I should also note that I did do some further optimizing in my head of the verthandi - yes, they have different individual personalities, yes guys sometimes reject them and they move on, etcetera etcetera - but most of that background proved irrelevant to the story. I shouldn't really be saying this, because the reader has the right to read fiction any way they like - but please don't go assuming that I was conceptualizing the verthandi as uniform doormats.

Some guys probably would genuinely enjoy doormats, though, and so verthandi doormats will exist in their statistical distribution. To give the verthandi a feminist interpretation would quite miss the point. If there are verthandi feminists, their existence is predicated on the existence of men who are attracted to feminists, and I'm reasonably sure that's not what feminism is about.

If you google boreana you should get an idea of where that term comes from, same as verthandi.

It seems like the people who are not happily married get a pretty good deal out of this, though? I'm not sure I understand how 90% of humanity ends up wishing death on the genie.

Good point, Nominull - though even if you're not married, you can still have a mother. Maybe the Wrinkled Genie could just not tell the singles about the verthandi as yet - just that they'd been stripped of technology and sent Elsewhere - but that implies the Wrinkled Genie deliberately planning its own death (as opposed to just planning for its own death), and that wasn't what I had in mind.