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Eliezer_Yudkowsky comments on 31 Laws of Fun - Less Wrong

34 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 26 January 2009 10:13AM

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Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 27 January 2009 07:06:11AM 1 point [-]

JCW, first, are you actually John C. Wright or just posting an objection on his behalf? If the latter, I don't think it's quite appropriate to take on his actual name.

This issue was discussed in the comments of Devil's Offers. Yes, you can have a Werewolf contract, and you can have a Jubilee, and you can have various other rules... but some people didn't take on Werewolf contracts out of pride, because e.g. Helion felt it would reduce him to the status of a child. There's also the question of why a decision your earlier self made, should bind all future mind-states forever - could you sign a contract refusing to ever change your mind about libertarianism, say?

Well, if everyone does in fact sign a Werewolf contract and that works - in reality or in fiction - that's fine enough; then you're not living with the everlasting presence of incredible temptations. But the absence of a signed Werewolf contract made these incredible temptations and momentary failures of willpower a key plot point in the Golden Oecumene - a necessary flaw in the Utopia, without which there would have been no plot.

And my own point is that you may just be better off not introducing the poisons to begin with. What people can do to themselves through their own strength is one matter; what they can sell to one another, is another matter; and what superintelligences or agents of a higher order (including a corporation of experienced neurologists selling to a lone eighteen-year-old) can offer in the way of far-outrange temptations is yet another.