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Eliezer_Yudkowsky comments on The Baby-Eating Aliens (1/8) - Less Wrong

42 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 30 January 2009 12:07PM

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Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 31 January 2009 09:49:22AM 1 point [-]

Michael, don't forget the "machine translation" algorithm.

I meant that you wouldn't have the 'winnowing' sort of babyeating with consistent orders-of-magnitude disproportions between pre- and post-babyeating offspring populations.

I fear that you have not managed to convince me of this. If the general idiom of children in pens is stable, then the adults contributing lots and lots of children (as many as possible) is also evolutionarily stable.

I'd rather have a Babyeater world than paperclips

You say this even after reading Part 2, about the Babyeater children - not infants, preteens, "Baby" is said to be a mistranslation - slowly dying in their parents' stomachs?

I'd take the paperclips, so long as it wasn't running any sentient simulations.

Any lack of calm is irritation at the use of a dubious example of abhorrent evolved morality when you could have used one that was both more probable AND more abhorrent.

(1) Name one (both more probable and more abhorrent).

(2) A basic technique in literature is that while a battle between Good and Evil can sometimes be made riveting, what can be even more involving is a battle between Good and Good - then the audience has to choose sides, and the "correct" side should not be made so obvious. If the Babyeaters were orcs the story would be simple: fight them, wipe them out! Because the Babyeaters are not orcs, the question of what to do with them is much more difficult. This is the true application of the principle that stories are about conflict.