Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

Eliezer_Yudkowsky comments on War and/or Peace (2/8) - Less Wrong

33 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 31 January 2009 08:42AM

You are viewing a comment permalink. View the original post to see all comments and the full post content.

Comments (64)

Sort By: Old

You are viewing a single comment's thread.

Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 01 February 2009 01:59:56AM 2 points [-]

Simon: Also, it seems a little unlikely that a third ship would arrive given that the arrival of even one alien ship was considered so surprising in the first installment.

There are lots of starlines leading out from each system. They're somewhat expensive to open initially, then stay open. The nova acted as a rendezvous signal, causing all starlines leading to that star to fluctuate. Humans and aliens had never before explored the same world, but in this case, three different alien species had explored a world with a starline to the nova system. Without the nova, they never would have found one another.

Chris Yeh: Most people wouldn't feel horror over crystalline entities eating their young, but they would go apeshit over human beings doing the same.

Suppose I put your identical mind (including all memories, unchanged) into a crystalline body. Would you stop empathizing with yourself? How much do I have to change a human child's body (leaving the brain the same) before you would stop caring if they got eaten? How about a child severely disfigured by burns - do you stop empathizing with them once they no longer have a human-looking face and skin?

Kaj Sotala: Wouldn't the only reasonable decision in this case be to return to the rest of the humanity, let the actual government decide whether or not to go to war with an entirely new species? Sure, they'd lose the advantage of surprise

They're not going to duck out on the responsibility if that means already making the decision, e.g., losing the advantage of surprise. They have to decide now whether to fire on the Babyeater ship.

Armak: No cannibalism takes place, but the same amount of death and suffering is present as in Eliezer's scenario. Should we be less or more revolted at this?

Exactly as revolted. The problem isn't cannibalism, it's children being eaten.

Indeed, even if he wants to make war, the logical next step would still be to keep talking to the aliens and learning as much as possible about them.

The Babyeaters at least seem to have dumped their local Net, which removes some of that incentive, and the course of action you suggest is not without risk.

tim: How could they not be able to distinguish between the concept of good and the concept of baby eating if they understand that survival is good

What good is life without eating babies? How can you not understand that tribal loyalty is good?

Larry D'Anna: Did Ira Howard actually say that? In which story?

He didn't.

Furcas: It looks like their terminal value, instead of being "eating babies", is a actually something like, "eating babies in the way that our ancestors have always eaten babies". In other words, they put more value on upholding the _tradition_ of baby eating than on baby eating as such.

Clearly you don't value sex with your lover, since you're not having sex with him/her every minute of every day; you put more value on upholding the tradition of sex, rather than sex as such.

Comment author: Tamfang 13 August 2010 06:59:57AM *  3 points [-]

<i>Clearly you don't value sex with your lover</i>

Be serious: does anyone value fucking <em>as a terminal value</em> rather than as a means to enjoyment?

(assuming I understand the phrase 'terminal value', which is new to me)

Comment author: Articulator 15 December 2016 08:01:17AM 1 point [-]

I think rather a lot of people view it as a means of reproduction first and foremost, and may even attempt to ignore the pleasure.