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Shrikey comments on Welcome to Less Wrong! (11th thread, January 2017) (Thread B) - Less Wrong Discussion

1 Post author: Grothor 16 January 2017 10:25PM

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Comment author: Shrikey 12 December 2017 01:40:26PM 0 points [-]

Hey there,

Just joined. My only exposure to LW has been reading about it on other websites, and reading a short story by Yudkowsky (I think) about baby eating aliens, which was a fun read. (Though I prefer the original ending to the "real" one.)

I have no idea what I plan to get out of joining the site, other than looking around. I know I do have an itch to write out my thoughts about a few topics on some public forum, but no idea if they're at all novel or interesting.

So, I do have questions about what the "prevalent view (assuming there is one)" is on LW about a couple topics, and where I can find how people have arrived at that view.

  1. Qualia. I don't believe they exist. Or, equivalently, qualia being something "special" is an illusion, just like free will. Is there a consensus here about that? Or has the topic been beaten to death? Also, would the perception of having free will itself count as qualia?

  2. The possibility that we're in a simulation. I believe it's basically currently not calculable, given what we know. It's a consequence of me finding no compelling reason to believe that the capabilities of technology either end shortly beyond our current capabilities, or are unimaginably limitless. It's simply not predictable where they end, but obvious that they do end somewhere. Any of that interest anyone?

Comment author: Lumifer 12 December 2017 03:27:26PM 1 point [-]

LW is kinda dead (not entirely, there is still some shambling around happening, but the brains are in short supply) and is supposed to be replaced by a shinier reincarnated version which has been referred to as LW 2.0 and which is now in open beta at www.lesserwrong.com

LW 1.0 is still here, but if you're looking for active discussion, LW 2.0 might be a better bet.

Re qualia, I suggest that you start with trying to set up hard definitions for terms "qualia" and "exists". Once you do, you may find the problem disappears -- see e.g. this.

Re simulation, let me point out that the simulation hypothesis is conventionally known as "creationism". As to the probability not being calculable, I agree.