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Comment author: Dagon 27 August 2017 04:18:36PM *  2 points [-]

1) the math may work out for this, but you're giving up a lot of potential-existence-time to do so (halfway or more to the heat-death of the universe).

2) we haven't gotten off this planet, let alone to another star, so it seems a bit premature to plan to get out of many-eon light cones.

3) If there is an event that shows offence stronger than defense (and you're a defender), it's too late to get away.

4) Wherever you go, you're bringing the seeds of such an event with you - there's nothing that will make you or your colony immune from whatever went wrong for the rest of the known intelligent life in the universe.

Comment author: James_Miller 27 August 2017 06:31:08PM *  1 point [-]

(1) Agreed, although I would get vastly more resources to personally consume! Free energy is probably the binding limitation on computational time which probably is the post-singularity binding limit on meaningful lifespan.

(2) An intelligence explosion might collapse to minutes the time between when humans could walk on Mars and when my idea becomes practical to implement.

(3) Today offense is stronger than defense, yet I put a high probability on my personally being able to survive another year.

(4) Perhaps. But what might go wrong is a struggle for limited resources among people with sharply conflicting values. If, today, a small group of people carefully chosen by some leader such as Scott Alexander could move to an alternate earth in another Hubble volume, and he picked me to be in the group, I would greatly increase the estimate of the civilization I'm part of surviving a million years.

Comment author: James_Miller 27 August 2017 06:03:01AM *  1 point [-]

Because of the expansion of space I think that if you get far enough away from earth, you will never be able to return to earth even if you travel at the speed of light. If we become a super-advanced civilization we could say that if you want to colonize another solar system we will put you on a ship that won't stop until the ship is sufficiently far from earth so that neither you nor any of your children will be able to return. Given relativity if this ship can more fast enough it won't take too long in ship time to reach such a point. (I haven't read everything at the links so please forgive me if you have already mentioned this idea.)

If there was a decentralized singularity and offence proved stronger than defense I would consider moving to a light cone that couldn't ever intersect with the light cone of anyone I didn't trust.

Comment author: Bound_up 11 August 2017 05:55:30PM 1 point [-]

The dialogue about Trump on climate change is a perfect example of how most people think in opposition to how careful, abstract nerdy-types think.

To a nerd, it's a crucial distinction to say something like while we may not, based on economic models, want to do anything about it, it is an entirely separate question whether or not global warming is actually occurring.

A great many people will not make that "fine" distinction. All they can hear is "yay my tribe" and "boo my tribe." If that's all they can understand, then is it really a lie to say something that you know will be interpreted as "yay you guys?"

I would say it's a lie to say something you know the other person will misinterpret in a way that leads them to a wrong conclusion, even if the way you would interpret it is true. The counterpart is that it's not a lie to say something that you know will be interpreted an acceptably true way ("yay you guys" is not true or false per se) even if the way you would interpret it is false.

Scott Adams understands the folly of trying to make fine distinctions about political issues when talking to most people, so he, just like them, interprets Trump's statement as a partisan rallying cry, and excuses it on the basis of consequentialism (he seems to think it's okay not to do anything about global warming). As far as he and they are concerned, there's nothing about that statement that CAN be "true" or "false;" it has all the informational density of a hearty "yay!"

Comment author: James_Miller 12 August 2017 05:46:46AM 0 points [-]

Agreed.

Comment author: buybuydandavis 26 July 2017 09:51:47PM 0 points [-]

The prediction of the win shows he has insights into Trump's capabilities, but not necessarily his intentions.

Comment author: James_Miller 26 July 2017 11:44:38PM *  0 points [-]

Yes, but Adams explains at length how Trump is a master persuader, as with, for example, this Tweet "The day President Trump made his critics compare The Boy Scouts of America to Hitler Youth." I lot of what Adams says is P vs NP stuff where it's hard to figure out yourself but once someone explains it to you it seems obvious.

Comment author: IlyaShpitser 22 July 2017 10:27:42PM *  2 points [-]

Right -- because he's a shill. What's the connection between shilling and rationality?

Rationality is supposed to bend in the winds of evidence. Shilling does not bend, shilling made its choice.

Comment author: James_Miller 23 July 2017 02:00:56AM 2 points [-]

What is your evidence that he is a shill? Millions of Americans support Trump, are they all shills?

Comment author: IlyaShpitser 22 July 2017 08:02:33PM *  2 points [-]

Ok -- so he neither makes falsifiable claims, nor updates publically.

That's certainly something, but why is this rationality? Certainly not epistemic rationality.


If you want to make an argument for instrumental rationality, presumably we should look to self-made billionaires who were not obviously lucky, not cartoonists who are opportunistically shilling for a jackass without an obvious payoff in sight.

Comment author: James_Miller 22 July 2017 08:34:27PM 2 points [-]

Adams makes lots of falsifiable claims, but not about Trump's character.

Comment author: Eitan_Zohar 22 July 2017 03:32:26PM *  1 point [-]

Ah, I mean a religion that was created or originally propagated through patronization. Every religion has been patronized for political purposes at some point. Christianity is a pretty good example of a religion that was not useful to the authorities during its early years.

Comment author: James_Miller 22 July 2017 04:56:59PM 1 point [-]

Matthew 22:21 Jesus said "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's".

Comment author: IlyaShpitser 22 July 2017 03:14:55AM 2 points [-]

On Trump himself, I meant. His character/competence/etc.

Estimating the probability of "Trump winning" is estimating the probability of a binary event.

Comment author: James_Miller 22 July 2017 04:40:18AM 1 point [-]

Adams deliberately avoids commenting on Trump's character. I'm unaware of Adams changing his estimate of Trump's persuasion competence. Adams often gives evidence of why Trump is a master persuader.

Comment author: Eitan_Zohar 22 July 2017 01:24:02AM *  0 points [-]

At risk of derailing the thread here, I'd say there are no examples you can bring of a politically created/patronized religion displacing native beliefs, assuming the mentality of the public didn't favor that religion. For instance, Anglicanism may have suited the British state well, but it wasn't arbitrarily forced onto a resistant Catholic population.

Comment author: James_Miller 22 July 2017 01:35:37AM 0 points [-]

From Wikipedia:

"During the Saxon Wars, Charlemagne, King of the Franks, forcibly Roman Catholicized the Saxons from their native Germanic paganism by way of warfare, and law upon conquest. Examples are the Massacre of Verden in 782, when Charlemagne reportedly had 4,500 captive Saxons massacred upon rebelling against conversion, and the Capitulatio de partibus Saxoniae, a law imposed on conquered Saxons in 785 that prescribed death to those who refused to convert to Christianity."

Comment author: Lumifer 22 July 2017 12:20:02AM 0 points [-]

It helps if you're over an ocean and there are no clouds.

I bet some great religions were started as high level conspiracies

Anything in particular you have in mind?

Comment author: James_Miller 22 July 2017 12:39:29AM 0 points [-]

Yes, but I would rather not say in part because I don't have proof and because I don't want to falsely signal to any of my future students that I don't like them believe of their religion.

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