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

In response to ...Recursion, Magic
Comment author: Jay_Ballou 14 February 2009 12:42:01AM 0 points [-]

editors help build better editors

But not by much, and not much better editors. It takes something else -- better concepts -- to build significantly better editors, and one only needs a moderately good editor in the process. And regardless of things like Eurisko, no one has the faintest idea how to automate having significantly better concepts.

In response to ...Recursion, Magic
Comment author: Jay_Ballou 14 February 2009 12:34:05AM 2 points [-]

All "insights" eventually bottom out in the same way that Eurisko bottomed out; the notion of ever-increasing gain by applying some rule or metarule is a fantasy. You make the same sort of mistake about "insight" as do people like Roger Penrose, who believes that humans can "see" things that no computer could, except that you think that a computer can too, whereas in reality neither humans nor computers have access to any such magical "insight" sauce.

The future has a reputation for accomplishing feats which the past thought impossible.

Yes, but our ability to predict which seemingly impossible feats will actually be accomplished is quite poor, so this fact is neither here nor there, but it is appealed to by crackpots everywhere as an ad hoc defense of their own claims.