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Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 25 February 2013 10:43:05PM 6 points [-]

This is an excellent point I should've noticed myself (though it's been long and long since I encountered the parable). Who says you own a baby just by being its genetic mother?

Albeit sufficiently young babies are plausibly not sentient.

Comment author: JulianMorrison 26 February 2013 11:13:17PM 0 points [-]

Thwarted+joy beats desolation+schadenfreude as a utility win even if they were dividing a teddy bear.

Comment author: algekalipso 26 February 2013 03:21:41AM 1 point [-]

No, dude, the correct answer is "because he is a man!"

Comment author: JulianMorrison 26 February 2013 11:04:07PM 3 points [-]

As a transhumanist, that does not follow.

Comment author: DanielLC 11 February 2013 11:32:55PM 2 points [-]

I would consider almost powerful enough to overpower humanity "powerful". I meant something closer to human-level.

In response to comment by DanielLC on Sympathetic Minds
Comment author: JulianMorrison 12 February 2013 10:46:11PM 0 points [-]

Now learn the Portia trick, and don't be so sure that you can judge power in a mind that doesn't share our evolutionary history.

Also watch the Alien movies, because those aren't bad models of what a maximizer would be like if it was somewhere between animalistic and closely subhuman. Xenomorphs are basically xenomorph-maximizers. In the fourth movie, the scientists try to cut a deal. The xenomorph queen plays along - until she doesn't. She's always, always plotting. Not evil, just purposeful with purposes that are inimical to ours. (I know, generalizing from fictional evidence - this isn't evidence, it's a model to give you an emotional grasp.)

Comment author: DanielLC 07 February 2013 04:00:09AM 4 points [-]

What makes a maximizer scary is that it's also powerful. A paperclip maximizer that couldn't overpower humans would work with humans. We would both benefit.

Of course, it would still probably be a bit creepy, but it's not going to be any less beneficial than a human trading partner.

In response to comment by DanielLC on Sympathetic Minds
Comment author: JulianMorrison 11 February 2013 10:22:06PM 4 points [-]

Not unless you like working with an utterly driven monomaniac perfect psychopath. It would always, always be "cannot overpower humans yet". One slip, and it would turn on you without missing a beat. No deal. Open fire.

Comment author: Kindly 29 November 2012 02:40:17PM 2 points [-]

Why would the old timeline deserve to exist more than the new one?

In response to comment by Kindly on Causal Universes
Comment author: JulianMorrison 29 November 2012 05:07:12PM 0 points [-]

Suppose I destroy the timeline, and create an identical one. Have I committed a moral evil? No, because nothing has been lost.

Suppose I destroy the timeline, and restart from an earlier point. Have I committed a moral evil? Very much yes. What was lost? To give only one person's example from Flight of the Navigator out of a planet of billions, out of a whole universe, the younger brother who was left behind had spent years - of personal growth, of creating value and memories - helping his parents with their quixotic search. And then bonding with the new younger "older" brother, rejoicing with his parents, marvelling at the space ship. And then he was erased.

Comment author: evand 28 November 2012 07:50:37PM 1 point [-]

Why do the fuel requirements go up? Where did they come from in the first place?

In response to comment by evand on Causal Universes
Comment author: JulianMorrison 28 November 2012 07:59:45PM -2 points [-]

A time loop amounts to a pocket eternity. How will you power the computer? Drop a sun in there, pick out a brown dwarf. That gives you maybe ten billion years of compute time, which isn't much.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 28 November 2012 07:29:23PM 7 points [-]

I was thinking of something smaller-- I don't see people talking about a social group or organization which was both diverse and safe (or perhaps even just reliably safe for non-privileged people), even if it was just for a short but extraordinary period.

And as for weirdtopia, in some ways we're already there. It took me three or four years to stop thinking that having gay marriage as a serious political issue wasn't something out of 1950s satirical science fiction. I was never opposed to it, just surprised that it ever got on the agenda.

Comment author: JulianMorrison 28 November 2012 07:44:58PM 0 points [-]

Yes, I remember when as a teen I first read Diane Duane's "Door into..." series and found it a beautiful idea, but completely implausible, that a woman could have a wife. And yet it happened. And it isn't a tenth of the way to what a world would be like without patriarchy.

Let me put it this way - I think that the endpoint would be a culture that doesn't even socially mark sex as a category, treating it as (in any given pair of a mated group) "biologically compatible as-is" or "biologically compatible with medical help" (such as stem cell gametes, in-vitro organ-printed wombs, etc) that latter encompassing both homogamete and infertile pairs, that does mark gender identity but doesn't assume there are only two nor does it correlate them with gametes, and in which clothing style, or femme versus butch, doesn't correlate either with either gametes or gender identity.

Comment author: CCC 28 November 2012 05:11:14PM 0 points [-]

My idea of an anti-racial society is one in which skin colour and race don't matter - where they're considered about as relevant as (say) hair colour is today. I haven't really thought through the consequences of this in detail, but that's what I'd consider a victory condition for an anti-racial agenda.

Now that I think about it, though, it implies that an important step towards this result might be the production and commercialisation of 'skin dyes' for aesthetic purposes.

Comment author: JulianMorrison 28 November 2012 07:22:15PM -3 points [-]

Skin colour is a red herring. Race is was originally about rich people with empires and status justifying their success as inevitable and righteous, and still is about their descendants justifying living off the inheritance of empires (and off plundering the bounty of continents already in use by other people). Race-like oppressions can exist where there is no visible distinction (burakumin in Japan). "Where do your family come from?". Colour blindness (dye or otherwise) without putting inequalities to rights just hides the issue from sight.

Comment author: evand 28 November 2012 06:05:32PM 8 points [-]

Scott Aaronson showed that time loop logic collapses PSPACE to polynomial time.

It replaces the exponential time requirement with an exactly analogous exponential MTBF reliability requirement. I'm surprised by how infrequently this is pointed out in such discussions, since it seems to me rather important.

In response to comment by evand on Causal Universes
Comment author: JulianMorrison 28 November 2012 07:10:26PM -2 points [-]

And fuel requirements too, for similar reasons.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 28 November 2012 04:56:46PM 16 points [-]

I agree that what gets foregrounded matters, and that people can learn to foreground different things. Furthermore, I know by experience that the current feminist and anti-racist material I've read has cranked up my sensitivity, and not always in ways that I like.

One thing that concerns me about anti-racism/feminism is that people who support them don't seem to have a vision of what success would be like. (I've asked groups a couple of times, and no one did. One person even apologized for my getting the impression that she might have such a vision.)

However, it's not obvious to me that it's impossible to raise the level of comfort that people have with each other. The same dynamics isn't identical to the same total ill effect.

I'm hoping that the current high-friction approach will lead to the invention of better methods. I'm pretty sure that a major contributor to the current difficulties is that there is no reliable method of enabling people to become less prejudiced. I've wondered whether reshaping implicit association tests into video games would help.

I'm very grateful to LW for being a place where it seems safe to me to raise these concerns.

Comment author: JulianMorrison 28 November 2012 05:11:33PM -1 points [-]

As someone who cares about anti-sexism and anti-racism, I actually agree that few people can describe the end state of eliminating them. I have difficulty myself. The reason I have difficulty is that sexism and racism are both utterly stonking huge things that distort this culture like an elephant sitting on a soccer ball. What that means is that a world with no trace of patriarchy and no trace of white supremacy would be a "wierdtopia". Even for those who wanted it, it would be culture shock on the order of a 15th century samurai class retainer suddenly transported to contemporary New York. Feminism is slowed by feminists dragging their feet. Anti-racism is slowed by anti-racists who shy away from how much wealth and resources and control of the future they'd have to give back.

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