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In response to The Level Above Mine
Comment author: Kragen_Javier_Sitaker2 26 September 2008 10:56:51AM 8 points [-]

So how does it work, in your opinion? Because “I may not be as brilliant as Jaynes or Conway, but that doesn't mean I can't do important things in my chosen field,” sounds suspiciously similar to how Hamming asserts that it works in “You and Your Research.” I guess you have a different belief about how doing important things in your chosen field works, but I don't see that you've explained that belief here or anywhere else that I've seen.

I don't suppose Marcello is related to Nadja and Josh Herreshoff?

I don't know if it helps, but while I've appreciated the things I've learned from you, my limited interaction with you hasn't made me think you're the brightest person I know. I think of you as more or less at my level — maybe a couple of standard deviations above or below, I can’t really tell. Certainly you're sharp enough that I'd enjoy hanging out with you. (Let me know the next time you're in Argentina.)

P.S. the impugnment of your notability has now been removed from your Wikipedia page, apparently as a result of people citing you in their papers.

In response to Magical Categories
Comment author: Kragen_Javier_Sitaker2 08 September 2008 03:53:08AM 10 points [-]

It's worth pointing out that we have wired-in preferences analogous to those Hibbard proposes to build into his intelligences: we like seeing babies smile; we like seeing people smile; we like the sweet taste of fresh fruit; we like orgasms; many of us (especially men) like the sight of naked women, especially if they're young, and they sexually arouse us to boot; we like socializing with people we're familiar with; we like having our pleasure centers stimulated; we don't like killing people; and so on.

It's worth pointing out that we engage in a lot of face-xeroxing-like behavior in pursuit of these ends. We keep photos of our family in our wallets, we look at our friends' baby photos on their cellphones, we put up posters of smiling people; we eat candy and NutraSweet; we masturbate; we download pornography; we watch Friends on television; we snort cocaine and smoke crack; we put bags over people's heads before we shoot them. In fact, in many cases, we form elaborate, intelligent plans to these ends.

It doesn't matter that you know, rationally, that you aren't impregnating Jenna Jameson, or that the LCD pixels on the cellphone display aren't a real baby, that Caffeine Free Diet Coke isn't fruit juice, and that the characters in Friends aren't really your friends. These urges are by no means out of our control, but neither do they automatically lose their strength when we recognize that they don't serve the evolutionary objectives that spawned them. This is, in part, the cause for the rejection of masturbation and birth control by many religious orders — they believe those blind urges are put in place not by blind evolution but by an intelligent designer whose intent should be respected.

So it's not clear to me why Hibbard thinks artificial intelligences would be immune from sticking rows of smiley faces on their calendar when humans aren't.