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Comment author: The_Jaded_One 17 August 2016 12:13:20AM 0 points [-]

it completely forgets all the context and social network.

TBH I think this works out fairly heavily in favour of the future, I expect that the utility per unit time of future life is significantly higher than what we have today, even taking into account loss of social network. Of course this asymmetry goes away if you persuade your friends and family to sign up too.

I suppose your mileage may reasonably vary depending on how much of a nerd you are and how good your present day relationships are.

Personally, if cryonics was 100% and a positive future to wake up in was also 100% (both of which are false by a large margin), I would go to the future right now and start enjoying the delights it has to offer. I have spent some time thinking about how good the best possible human life is. It's somewhat hard to tell as it is an underresearched area, but I think it's probably 2-10 times better in utility than the best we have today.

Comment author: kilobug 17 August 2016 09:04:31AM 0 points [-]

I expect that the utility per unit time of future life is significantly higher than what we have today, even taking into account loss of social network.

Perhaps, but that's highly debatable. Anyway, my main point was that the two scenarios (bullet / cryonics) are not anywhere near being mathematically equivalent, there are a lot of differences, both in favor and against cryonics, and pretending they don't exist is not helping. If anything, it just reinforces the Hollywood stereotype of the "vulkan rationalist" who doesn't have any feeling or emotion, and that basically fails to understand what makes life worth being lived. And that's pretty harmful from a PR point of view.

Of course this asymmetry goes away if you persuade your friends and family to sign up too.

Even then it's not the case, unless everyone dies and is frozen at the same time. If I sign to cryonics, die tomorrow and am resurrected in 200 years, and my 4 yo niece signs to cryonics when she's adult and dies in 80 years and is resurrected too in 200 years, she'll still have grown without her uncle, and I would still have missed her childhood - in fact, she would likely not even remember me, and the 84-yo person she would be wouldn't be much like the one I remembered.

I think it's probably 2-10 times better in utility than the best we have today.

Perhaps. There is a lot of uncertainty about that (which compounds with the odds of cryonics working at all), and while there are possible futures in which it's the case, it's not certain at all - especially from someone from now.

But you also forget a very important point - utility for other people. Perhaps I would be happier in the future than now - but to take the same example, my niece would still miss her uncle (and that would be even much worse if I were a father, not "just" an uncle), and less utility in her childhood because of it. And I value her life more than my own.

Comment author: kilobug 16 August 2016 04:11:34PM 3 points [-]

Hum, first I find you numbers very unlikely - cryonics costs more than $1/day, and definitely have less than 10% of chance of working (between the brain damage done by the freezing, the chances that the freezing can't be done in time, disaster striking the storage place before resurrection, risk of society collapse, unwillingness of future people to resurrect you, ...).

Then, the "bullet" scenario isn't comparable to cryonics, because it completely forgets all the context and social network. A significant part of why I don't want to die (not the only reason, by far, but definitely not a minor on either) is that there are people I care about and who either enjoy me being around them, and/or depend on me financially at least partially, and I enjoy spending time with them. If I were to die tomorrow of a bullet in the head, it'll deprive me of time with them and them of time with me. If I were to die of whatever other cause, and then be resurrected centuries in the future, it wouldn't change anything for them (unless they sign up to cryonics too, but that's a wholly different issue).

That doesn't mean cryonics isn't worth it at all - but the two scenarios are far from being mathematically equivalent. And I would definitely pay more than $1 a day to not have the "I'm cut from all the people I care about" scenario to happen.

Comment author: Lumifer 22 July 2016 09:03:31PM 2 points [-]

So in which way are you different from someone who, say, thinks that Peter Thiel has disgusting (to him and a lot of other people) tastes in sex and so will end up associating antideathism with being a moral degenerate?

Comment author: kilobug 23 July 2016 07:19:52AM 1 point [-]

Well, I would consider it worrying if a major public advocate of antideathism were also publically advocating a sexuality that is considered disgusting by most people - like say pedophilia or zoophilia.

It is an unfortunate state of the world, because sexual (or political) preference shouldn't have any significant impact on how you evaluate their position on non-related topics, but that's how the world works.

Consider someone who never really thought about antideathism, open the newspaper the morning, reads about that person who publically advocate disgusting political/sexual/whatever opinions, and then learn in that article that he also "considers death to be a curable disease". What will happen ? The person will bundle "death is a curable disease" has the kind of opinions disgusting persons have, and reject it. That's why I'm worried about - it's bad in term of PR when the spokeperson of something unusual you support also happen to be considered "disgusting" by many.

The same happens, for example, when Dawkins takes positions that are disgusting for many people about what he calls "mild pedophilia" - unrelated to whatever Dawkins is right or wrong about it, it does reflect badly on atheism, that a major public advocate of atheism also happens to be a public advocate of something considered "disgusting" by many. Except that it's even worse in the Thiel case, because atheism is relatively mainstream, so it's unlikely people will learn about atheism and that Dawkins defends "mild pedophilia" the same day.

And btw, I'm not saying I've a solution to that problem - that Peter Thiel shouldn't be "allowed" to express his political view (how much I dislike them) is neither possible nor even desirable, but it's still worrying, for the cause of antideathism.

Comment author: Mac 19 July 2016 03:31:22PM 0 points [-]

Assuming the universe is infinite, is it theoretically possible to transform it into something finite?

Reason for asking: if this is possible, it would have important implications on infinite ethics and the value and potential trajectories of the far future.

Comment author: kilobug 22 July 2016 08:52:06PM 0 points [-]

"Infinite" is only well-defined as the precise limit of a finite process. When you say "infinite" in absolute, it's a vague notion that is very hard to manipulate without making mistakes. One of my university-level maths teacher kept saying that speaking of "infinite" without having precise limit of something finite is equivalent to dividing by zero.

Comment author: Wei_Dai 22 July 2016 03:54:22PM 2 points [-]

Anyone else worried about Peter Thiel's support for Donald Trump discrediting Thiel in a lot of people's eyes, and MIRI and AI safety/risk research in general by association?

Comment author: kilobug 22 July 2016 08:49:13PM 2 points [-]

I am, and not just MIRI/AI safety, also for other topics like anti-deathism. Just today I read in a major French newspaper an article explaining how Peter Thiel is the only one from the silicon valley to support the "populist demagogue Trump" and in the same article that he also has this weird idea that death might ultimately be a curable disease...

I know that reverse stupidity isn't intelligence, and about the halo effect, and that Peter Thiel having disgusting (to me, and to most French citizen) political tastes have no bearing on him being right or wrong about death, but many people will end up associating antideathism with being a Trump-supporting lunatic :/

Comment author: timujin 07 July 2016 08:01:04PM 2 points [-]

It's not about qualia. It's about any arbitrary property.

Imagine a cookie like Oreo to the last atom, except that it's deadly poisonous, weighs 100 tons and runs away when scared.

In response to comment by timujin on Zombies Redacted
Comment author: kilobug 08 July 2016 08:42:25AM 1 point [-]

Imagine a cookie like Oreo to the last atom, except that it's deadly poisonous, weighs 100 tons and runs away when scared.

Well, I honestly can't. When you tell me that, I picture a real Oreo, and then at its side a cartoonish Oreo with all those weird property, but then trying to assume the microscopic structure of the cartoonish Oreo is the same than of a real Oreo just fails.

It's like if you tell me to imagine an equilateral triangle which is also a right triangle. Knowing non-euclidian geometry I sure can cheat around, but assuming I don't know about non-euclidian geometry or you explicitely add the constraint of keeping it, it just fails. You can hold the two sets of properties next to each other, but not reunite them.

Or if you tell me to imagine an arrangement of 7 small stones as a rectangle which isn't a line of 7x1. I can hold the image of 7 stones, the image of a 4x2 rectangle side-by-side, but reuniting the two just fails. Or leads to 4 stones in a line with 3 stones in a line below, which is no longer a rectangle.

When you multiply constraints to the point of being logically impossible, imagination just breaks - it holds the properties in two side-by-side sets, unable to re-conciliate them into a single coherent entity.

That's what your weird Oreo or zombies do to me.

In response to comment by kilobug on Zombies Redacted
Comment author: UmamiSalami 06 July 2016 08:33:35PM -1 points [-]

is why or if the p-zombie philosopher postulate that other persons have consciousness.

Because consciousness supervenes upon physical states, and other brains have similar physical states.

Comment author: kilobug 07 July 2016 07:20:11AM 1 point [-]

Because consciousness supervenes upon physical states, and other brains have similar physical states.

But why, how ? If consciousness is not a direct product of physical states, if p-zombies are possible, how can you tell apart the hypothesis "every other human is conscious" from "only some humans are conscious" from "I'm the only one conscious by luck" from "everything including rocks are conscious" ?

In response to comment by kilobug on Zombies Redacted
Comment author: TheAncientGeek 05 July 2016 06:31:45PM -1 points [-]

But letting aside the reductionist/materialist view (which after all is part of the debate), it still wouldn't make sense

Is "it" zombies, or epiphenomenalism?

Comment author: kilobug 06 July 2016 07:19:45AM 1 point [-]

Is "it" zombies, or epiphenomenalism?

The hypothesis I was answering to, the "person with inverted spectrum".

In response to comment by kilobug on Zombies Redacted
Comment author: Houshalter 05 July 2016 05:55:20PM 0 points [-]

I don't think the origin of the GLUT matters at all. It could have sprung up out of pure randomness. The point is that it exists, and appears to be conscious by every outward measure, but isn't.

Comment author: kilobug 05 July 2016 09:34:37PM *  4 points [-]

It definitely does matter.

If you build a human-like robot, remotely controlled by a living human (or by a brain-in-a-vat), and interact with the robot, it'll appear to be conscious but isn't, and yet it wouldn't be a zombie in any way, what actually produces the response about being conscious would be the human (or the brain), not the robot.

If the GLUT was produced by a conscious human (or conscious human simulation), then it's akin to a telepresence robot, only slightly more remote (like the telepresence robot is only slightly more remote than a phone).

And if it "sprung up of pure randomness"... if you are ready to accept such level of improbability, you can accept anything - like the hypothesis that no human actually wrote what I'm replying to, but it's just the product of cosmic rays hitting my computers in the exact pattern for such a text to be displayed on my browser. Or the Shakespear was actually written by monkeys typing at random. If you start accepting such ridiculous levels of improbability, something even below than one chance in a googolplex, you are just accepting everything and anything making all attempt to reason or discuss pointless.

Comment author: CronoDAS 03 July 2016 12:33:17AM 3 points [-]

Yeah, I meant in all possible cases. Start with a Brain In A Vat. Scan that brain and implement a GLUT in Platospace, then hook up the Brain-In-A-Vat and the GLUT to identical robots, and you'll have one robot that's conscious and one that isn't, right?

In response to comment by CronoDAS on Zombies Redacted
Comment author: kilobug 05 July 2016 02:03:21PM 1 point [-]

Did you read the GAZP vs GLUT article ? In the GLUT setup, the conscious entity is the conscious human (or actually, more like googolplex of conscious humans) that produced the GLUT, and the robot replaying the GLUT is no more conscious than a phone transmitting the answer from a conscious human to another - which is basically what it is doing, replaying the answer given by a previous, conscious, human from the same input.

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