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In response to Is Morality Given?
Comment author: Will_Lugar 18 August 2014 05:39:49PM 0 points [-]

It is sometimes argued that happiness is good and suffering is bad. (This is tentatively my own view, but explaining the meaning of "good" and "bad," defending its truth, and expanding the view to account for the additional categories of "right" and "wrong" is beyond the scope of this comment.)

If this is true, then depending on what kind of truth it is, it may also be true in all possible worlds--and a fortiori, on all possible planets in this universe. Furthermore, if it is true on all possible planets that happiness is good and suffering is bad, this does not preclude the possibility that on some planets, murder and theft might be the best way toward everyone's happiness, while compassion and friendship might lead to everyone's misery. In such a case, then to whatever degree this scenario is theoretically possible, compassion and friendship would be bad, while murder and theft would be good.

Hence we can see that it might be the case that normative ethical truths differ from one planet to another, but metaethical truths are the same everywhere. On one level, this is a kind of moral relativism, but it is also based on an absolute principle. I personally think it is a plausible view, while I admit that this comment provides little exposition and no defense of it.

Comment author: themusicgod1 22 June 2017 04:36:45PM 0 points [-]

Similarly, an even more defensible position might be Buddhist one, or that happiness is transitory and mostly a construction of the mind, and virtually always attached to suffering, but suffering is real and worth minimizing.

In response to The Moral Void
Comment author: themusicgod1 05 June 2017 01:58:52AM 0 points [-]

This post is generalizable, even if you don't think that it's wrong to kill people as a general rule there's probably some other moral act #G30429 that you probably *don't* think that it would be appropriate and the point still holds: Rowhammering the bit that says "Don't do #G30429" is probably not as impossible as it seems in the long run.

(Meta: when thinking about this I found it difficult to recall all of the arguments I've learned in moral philosophy over the past 16 years of trying that would have been applicable. I knew where you were going, roughly, but it was like traveling through a city I haven't been to in years in terms of whether or not I recognized the territory. This gave me an extra impression of 'this bit could be easily flipped')

In response to The Moral Void
Comment author: Jay 03 July 2008 10:55:00AM 4 points [-]

Would you kill babies if it was inherently the right thing to do?

If it were inherently the right thing to do, then I wouldn't be here. Someone would have killed me when I was a baby.

In response to comment by Jay on The Moral Void
Comment author: themusicgod1 05 June 2017 01:53:14AM 0 points [-]

This assumes that the people around you generally do the right thing. If you operate under the alternative assumption (which is much more reasonable) you would likely still be alive.

Comment author: themusicgod1 04 June 2017 08:06:09PM *  0 points [-]

Modernized version as of 2017, of the first part of this post :

More serious reply: depending when you encountered me, I'd be more boring in some ways, since a lot of what I spend my time doing is towards a moral end. All the things I've learned in life I learned from trying to live in a moral universe. I would never have gotten a degree, I did that virtually entirely for what I perceived to be reasons of altruism. Since I'm assuming here that everyone else will continue to live under the illusion that they are in such a universe, and that only I leave it...even it were merely 2008 when I encountered this revelation, I would have not donated so much to charity, I would have not gone into teaching children science...my whole of my thereafter short life would have been hedonism, torture, probably serial rape/murder and hard drugs. I wouldn't have lived with decent, hardworking people -- I'd probably have been kidnapped by gangsters or something and OD'd on heroin by now. I sure wouldn't care about the state of my country, my family, or mathematics or anything like that.

Comment author: Ian_C. 24 June 2008 08:50:12AM 2 points [-]

Is this true of ideas/memes also? Because there are a lot of wacky groups out there, more than just froth on the surface.

Comment author: themusicgod1 30 May 2017 01:24:53AM *  0 points [-]

This brings up the Sapir Worf hypothesis, or the newspeak for it, "Linguistic Relativity". After all, memes must be expressible, musn't they? If they are then if it were true, then the memes that you have bound the memes that you can espouse -- linguistic relativity in a nutshell.

Many memes these days come in picture form, but for that you need a medium capable of showing pictures, and the culture that places value in making such media universally available. Without that culture, and without the apparatus to share picture-memes those memes would quickly die out, though some abstract notion of some of them, perhaps carried along the linguistic pathway in the same way that even though we don't use floppy disks for anything everyone uses them to 'save'. So in a sense not only is it the media and its memes that has to be prior to memes expressed via it, but also the language memes have to be there in order for them to be used. Language might as well just be thought as the structure and set of of meme universals.

Looks like there's been activity on Wikipedia since I've dug up this issue last suggesting that at least since the 1980's there's been recent research on how language, and memes influence thought/future use of memes/language. Reddit in particular has some really good data on this that they last I heard were not sharing with the world.

The big question is if memes are different, which evidence suggests, why is this so?

Comment author: themusicgod1 17 May 2017 03:08:42PM 0 points [-]

Here's what you actually wanted to link to for "looking back"

Comment author: themusicgod1 25 April 2017 10:47:56PM 0 points [-]

My concern isn't with the interview per se(everything I would add would best be put in another thread). It's with the reaction here in the comments here.

That 90% wasn't a waste anymore than overcomingbias as a blog is a waste. Horgan is hardly alone in remembering the Fifth Generation Project and it was worth it to get Yudkowsky to hammer out, once more, to a new audience why what happened in the 80's was not representative of what is to come in the 10ky timeframe. Those of you who are hard on Horgan he is not one of you. You cannot hold him to LW standards. Yudkowsky has spent a lot of time and effort trying to get other people to not make mistakes, for example mislabeling broad singulitarian thought on him as if he's kurzweil, vinge, the entirety of MIRI and whatnot personified and so it's understandable why he might be annoyed, but at the same time...the average person is not going to bother with the finer details. He probably put in about as much or more journalistic work as the average topic requires. This just goes to really drive home how different intelligence is from other fields, how hard science journalism in a world with AI research can be.

It's frustrating because it's hard. It's hard for many reasons, but one reason is because the layman's priors are very wrong. This it shares in common(for good reason) with economics and psychology more generally that people who are not in the field bring to the table a lot of preconceptions that have to be dismantled. Dismantling them all is a lot of work for a 1 hour podcast. Like those who answer Yahoo Answers! questions, Horgan is a critical point needed to convince on his own terms between Yudkowsky & a substantial chunk of a billion+ people who lived in the 80's who are not following where Science is being taken here.

Comment author: TheAncientGeek 08 April 2017 07:51:30AM 0 points [-]

I don't see how that relates to the supervenience of experiential states on instantaneous brain states.

Comment author: themusicgod1 12 April 2017 01:03:10PM 0 points [-]

The parent made 3 claims(the 3rd one was snuck into the conclusion). I only addressed 2 and 3. 1 is a credible point that stands on its own merit. Without points 2 and 3 however with 1 it's no longer a sound argument.

Comment author: TheAncientGeek 28 April 2014 06:42:05PM 0 points [-]

You don't have any evidence that conscious experience supervenes on objectively instantaneous moments.

You don't have any evidence that conscious experience supervenes on algorithms rather than underlying physical activity.

The two claims are incompatible, since alalgorithms take some time to run.

Comment author: themusicgod1 05 April 2017 02:08:12PM 0 points [-]

edit PaleMoon lost original reply. I will try to recreate it :(

Not saying you're incorrect in criticizing the above(the two claims do seem incompatible), but isn't it the case that algorithms are just structures and that only they take time only to run? What I mean is that within the block-universe view there would be structures that we would be in ignorance of their nature and in order for us to learn about them we might have to count them (and since we are living in a timeline with computers that operate per cycle our accounting of them would take some time to complete), but that it's only ignorance to an observer like us that necessitates this? That if you knew some property of some local region of the block-universe you could use it to estimate some other property via the algorithm that represents their (mutual) structure, but that the algorithm describing their structure merely is. There's plenty of times when choosing algorithms to describe mathematical objects that we choose algorithms that fall along a space-time tradeoff, so it stands to reason that there should be a 'all-space' choice that only encodes the answer we seek in structure alone.

Comment author: themusicgod1 07 January 2017 08:26:57PM 0 points [-]

Our children will look back at the fact that we were STILL ARGUING about this in the early 21st-century, and correctly deduce that we were nuts.

We're still arguing whether or not the world is flat, whether the zodiac should be used to predict near-term fate and whether we should be building stockpiles of nuclear weapons. There's billions left to connect to the internet, and most extant human languages to this day have no written form. Basic literacy and mathematics is still something much of the world struggles with. This is going to go on for awhile: the future will not be surprised that the finer details of after the 20th decimal point were being debated when we can't even agree on whether intelligent design is the best approach to cell biology or not.

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