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Comment author: timujin 17 August 2017 02:42:58PM 0 points [-]

What's wrong with ethanol made from corn, anyway?

Comment author: timujin 22 May 2017 07:48:35AM 0 points [-]

I've watched Stuart Russel's TED talk on AI risk, and my gut reaction to it was "do you want to be paperclips? this is how you become paperclips!". It goes completely against the grain of the view that has been expressed on this blog as of few years ago. But, then again, AI is hard, and there might be some recent developments that I have missed. What is the current state of the research? What does EY and his camarilla think about the state of the problem as of now?

In response to comment by kilobug on Zombies Redacted
Comment author: gjm 08 July 2016 12:55:05PM -2 points [-]

My impression was that this was pretty much tinujin's point: saying "imagine something atom-for-atom identical to you but with entirely different subjective experience" is like saying "imagine something atom-for-atom identical to an Oreo except that it weighs 100 tons etc.": it only seems imaginable as long as you aren't thinking about it too carefully.

In response to comment by gjm on Zombies Redacted
Comment author: timujin 08 July 2016 01:36:09PM 2 points [-]

Confirm.

In response to comment by timujin on Zombies Redacted
Comment author: UmamiSalami 07 July 2016 03:18:23PM *  -2 points [-]

Yes, this is called qualia inversion and is another common argument against physicalism. There's a detailed discussion of it here: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qualia-inverted/

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: UmamiSalami 06 July 2016 08:29:09PM *  -1 points [-]

This argument is not going to win over their heads and hearts. It's clearly written for a reductionist reader, who accepts concepts such as Occam's Razor and knowing-what-a-correct-theory-looks-like.

I would suggest that people who have already studied this issue in depth would have other reasons for rejecting the above blog post. However, you are right that philosophers in general don't use Occam's Razor as a common tool and they don't seem to make assumptions about what a correct theory "looks like."

If conceivability does not imply logical possibility, then even if you can imagine a Zombie world, it does not mean that the Zombie world is logically possible.

Chalmers does not claim that p-zombies are logically possible, he claims that they are metaphysically possible. Chalmers already believes that certain atomic configurations necessarily imply consciousness, by dint of psychophysical laws.

The claim that certain atomic configurations just are consciousness is what the physicalist claims, but that is what is contested by knowledge arguments: we can't really conceive of a way for consciousness to be identical with physical states.

Comment author: timujin 07 July 2016 10:37:05AM 1 point [-]

Chalmers does not claim that p-zombies are logically possible, he claims that they are metaphysically possible. Chalmers already believes that certain atomic configurations necessarily imply consciousness, by dint of psychophysical laws.

Okay. In that case, I peg his argument as proving too much. Imagine a cookie that is exactly like an Oreo, down to the last atom, except it's raspberry flavored. This situation is semantically the same as a p-Zombie, so it's exactly as metaphysically possible, whatever that means. Does it prove that raspberry flavor is an extra, nonphysical fact about cookies?

In response to Zombies Redacted
Comment author: timujin 06 July 2016 02:40:54PM 5 points [-]

This argument is not going to win over their heads and hearts. It's clearly written for a reductionist reader, who accepts concepts such as Occam's Razor and knowing-what-a-correct-theory-looks-like. But such a person would not have any problems with p-Zombies to begin with.

If you want to persuade someone who's been persuaded by Chalmers, you should debunk the argument itself, not bring it to your own epistemological ground where the argument is obviously absurd. Because you, and the Chalmers-supporter are not on the same epistemological ground, and will probably never be.

Here's how you would do that.

---- START ARGUMENT ----

Is it conceivable that the 5789312365453423234th digit of Pi is 7?

No, don't look it up just yet. Is it conceivable to you, right now, that it's 7?

For me, yes, it is. If I look it up, and it turns out to be 7, I would not be surprised at all. It's a perfectly reasonable outcome, with predictable consequences. It's not that hard for me to imagine me running a program that calculates and prints the number, and it printing out 7.

Yet, until you look it up, you don't really know if it's 7 or not. It could be 5. It would also be a reasonable, non-surprising and conceivable outcome.

Yet at least one of those outcomes is logically impossible. The exact value of Pi is logically determined, and, if you believe that purely logical conclusions apply universally, then one of those values of 5789312365453423234th digit of Pi is universally impossible.

And yet both are conceivable.

So logical impossibility does not imply inconceivability. This is logically equivalent to saying "conceivability does not imply logical possibility" (A->B => ~B->~A).

If conceivability does not imply logical possibility, then even if you can imagine a Zombie world, it does not mean that the Zombie world is logically possible. It may be the case that the Zombie world is logically impossible. Chalmer's argument does not rule that out. For example, it may be the case that certain atomic configurations necessarily imply consciousness. Or it may be any other case of logical impossibility. What matters is that consciousness as an additional nonphysical entity is not implied by its conceivability.

---- END ARGUMENT ----

Comment author: Huluk 26 March 2016 12:55:37AM *  26 points [-]

[Survey Taken Thread]

By ancient tradition, if you take the survey you may comment saying you have done so here, and people will upvote you and you will get karma.

Let's make these comments a reply to this post. That way we continue the tradition, but keep the discussion a bit cleaner.

Comment author: timujin 07 April 2016 07:11:44PM 13 points [-]

I have taken the survey.

Comment author: Elo 14 October 2015 08:18:02PM 1 point [-]

Have you tried to look at any new areas recently? Perhaps you are getting kind of "bored" by the repetition.

Comment author: timujin 15 October 2015 09:22:15AM 0 points [-]

Sort of yes. Maybe not sufficiently new. I shall look into it.

Comment author: pcm 14 October 2015 06:35:49PM 1 point [-]

I've felt that lack of curiosity a fair amount over the past 5-10 years. I suspect the biggest change that reduced my curiosity was becoming financially secure. Or maybe some other changes which made me feel more secure.

I doubt that I ever sought knowledge for the sake of knowledge, even when it felt like I was doing that. It seems more plausible that I had hidden motives such as the desire to impress people with the breadth or sophistication of my knowledge.

LessWrong attitudes toward politics may have reduced some aspects of my curiosity by making it clear that my curiosity in many areas had been motivated by a desire to signal tribal membership. That hasn't enabled me to redirect curiosity toward more productive areas, but I'm probably better off without those aspects of curiosity.

Comment author: timujin 14 October 2015 06:41:17PM 0 points [-]

I am definitely not better off without what I lost. Genuine curiosity had tremendously powerful effect on my learning.

Comment author: polymathwannabe 14 October 2015 01:03:46PM *  4 points [-]

Listen to yourself. You want to know what happened to you. You're still a curious person.

Even if you don't feel like you want to learn in general, you want to want to learn. You're on the path to switching from undirected to directed, from chaotic to purposeful curiosity. You already know how to pursue a question; now you need to find what questions matter to you.

Comment author: timujin 14 October 2015 06:37:14PM 2 points [-]

The source of my wanting is conscience rather than passion, though. It's a completely different thing, and learning is a tiring activity which importance I realize, rather than something that empowers me or something I look forward to. That's the problem.

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