RE: Rational nursery tales

From: Rick Strongitharm (
Date: Fri Jan 21 2000 - 16:56:53 MST

Add a fifth and a sixth piggy. A Real Estate Agent Piggy and a Speculator
Piggy. Give the wolves Law degrees. Don't eat the moochers. Feed them to
the lawyers. That's all any economy needs; pigs, lawyers and real estate.

Rick Strongitharm, B.A., LL.B.

-----Original Message-----
[]On Behalf Of Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Sent: January 19, 2000 10:32 PM
To: Extropians
Subject: Rational nursery tales

The common story of "The three little piggies" - building houses of
straw, wood, and brick respectively - fails to realistically model
rational planning.

(A): The first two piggies survive in the third piggy's house, thus
deriving the same benefit for less cost by mooching, clearly the wrong
lesson to teach our young children. The first two piggies should be eaten.

(B): The strongest house was the only one to survive. This teaches
absolutist rather than probabilistic thinking. What this nursery tale
needs is a fourth little piggy, who built his house out of prestressed
reinforced concrete, and wasted a lot of money relative to the third
little piggy, but was nonetheless not eaten by wolves; on the whole, a
net positive.

           Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Typing in Dvorak         Programming with Patterns  Writing in
Voting for Libertarians  Heading for Singularity    There Is A Better Way

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