I am glad Eliezer understands about gratitude and the randomness of life...

From: john grigg (starman125@hotmail.com)
Date: Tue Jan 11 2000 - 14:40:42 MST

As J.R. pointed out, those who are not only talented but ambitious and
successful do deserve the fruits of their labors (a key reason why communism
failed) I do think they should help the less fortunate. How to best do this
is the question.

But in a broader sense Eliezer is so right in my view. One person does not
"deserve" to have been born with much higher intelligence then another
person. It simply happened with luck or a good roll of the "genetic dice."
The same goes for good looks, health (at least with what one starts with)
and parents (who provide love, socialization and key economic resources).

But I have often seen people who act as if these characteristics were
something they earned rather then out of random chance received. They act
like they are better then others (and they are sometimes in terms of brains
and/or looks) but this was given to them by life while many others were not
so randomly blessed by chance.

Of course some people so fortunate take advantage of these characteristics
and maximize their potentials while others do not. Even with brains, looks,
health and a good family background success is not assured. That is where
personal choice and ambition comes in.

I am touched that Eliezer realizes how fortunate he is. Some people would
just lord over others that they were intellectually very bright while not
taking into account that this blessing was random, not earned and things
could have been different. This all goes back to the fact that LIFE IS
UNFAIR and at least he acknowledges that. Eliezer wants a world where
everyone has a fighting chance and a powerful mind would be part of that.

With genetic engineering we will have at first for the elite and then
hopefully the common man, a time when all children can be born with the
genetic potentials for sharp minds as well as healthy beautiful bodies. I
also want a world where everyone gets to be very physically attractive. I
am especially tired of the elitism there that nature has given us.

The janitor slaving away may have been boxed in by his environment (born in
a third world nation to a poor family) or be living the consequences of bad
life decisions such as deciding not to further his education. Then again he
or she may be developmentally disabled and so they may live in a place of
opportunity but they were still limited.

In the end we are each given a different hand of cards from life and it is
up to us to play that hand as well as we can. I am just beginning to learn
this myself. I felt frustrated with my hand and basically gave up rather
then go out and do my very best with it.

I like the idea of the strong reaching out to help the weak to raise them
up. In the world that is coming where we have powerful technologies such as
A.I. and nanotech there should be ways never before seen to dry the tears of
the world. At least to levels we the planet has never witnessed before. I
am not even speaking of a utopia but simply a much better place then


John Grigg

"J. R. Molloy" wrote:>
>The talented _deserve_ more of the world's good things in proportion as the
>talented _create_ more of the world's good things. The fact that Weinberg
>"never understood" this, indicates a serious hole in his perception
Nonsense. There is no "deserve". Everyone deserves an IQ of 180 and
unlimited wealth. The only question is what social rules work best for
getting as close as possible.
I myself have lived my life on the principle that I did not "deserve" my
neurohack status, or my intelligence, or my ability to make a
difference. It fell into my lap like manna from heaven. I don't
"deserve" what I have any more than some guy slaving away as a janitor.
Nonetheless, considering how much time I've spent working on
intelligence enhancement, that I may share the bounty which the random
factors have bestowed upon me, I don't think that there's anyone in the
world who would tell me to do things differently.
The strong exist to serve the weak, and to the abyss with Ayn Rand.- --
               sentience@pobox.com Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:02:13 MDT