Re: invisible friends and post-biological darwinism

From: J. R. Molloy (
Date: Mon Jan 07 2002 - 12:23:05 MST

From: "Anders Sandberg" <>
> we
> see the problem that such a device is infeasible since a lot of thinking
> is not even wrong, being based on fuzzy expectations, values and
> concepts with little agreed-upon semantics.

Well, since no one, not even Anders, has been able to figure it out, I guess
I'll have to explain that a device for accurately identifying incorrect
thinking has already been invented, and has been in use for hundreds of years,
although relatively few people avail themselves of its awesome power. The
device for accurately identifying incorrect thinking is the scientific method.
Yes, this method is very frightening, and many people oppose its use, and many
have resisted its implementation. That the method works is not in question,
but that so few understand how it works is the problem.

> The device would have to be
> a telepathic supersmart AI, and somehow that seems a bit of overkill.

I don't think the scientific method (which is a proven device for accurately
identifying incorrect thinking) needs to be "telepathic" although it may
appear to render "supersmart" results from time to time. Of course, science
does appear to be magic to some folks, but that does not entail supersmarts as
much as it derives from dispassionate analysis of the real world and a lot of
hard work.

--- --- --- --- ---

Useless hypotheses, etc.:
 consciousness, phlogiston, philosophy, vitalism, mind, free will, qualia,
analog computing, cultural relativism, GAC, Cyc, Eliza, cryonics, individual
uniqueness, ego, human values, scientific relinquishment, malevolent AI,
non-sensory experience, SETI

We move into a better future in proportion as science displaces superstition.

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