Re: Plea (was ExI: Cognitive Extropians)

Eliezer Yudkowsky (
Wed, 22 Jan 1997 19:52:12 -0600

[Saith Lee Daniel Crocker:]
> Actually, it's true that I haven't got a clue what "emotion" refers
> to, and I never claimed to. I do, however, have a very clear referent
> in mind for what I call "reason", though I have been less than
> successful at communicating what that is. I don't know what emotion
> is precisely, but since I do experience a set of sensations that
> are consistent with what other people describe as emotion, I can
> identify some of those things as distinct from my referent for reason,
> which I will try to describe here briefly (in somewhat abbreviated
> form): I have a specific referent for "knowledge", and for "reality",
> and for what it means for the former to be consistent with the latter.
> I use the word "reason" to mean "those principles and methods--which
> may change over time--that lead to the acquisition of knowledge that
> is consistent with reality."

I feel like I'm staring into a mirror. Knowledge? Reality? Reason?
What computer program has "knowledge"? What computer program "reasons"
from it? What computer program is "reality"? "Emotion"... that I
understand. That is something I could set out to embody in an AI and be
reasonably sure of succeeding with my current knowledge.

--       Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

Disclaimer:  Unless otherwise specified, I'm not telling you
everything I think I know.