The Meaning of Life

John K Clark (
Mon, 10 Feb 1997 23:01:16 -0800 (PST)


On Mon, 10 Feb 1997 Eliezer Yudkowsky <> Wrote:

>I enjoy Bach, but I am not afraid to question the value of my

If you enjoyed it then you've already answered the question, you are saying
Bach has value to me. What do you care what my opinion is on the subject,
or the opinion of the Universe if it has one, which I very much doubt.
The Universe is dumb, that's why you're a better music critic than the

>Is the Meaning of Life *really* 42? [...] I refuse to give one
>arbitrary number such power over my life!

Excellent! That's exactly the right attitude. 42 may be the meaning of life
to the universe but it sure as hell isn't for you or me, the universe can
take 42 and all its meaning and stick it where the sun don't shine.

>Take your flowchart for "consciousness", John K Clark, and apply it
>to "value"!

1) Is what Value does complex? If yes go to 2 if no explain how to reconcile
that with the way it effects our lives, both objective and subjective.

2) Is Value itself complex? If yes go to 3 if no then religious people are
right Science is not important and can not help us in the most important

3) Is Value made of parts? If yes go to 4 if no explain how something can
be complex yet have no structure.

4) Does the Value operate in an uncoordinated, incoherent manner?
If no go to 5 if yes explain how to reconcile that with experience, both
objective and subjective.

5) Do the parts communicate among themselves? If yes go to 6 if no explain
how coordination is possible without communication.

6) Is a part that changes in only one way (a bit) the simplest part of Value?
If yes go to 7 if no then something that does not change at all is the
essence of Value and religious people are right, Science is not important
and can not help us in the most important questions.

7) Is Value information processing ? If yes then go to 8, if no then explain
what the difference is.

8) Is Value a state of mind? If yes then I'm right if no explain what the
difference is.

John K Clark

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