Re: Dyson (Was: Paths to Uploading)

Sun, 10 Jan 1999 19:54:34 +0100

It appears as if "Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" <> wrote:
|Um, how exactly do you decide what "best merits" are without a meme
|system? Undoubtedly the Catholic meme system holds that it is the best
|meme system for all possible situations.

You don't.

Naturally the Catholic meme system defines itself the best. Meme systems which don't define themselves as the best become extinct in the evolutionary meme competition.

|Ah, but in _my_ meme system, rather than selecting the _best_ merits,
|you should select the _worst_ merits; and moreover, explicitly
|specifying postulates is a terrifying crime. Also you're supposed to
|drop napalm on your local K-Mart.

I see. It appears as if your meme system makes you a sentience to avoid, maybe even to terminate with extreme prejudice. Thank you for the warning.

I wrote:
> The postulates for such a thought system should be specified explicitly > and why they have been selected.

|And what do you mean, "why they have been selected"? One meme system is
|as good as another. Explanation implies some way of choosing between
|meme systems, that one meme system is objectively right and the others
|are wrong.

In the context of wishing to become a posthuman superintelligence you would wish to avoid meme systems that told you "avoid medical help and die a natural death since Moloch the Great wants that".

When you select a meme system you should take into account the ramifications of adopting the meme system. After you have done it, you will find it much harder to change from it.

As a hypothetical example of why we select the rule of avoiding killing:

"If we adopt the meme system that we should avoid killing then we need not put lots of resources on avoid being killed (cf. Bosnia). Therefore, we should avoid killing."