Re: Dyson (Was: Paths to Uploading)

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Mon, 11 Jan 1999 10:44:46 -0600

KPJ wrote:
> You appear to enter the Debate Mode. This normally indicates that I have
> somehow triggered the meme system into self-protection. Sorry about that.

(?) I do have to worry about that, since I'm still a mortal. But I don't think so. I'll pay you a sincere compliment and assume that you were genuinely trying to make a point of evolutionary psychology, at the same level of facility I had a few years ago, rather than using a debating tactic.

I was simply echoing a point you made back at you; that if you feel threatened by a specific set of memes ("Nuke K-Mart"), then there's also a threat in any meme system which assumes a random trajectory. I'd feel nervous around someone who insisted that reality is only a matter of opinion, wouldn't you? He might decide that sulfuric acid was good for me.

> It appears as if "Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" <> wrote:
> |
> |I see. So, in other words, you're walking a totally predetermined
> |trajectory where your current meme system determines the meme system
> |you'll adopt next. (As adjusted for your innate instincts, of course.)
> Ahh, the old question of Free Will pops up.

Not in the slightest. There are people who follow predetermined walks with respect to their opinions; we call it "blind faith", not "Free Opinion".

> Personally I use the meme system of scientific exploration called rational
> empirism. This system defines "truth" as the model matching the outer world
> and checks the truth value of the model by making experiments. I understand
> it has been rather successful during the last centuries.

But you don't use that meme system to determine the truth of supergoals, only of opinions and subgoals. I use that meme system to determine what I do as well as what I say.

--         Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

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