Re: [isml] Making HAL Your Pal (fwd)

From: Adrian Tymes (
Date: Thu Apr 19 2001 - 14:54:48 MDT

"Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" wrote:
> Guys, I can burn myself out trying to get everything to everyone, and all
> it means is that *nothing* will ever get finished.

You missed my point. You will remain as one full-time guy until you
change your actions to allow others to help. You don't have to retype
your notes for each and every person; just type up what you have in
some place everyone can see, point questioners there, and use that
place as your main working repository.

That doesn't mean white papers. That means *running code*, or at least
the framework of such (at least pseudocode with no "undefined magic
happens here" bits), which you then won't have to rewrite for various
architectures (code mongers can port your stuff to their platforms:
porting is a common operation).

> I'm sorry if I managed
> to give you the impression that it was just a couple of weeks, way back
> when, but we can't start implementing Flare until we have at least one
> full-time person to run the project, and I've been too busy working on
> "Friendly AI" - am *still* too busy - to write anything up on it.

You're in such a rush to complete your project, you don't have time to
complete your project. It's a common malady/paradox among modern
projects, though it's more visible among commercial projects (since
they ship their buggy, incomplete, rushed project anyway, on a schedule
close to what their developers originally estimated but with an attempt
to do it in half the time, and the other half trying to patch up that

That is to say, I was volunteering to *be* that "full-time person" to
run Flare, but I couldn't since you failed to get me the info; other
people look at what you have, see a total lack of specs one could
develop from, and don't bother even to ask, assuming that those specs
don't and won't exist. My situation has changed in light of this and
other things, and I may no longer be in a position to write Flare - but
there are others.

Suggestion: write up and post what you have, then mostly forget about
it until someone (in a similar situation as I was) starts writing it
without your oversight. Get it ready for handoff, so it can take off
with minimal, maybe zero, further input of your time afterwards.

Question to the rest of the list: I'm sure someone else can see the
point I'm trying to make. Can anyone else state it in a clearer
fashion, such that Eliezer can see the path out of being a perpetual
one-man job? (A certain set of actions will be necessary; funding is
not the only path, nor even the one most likely to get results if
funding and a biz plan are not actively pursued.)

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