Iconoclasm (was: Chunking intelligence functions)

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (sentience@pobox.com)
Date: Thu May 10 2001 - 11:23:34 MDT

Ben Goertzel wrote:
> > I'd like to just say, for the record, that a lot of ideas - my passionate
> > denouncements to be specific - would pass as normal in the hardcore
> > ev-psych community. Likewise, my ideas on altruism would pass for mundane
> > among most Eastern philosophies. But remember this: I USE A DVORAK
> > KEYBOARD. My strange allegiances are not random, though I've accumulated
> > enough of them that at least some of my opinions will be out of place in
> > any one community. I am more than an iconoclast: I am the Iconoclast of
> > the Better Way.
> Perhaps, Eliezer, you have not yet fully outgrown your religious roots ;>

What on Earth is that comment supposed to be about?

I would offer the following test for whether you are an Iconoclast of the
Better Way:

1) Do you vote for the same political party your parents did? Are you
aware that 95% of the variance in political preferences is accounted for
by reference to parental preferences? Isn't that pathetic?

2) Do you have the same religion you were brought up in? They can't all
be right, can they? Would that strategy really work if everyone used it?

it? Just once in your life? Doesn't continuing to use Qwerty indicate
that sheer mental inertia is just about the only driving factor in your

Never trust anyone who doesn't use a Dvorak keyboard, that's my motto.
Whether you use Dvorak is the simple, clear-cut, acid test of whether you
converge to true thoughts and the best ways or whether you're just
staggering through life with a head full of nonsense.

(And yes, I know that Dvorak exaggerated his original results and that
someone went back and debunked them. But just because the original claims
were inflated doesn't mean that a home row of "asdf jkl;" is superior to
"aoeu htns". I've actually used both keyboards, and I'm here to tell you
that Qwerty sucks. All you need to do is type "the" on a Dvorak keyboard
and you will never, ever go back.)

-- -- -- -- --
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky http://singinst.org/
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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