Re: New Star Wars Movie Anti-Extropian?

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Thu, 20 May 1999 12:31:12 -0500

Damien Broderick wrote:
> At 07:07 AM 20/05/99 GMT, Randy wrote:
> >I say, turn it around: Don't feel--think!
> No, no, *no*, damn it!
> "Don't just feel - think as well! Don't just think - feel as well! Think
> *and* feel!"

Actually, the damaging part of the concept isn't the idea "Don't think--feel!" The damaging part is the idea that there's a sharp distinction. Any information the brain processes is input to rationality. That includes instinct, and intuition, and any other data that gets produced by any cognitive process.

I remember studying for the SAT at age 11. I took the first Math practice section and got a 600. I took the second one and got a 560. I took the third one and got a 540. Going over the problems, I realized that my first guess, my first impression, was right more often than my second-guessing; as I tried to compensate by increasing second-guessing, my scores went down. So I took another practice test, rapidly and without self-consciousness, acting, as Obi-Wan would say, "on instinct", and got a 640. I figured that was good enough and stopped practicing; on the eventual SAT a few months later, I got a 740 in Math. I *trust* my intuitions, not for any mystical reason, but because they're always right.

My father has a lecture about how Star Trek destroyed American engineering by teaching managers to say "Dammit, Scotty, I need it done in five minutes, not two weeks." I think that Star Trek destroyed American culture through the Mr. Spock stereotype, that "rational thinking" is high-precision math incapable of understanding emotions. Star Trek is also responsible for the failure of AI, psychiatric idiocy, Skinnerian behaviorism, string theory, and the hole in the ozone layer, but I digress.

By comparision, Star Wars's "Use the Force" would simply seem to state an additional input. What Lorrey said.

Of course, I haven't seen Episode I. I don't think I plan to, since the nonstop hype has managed to instill feelings of nausea whenever I hear the words "Star Wars". If they'd just *released* it, I would have gone to see it. As it is, I'd rather see _The Matrix_ a third time.

--          Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

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