Re: Impact on history

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Sat Sep 15 2001 - 00:08:40 MDT

John Clark wrote:
> Eliezer S. Yudkowsky <> Wrote:
> > What I don't like is the assumption that Iraqi or Afghan civilian
> > casualties are acceptable - undesirable, perhaps, but acceptable - while
> > American civilian casualties are unimaginable horrors.
> It doesn't matter if you like it, it's the attitude American civilians would
> inevitably take, Afghan civilians believe the same thing with just one
> minor change. Three billion years of evolution has constructed us
> in such a way that your death is bad but my death is an unimaginable
> horror. Did you expect something else?

No. I didn't expect anything else. I expected this to happen for reasons
of evolutionary psychology and group polarization dynamics as you
describe. And I expect that, by pointing out the irrationality, it will
be reduced in the small population of "people who read the Extropians
list", which may not ultimately be the best use of my time, but is still
very much worth doing.

I expect that my posts will not prevent the US from going to war, and that
indeed no amount of effort on my part could prevent the US from going to

-- -- -- -- --
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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