Re: Uploads and betrayal

Robin Hanson (
Wed, 01 Dec 1999 12:39:30 -0500

Hal Finney wrote:
>[To avoid typing "want to want" a great deal, I will use the abbreviation
>W1 for "want", W2 for "want to want", W3 for "want to want to want", etc.]
>Does it make sense to differentiate what we "want to want" (W2) from
>what we "want to want to want" (W3)? ...
>If we think of ourselves as made of parts, like a Minsky Society of Mind,
>then some parts W1 long-term things, and other parts W1 short-term things.
>The long-term parts W1 the short-term parts not to W1 what they do,
>hence they W2 long-term things as well as W1 them.
>However I can't see, in this model, where W3 would come into play.

How about a part C wants part A to win battles between part A & B? As in my "I'm a long-term person" module wants my "tenure would be cool" module to win over my "gosh a nap would be nice" module.

>In fact I'm not sure this distinction between "W2" and "W1" really works.
>Those parts of me with which I identify when I say I W2 long-term things
>are the same ones which W1 those things. Saying they W2 them is just
>a matter of saying that they W1 them but don't always get what they W1
>because other parts of me get in the way. So really the "W2" is just
>a matter of a strong "W1" which is being thwarted.

I agree that it might be cleaner to always talk about W1 and the parts involved. I was proposing how we can make sense of W2, etc. statements. But just because we can make sense of them doesn't mean there aren't cleaner ways to say the same thing.

Robin Hanson Asst. Prof. Economics, George Mason University MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030
703-993-2326 FAX: 703-993-2323