Basking in the Basilisk

Without knowing anything much about what this is going to be (beyond the excerpt here)* it provides an irresistible pretext for citing what has to be among the most gloriously gone texts of modern times, Eliezer Yudkowsky’s response to Roko on the arrival of the Basilisk:

Eliezer_Yudkowsky 24 July 2010 05:35:38AM 3 points
One might think that the possibility of CEV punishing people couldn’t possibly be taken seriously enough by anyone to actually motivate them. But in fact one person at SIAI was severely worried by this, to the point of having terrible nightmares, though ve wishes to remain anonymous. I don’t usually talk like this, but I’m going to make an exception for this case.
Listen to me very closely, you idiot.
YOU DO NOT THINK IN SUFFICIENT DETAIL ABOUT SUPERINTELLIGENCES CONSIDERING WHETHER OR NOT TO BLACKMAIL YOU. THAT IS THE ONLY POSSIBLE THING WHICH GIVES THEM A MOTIVE TO FOLLOW THROUGH ON THE BLACKMAIL.
There’s an obvious equilibrium to this problem where you engage in all positive acausal trades and ignore all attempts at acausal blackmail. Until we have a better worked-out version of TDT and we can prove that formally, it should just be OBVIOUS that you DO NOT THINK ABOUT DISTANT BLACKMAILERS in SUFFICIENT DETAIL that they have a motive toACTUALLY BLACKMAIL YOU.
If there is any part of this acausal trade that is positive-sum and actually worth doing, that is exactly the sort of thing you leave up to an FAI. We probably also have the FAI take actions that cancel out the impact of anyone motivated by true rather than imagined blackmail, so as to obliterate the motive of any superintelligences to engage in blackmail.
Meanwhile I’m banning this post so that it doesn’t (a) give people horrible nightmares and (b) give distant superintelligences a motive to follow through on blackmail against people dumb enough to think about them in sufficient detail, though, thankfully, I doubt anyone dumb enough to do this knows the sufficient detail. (I’m not sure I know the sufficient detail.)
You have to be really clever to come up with a genuinely dangerous thought. I am disheartened that people can be clever enough to do that and not clever enough to do the obvious thing and KEEP THEIR IDIOT MOUTHS SHUT about it, because it is much more important to sound intelligent when talking to your friends. This post was STUPID.
(For those who have no idea why I’m using capital letters for something that just sounds like a random crazy idea, and worry that it means I’m as crazy as Roko, the gist of it was that he just did something that potentially gives superintelligences an increased motive to do extremely evil things in an attempt to blackmail us. It is the sort of thing you want to be EXTREMELY CONSERVATIVE about NOT DOING.)

The affect is strong, or simulated with bizarre brilliance. It almost reaches an intensity capable of burning through time and worm-holing into acausal or horroristic communion with this (plus). Which would suggest that the abominable coupling in question is not without occult connective threads (and not for the first time). All the darkness connects around the back.

We were somewhere near here before. (Bryce went further and then — coincidentally — disappeared, taking his records with him.)

* Related post and (especially) comment thread.

ADDED: I think this is the best Basilisk basics source.

April 15, 2016admin 37 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Horror

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37 Responses to this entry

  • Basking in the Basilisk | Neoreactive Says:

    […] Basking in the Basilisk […]

    Posted on April 15th, 2016 at 2:12 pm Reply | Quote
  • Artxell Knaphni Says:

    You’re too easily impressed, it seems as though you didn’t read enough SF, when you were a kid, NL.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Asynchonous, acausal traffic with synthetic superintelligences hasn’t been outstripped by many science fiction scenarios.

    [Reply]

    Artxell Knaphni Reply:

    All of that is just assumed, lesser implication, in SF, the way I received it.
    In Sheckley, that would be one line, the way you wrote it, then onto the next thing.
    It’s only the older, boring writers, who would form whole books around one idea, e.g. John Wyndham, & then reintroduce conventional reality in domesticated ways. Most of the horror writers were hamstrung by the need to shock; it’s too emotive, not conceptual enough.
    I’ll try to find examples.

    [Reply]

    Mariani Reply:

    I feel like the idiosyncrasy of everyone at XS (except you, apparently) referring to admin as admin is a gesture at cyberpunk. So I wouldn’t underestimate how much sci-fi is baked right into the cake here

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 15th, 2016 at 2:27 pm Reply | Quote
  • Brett Stevens Says:

    Neoreaction is a brand. That brand has been oversold by certain highly popular blogs which reflect emotional but not structured thinking, which makes them easily comprehensible (Budweiser, Big Mac) and therefore popular. What is good about XS is that it demands consistency and rigor in thinking so that, even if you disagree with it, it is not a criticism of demotism that is itself a form of demotism like — well, you all know the names.

    In the far right, we had the same problem. The insightful writers were passed over for the Big Macs. As a result, idiots took it away. Neoreaction will be subverted and will subvert itself in exactly the same way, and by the looks of things, already has.

    This is standard for non-mainstream politics. It is just one of the hazards of the road: once you get outside of the mainstream, people will try to apply its methods to new (to them) ideas, and as a result humble those ideas and assimilate them into mainstream notions. The question is how to beat that back, and it seems to me that having a readership that understands complex sentences and arguments — as on XS — is the first step.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Fashion is powerful in mass-communication societies — but it’s a poisoned chalice. Short time-horizons guarantee a blazing ride to the dumpster. The greatest advantage NRx has now is the passage of the dissident right hype-wave to more recent, frothier options. Calm detachment is back. (Nothing can be built out of froth, but that’s a lesson for every generation of youngsters to re-learn.)

    As to the XS commentariat — no expression of appreciation from my side could possibly be adequate.

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 15th, 2016 at 3:01 pm