Archive for January 30th, 2014

Scrap note #6

How much credit is to be given to honest dishonesty? Answers should be addressed to Rod Dreher, in response to a truly astonishing blog post that sums up where we are right now more frankly than anything I have seen.

Short summary: We have a duty to lie.

In Dreher’s own words:

Given the history of the 20th century, I flat-out don’t trust our species to handle the knowledge of human biodiversity without turning it into an ideology of dehumanization, racism, and at worst, genocide. Put another way, I am hostile to this kind of thing not because I believe it’s probably false, but because I believe a lot of it is probably true — and we have shown that we, by our natures, can’t handle this kind of truth. […] My point is simply that all of us believe that some facts are too dangerous to be known; they are like the Ring Of Power, in that the temptation to abuse them is too great for our natures to bear. […] Admittedly, this puts me in a tight spot. Am I saying that we should ignore reality? I suppose I am.

So there we have it — we have to ban acknowledgement of reality, because Hitler. This stuff is all going to fall apart so quickly (and nastily) that it will shock everyone.

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January 30, 2014admin 66 Comments »
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Scrap note #5

Jim wonders whether AI is still progressing:

AI is a hard problem, and even if we had a healthy society, we might still be stuck. That buildings are not getting taller and that fabs are not getting cheaper and not making smaller and smaller devices is social decay. That we are stuck on AI is more that it is high hanging fruit.

Do we need a theory of consciousness to close the deal? (Alrenous  has a long-standing commitment to this topic — see the comments.)

FWIW, Outside in is strongly emergentist on the question: doing AI and understanding AI might not be tightly — or even positively — related. (Catallaxy and AI are not finally distinguishable.) Of course, that makes the relevance of social decay even more critical.

January 30, 2014admin 17 Comments »
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