This is why I don’t like the meme of a ‘blind idiot god’, it’s really easy to read it in a way, if you actually understand the implications, which also implies that humans, on average, are even lesser, somehow even worse then a ‘blind idiot’.
Of course most potential writers aren’t exactly super geniuses nor willing to spend days thinking about a single phrase so it’s probably unfair to expect them to evaluate any metric such as intelligence along more then 2 or 3 dimensions simultaneously, hence they never would have caught the potentially self-defeating nature of the phrase.
The comedic effect also probably is quite unreliable among large portions of the population, as any mention of the word ‘god’ taken in vain would be quite serious to them.
What if there’s a taboo against being able to pick and choose which taboos to “overcome”?
This seems likely to be the case otherwise the taboos on incest for example would have disappeared long ago in the US. Since there’s easily a hard core group, almost certainly >0.1% of the US population, who would be just as interested in ‘overcoming’ that taboo.
This is a key point, advanced, sophisticated, verbal conversations are possible if and only if every participant has excellent working memory.
If there’s even the slightest doubt then relying on some record is a much better choice.
That’s the thing, there is no definable “set of problems humans care about” without some kind of attached or presumed metaphilosophy, at least none that you, or anyone, could possibly figure out in the foreseeable future and prove to a reasonable degree of confidence to the LW readerbase.
It’s not even ‘arbitrary’, that string of letters is indistinguishable from random noise.
i.e. Right now your first paragraph is mostly meaningless if read completely literally and by someone who accepts the claim. Such a hypothetical person would think you’ve gone nuts because it would appear like you took a well written comment and inserted strings of random keyboard bashing in the middle.
Of course it’s unlikely that someone would be so literal minded, and so insistent on logical correctness, that they would completely equate it with random bashing of a keyboard. But it’s possible some portion of readers lean towards that.
‘”good” optimization algorithms for neural networks’ also has no difference in meaning from ‘”glorxnag” optimization algorithms for neural networks’, or any random permutation, if your prior point holds.
You raised a very interesting point in the last comment, that metaphilosophy already encompasses everything, that we could conceive of at least.
So a ‘solution’ is not tractable due to various well known issues such as the halting problem and so on. (Though perhaps in the very distant future this could be different.)
However this leads to a problem, as exemplified by your phrasing here:
Fundamentally, I believe that good philosophy should make you stronger and allow you to make the world better, otherwise, why are you bothering …
‘good philosophy’ is not a sensible category since you already know you have not, and cannot, ‘solve’ metaphilosophy. Nor can any other LW reader do so.
‘good’ or ‘bad’ in real practice are, at best, whatever the popular consensus is in the present reality, at worst, just someone’s idiosyncratic opinions.
Very few concepts are entirely independent from any philosophical or metaphilosophical implications whatsoever, and ‘good philosophy’ is not one of them.
But you still felt a need to attach these modifiers, due to a variety of reasons well analyzed on LW, so the pretense of a solved or solvable metaphilosophy is still needed for this part of the comment to make sense.
I don’t want to single out your comment too much though, since it’s just the most convenient example, this applies to most LW comments.
i.e. If everyone actually accepted the point, which I agree with, I dare say a huge chunk of LW comments are close to meaningless from a formal viewpoint, or at least very open to interpretation by anyone who isn’t immersed in 21st century human culture.
How would life even evolve in the first place with such a system in place?
Have you thought through all the common thought experiments and methods described on LW before posting this?
I agree, there is the possibility that both sides are somewhat unscrupulous and not entirely forthright.
At best it could be because the environment/stress/etc. is causing them to behave like this, at worst it’s because they have delusions of grandeur without the substance to back that up.
Then on what basis do you “strongly disagree that just studying thermodynamics or statistical mechanics answers these questions, at least directly”?
How did you attain the knowledge for this?
I’m asking if there is a name and a specific theory of these things.
Why do you believe there is one?
This kind of understanding is already available in higher level textbooks, within known energy and space-time scales, as previously mentioned?
If your asking, for example, whether with infinite time and energy some sort of grey goo ‘superorganism’ is possible, assuming some sort of far future technology that goes beyond our current comprehension, then that is obviously not going to have an answer for the aformentioned reasons...
Assuming you already have sufficient knowledge of the fundamental sciences and engineering and mathematics at the graduate level, then finding the textbooks, reading them, comparatively analyzing them, and drawing your own conclusions wouldn’t take more then a few weeks. This sort of exhaustive analysis would presumably satisfy even a very demanding level of certainty (perhaps 99.9% confidence?).
If your asking for literally 100% certainty then that’s impossible. In fact, nothing on LW every written, nor ever can be written, will meet that bar, especially when the Standard Model is known to be incomplete.
If your asking whether someone has already done this and will offer it in easily digestable chunks in the form of LW comments, then it seems exceedingly unlikely.
Like you said the science we don’t know is at inaccessibly large or small scales.
Yes maybe in the far future in a society spread across multiple galaxies, or that can make things near Planck lengths, they could do something that would totally stump us.
But your never going to find a final answer to this in the present day for exactly those reasons.
In fact it’s unlikely anyone on LW could even grasp the answers even if by some miracle a helpful time traveller from the future showed up and started answering.
So it would be exactly the same as how ‘needs’ are recognized in present day society?
This is a bit of a tangent but even in an ideal future I can’t see how this wouldn’t just be shifting the problem one step away. After all, who would get to define what the ‘needs’ are?
If it’s defined by majority consensus, why wouldn’t the crowd pleasing option of shifting the baseline to more expansive ‘needs’ be predominant?
“Café Madelaine is a French Bakery and Pastry shop located at 34 Coles Street, Jersey City, NJ 07302” According to their own website.
So that doesn’t seem to count as a real sit-down restaurant.
Most higher level engineering textbooks cover this topic pretty thoroughly.
At least from the Thermodynamics II and III, Fluid Mechanics II and III, Solid Mechanics II and III, etc., courses that I took back in school.
It’s also all derivable from the fundamental symmetries of physics, plus some constants, axioms, and maybe some math tricks when it comes to Maxwell/Heaviside equations and the not-yet-resolved contradictions between gravity and quantum mechanics.
Sigh. I’ve seen a lot of RenTech worship and it rather annoys me.
Huh? I’m explicitly not ‘worshipping’ them. Did you skip reading the latter half of my comment?
I’m pretty sure most passing readers will already interpret ‘mis-hire’ and ‘mis-promotion’ as implying some degree of destructive efforts.
It’d be wise to add a disclaimer to your posts saying clearly that it is ‘AI-corrected’.
You forgot the most fundamental option, decide based on who makes the most profit/acquires the most fungible resources. Which is what nearly all of the outlier private organizations do.
This can’t applied everywhere though, especially where the lag between decision and result is multiple decades.
The most famous example in the financial world is RenTech. You could be the most anodyne guy in the world personally, with nothing super special going for you, but if you can land a position as an anonymous intern and consistently make above average profits week after week, they will promote very quickly into a seven figures total compensation position.
Maybe even before age 30 depending on just how above average the performance is.
It’s probably the most exceptional example of organizing via pure merit. You can’t quite just walk in and by year’s end start earning the equivalent of a sizable house in Berkely every quarter, but it’s not that far off.
At that level all these games mentioned in the post simply peter out once folks figure out it’s literally 10x slower and 10x less reliable than just shutting up and earning profits.
It’s true though for those who don’t have that kind of competence, or who are in the situations with too much delay between decisions to assess, that all the various tricks and schemes start to come into play.
This is because moderately above average people are actually quite tough to rank and distinguish based on anything other then hard to change physical characteristics.
i.e. nearly everyone at the 95th percentile has a similar enough chance of being a competent employee once promoted to middle management that noise, random chance, etc., will drown out any actual differences.
Probably even RenTech has a non-zero amount of mis-promotions and mis-hires every year due to happenstance.
Languages used in daily life indeed have no formal, logically consistent, definitions, nor will they likely ever have one.
Pure math, if you count it, might have this, depending on how sparse and ‘elegant’ the minimal universal axioms turn out to be.
What do you consider the definition of a ‘language’ for the purposes of this post?