Essays 1

And that’s why we have Methods of Rationality.

Expecting Short Inferential Distances complete text

Transhumanism as Simplified Humanism complete text

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7 Comments

  1. This was my first time experiencing these essays. Your delivery of the ending of transhmanism as simplified humanism genuinely brought me to tears. Thank you for that.

  2. The purpose of moral philosophies or philosophies in general are not to be simplified, but to take your beliefs and challenge them to better understand. the essays throw out concepts of absolutes such as life is good, death is bad, health is good, ailments are bad. But who’s life is good? Who’s death is bad? By what standards are you applying these subjective concepts to settle upon the definitive nature of morality. Simple concepts of saving another, but who is being saved? Do they deserve to be saved in this subjective hypothetical? Simple concepts receive little praise because they are simple. Unfortunately I believe these essays fall into that category of simplicity. But then again even simplicity is subjective to those who define it.

    • “But who’s life is good? Who’s death is bad? … Simple concepts of saving another, but who is being saved? Do they deserve to be saved in this subjective hypothetical?”

      Taken in the spirit of the essay, I believe the answers to your questions are “everyone’s”, “everyone’s”, “it doesn’t matter”, and “yes”, respectively. No special cases. No moral dilemmas. This is, if I understand correctly, the whole point.

      Your point of departure from Yudkowsky seems to be that you disagree with his statement that “morality doesn’t always have to be complicated.”

  3. Thank you so much for choosing to include these along-side the fiction stories. I can’t agree with you enough on the level of content compared to length, and I would love to hear more of them. I could probably look up more of Elizer’s essays (and likely will when I find the time), but as a busy father of two, I don’t’ have NEAR enough down time to leisurely read half as much as I’d like. Having them in audio format is exponentially more convenient.

  4. Pingback: 38 – Transhumanism (pt 1) | The Bayesian Conspiracy

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