RE: Too much talk not enough action

From: dave last (smileydave@hotmail.com)
Date: Sun Mar 05 2006 - 17:38:42 MST


I basically agree. You can learn a phenominal amount by trying at something
and failing. There needs to be a balance between theory and practice, but
people have a tendency to over-theorize.

>From: "P K" <kpete1@hotmail.com>
>Reply-To: sl4@sl4.org
>To: sl4@sl4.org
>Subject: Too much talk not enough action
>Date: Sat, 04 Mar 2006 18:44:54 +0000
>
>Armchair AGI wonít get you anywhere. Theory must be followed by practical
>work in order for a project to be successful. This is because the time you
>waste on a mistake grows exponentially the longer you work with it without
>correcting it. For instance, you may waste weeks or months on a mistake you
>could have corrected with just a week of practical testing. This effect is
>less apparent in straightforward projects where you know it will work and
>itís just a mater of time. AGI coding is definitely *NOT* straightforward.
>
>Let me illustrate this with an analogy. Imagine you are walking on a road.
>It splits in two, and every side splits in two again. This goes on and on
>like a branching tree. If you move forward you can see your end goal better
>since you're closer. However, if you rush too much you might take wrong
>turns. There are also many paths that will kill you. And the longer you
>wait around without getting to your goal the more likely you are to die.
>
>What is the best way to get where you're going?
>You can try to figure out the way by looking forward (mostly theorize) but
>the farther you try to look the more difficult it will be to see. And so,
>no mater how hard you try, there will inevitably be mistakes. If you moved
>one step forward you will have a slightly better view and could have
>corrected the mistake instead of wasting all that time thinking about the
>wrong part of the maze.
>
>On the other hand, if try to move too much without looking, you will
>inevitably take wrong turns and waste your time backtracking or worse, take
>a tern that kills you. (Although, I don't consider it very likely for those
>who just dabble without any theory to get anywhere. UFAI is many orders of
>magnitude smaller than the program simply not working. And FAI is many
>orders of magnitude smaller than FAI is.)
>
>The optimal approach is some combination of looking (theory) and moving
>(practice). You should try to look far ahead to get a general idea of the
>land, then take a step forward. Then look again, and so on. Because of the
>potentially precarious nature of the trip, you should examine the step in
>front of you very carefully, especially when you're close to the goal since
>thatís where the death turns are clustered.
>
>The fear of death paths should *NOT* paralyze you into just looking and
>never moving because the longer you wait, the more likely you are to
>succumb to an existential risk.
>
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