Unbounded happiness (was Re: Property rights)

From: Matt Mahoney (matmahoney@yahoo.com)
Date: Mon Apr 21 2008 - 08:04:55 MDT

--- Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp@gmail.com> wrote:

> What need would there be for government or economics when everything
> is free and happiness knows no bounds?

Such idealism! First, AI can replace human labor but it does not make
everything free because matter, energy, space, and time are limited resources.

Second, happiness is bounded. There is no evidence that humans are happier
than animals, or that the rich are happier than the poor, or that modern
humans are happier now than centuries ago. When you look at objective
measures like rates of depression or suicide, you might conclude the opposite.

An intelligence is an optimization process with the goal of finding x that
maximizes a utility U(x). Happiness is the rate of increase, dU(x)/dt. If
U(x) is bounded, then happiness is bounded. No matter what x is, it must be
bounded in our universe because our universe is finite and x can only have a
finite number of values.

-- Matt Mahoney, matmahoney@yahoo.com

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