Re: Arbitrarily decide who benefits (was Re: Bounded population)

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Sat Apr 26 2008 - 02:27:49 MDT

Tim Freeman wrote:
> From: "Nick Tarleton" <>
>> My point is that the goal system of an FAI is not arbitrary - it's
>> tightly constrained by our current values and the values implicit in
>> the changes we would make to ourselves, and can't be arbitrarily
>> tinkered with to resolve paradoxes without serious thought.
> It seems to me that some essential features of the FAI are arbitrary.
> The most important arbitrary feature I can see, for the purpose of
> getting a political consensus to build the thing, is who benefits.

I don't see any point in waiting for a political consensus. A few hours
checking out current politics worldwide should be sufficient to show
that humanity and human politics is utterly incapable of understanding
and making a rational democratic decision on such a subject.

> The set of entities that benefit might be all presently-existing
> humans, or it might be some smaller set of human individuals, or it
> might be all mammals, or one of many other possible choices. Does
> anyone see a strategy for bringing rationality to bear on this
> decision?
What decision? We are building something many orders of magnitude more
intellectually capable than ourselves and hopefully it will not eat our
face. It is a bit odd to being worrying about what primates or other
biological creatures it will benefit as if we are likely to have much
reasonable control over that. It is certainly a con job to sell it to
the public and claim tax expropriations to build it on such a basis of
being for the benefit of the "taxpayers" or some other popular target
requiring spending gobs of other people's money.

> Otherwise it's arbitrary and there will probably be a
> tedious and depressing political battle over it.
We don't have time for this, do we?

- samantha

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