Re: Unbounded happiness. (was Re: Property rights)

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Sat Apr 26 2008 - 03:38:31 MDT

John K Clark wrote:
> On Mon, 21 Apr 2008 "Matt Mahoney"
> <> said:
>> AI can replace human labor
> The AI can replace the entire human race for that matter. But never
> mind, and forget about gray goo, I believe unbounded happiness will be
> the biggest threat our decedents face and the only thing that might
> prevent our mind children from becoming Gods; it may even be the
> explanation for the Fermi Paradox. If you could be the happiest
> (uploaded of course) man alive just by editing the value of one integer
> in your source code you might be strongly tempted to do so, I know I
> would be.
And then what? There are drugs out there, meditations techniques and so
on that can bring you to intensely ecstatic states, some quite long
lasting if you work at it. Is it enough? Perhaps for some people for
some time. But I very much doubt we would all hardwire ourselves to such
a point we couldn't do anything much else except bliss out. I speak from
some modest experience.

I think it much more likely a Fermi Paradox explanation that very very
few intelligent evolved species overcome enough of their EP and evolved
limitations fast enough to deal with the complexity explosion pre-AGI.
AGI comes too late as their increasingly interdependent world too
complex for their collective intelligence spirals out of control and
takes them down. For a variety of reasons I think this is the most
likely outcome by far for any such species.

> Iíll just change the mean happiness quotient in my code from a 5 to a 6,
> oh yes thatís much better, I wonder what a 7 would feel like, wow that
> was even better than I expected, 8 is really not that much greater than
> 7 so it couldnít hurt toÖ.
> The trouble is if youíre perfectly happy right now then you have no
> incentive to do anything because things are perfect already so any
> change you make will only make things worse.
How does that follow? I can be perfectly delighted including delighted
that I can see a way to make the world even more wonderful and spread
the delight I feel to more people. Being perfectly happy is not
synonymous with their being nothing left you would love to do or see
changed. We can be perfectly happy with a lot that is far from perfect
around us.

- samantha

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