[extropy-chat] Re: [wta-talk] The mixed blessing of silence

Giu1i0 Pri5c0 pgptag at gmail.com
Thu Jan 19 05:48:20 UTC 2006

I agree with most of what Eliezer says here, in particular that
"shutting off the sensor that lights up to indicate the problem" does
not solve the problem itself. I also think conflicts are not
necessarily bad things - conflicts on *issues* that do not degenerate
in pointless personal battles, and are faced with a constructive
attitude by all parties involved, are often opportunities for growth.
I think it is perfectly possible to find good solutions to well posed
problems even starting from different positions on politics,
philisophy, religion or thai food.
But I believe the most recent example of flame war is nothing but big
ego trips masquerading as disagreement over politics or how
transhumanist organizations should be run, where the primary objective
is not finding a good way to do things better but rather scoring
points against some or some other opponent. For this, I really do not
have time.

On 1/18/06, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky <sentience at pobox.com> wrote:
> It's easy to call for peace, an end to conflict, without blaming any
> specific parties.  It scores you points with everyone who's sick of
> hearing about it, usually the majority.  It sounds like deep wisdom and
> gets you a reputation as a nice guy.
> But a population of doves is easily invaded by hawks.  When no one will
> protest, anyone can get away with anything.
> There is such a thing as an Evolutionarily Stable Strategy.  There is
> also such a thing as yammering about the subject unproductively  because
> no side is willing to accept anything less than a complete victory.
> So I don't feel too guilty about posting my opinions, *once*.  Playing
> flame tennis, on and on, is a bad idea.  Remember, though, that not
> everyone has the luxury of a standing, pre-built reputation good enough
> that they can afford to ignore attacks, confident that others know
> better than to listen.  Don't assume that other people can get away with
> ignoring attacks.  They're not responding to annoy you, they're
> responding because there are real penalties for not responding.
> I know you're fed up with big messy public battles.  The alternative may
> be for things to go wrong silently.  That is the option you are
> presented with, when you hear the deeply wise, easy, convenient calls
> for everyone to just shut up.  It doesn't get rid of the problem.  It
> shuts off the sensor that lights up to indicate the problem.
> --
> Eliezer S. Yudkowsky                          http://singinst.org/
> Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence
> _______________________________________________
> wta-talk mailing list
> wta-talk at transhumanism.org
> http://www.transhumanism.org/mailman/listinfo/wta-talk

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