[ExI] Effectiveness of democracy as a result of selection bias

Aware aware at awareresearch.com
Thu Jul 2 02:06:33 UTC 2009

On Wed, Jul 1, 2009 at 5:25 PM, Stathis Papaioannou<stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
> But *something* would happen if people could adjust their desires to
> be more in keeping with their notion of what was intrinsically
> worthwhile. For example, someone with a weight problem might decrease
> his propensity to overeat and increase his motivation to exercise.
> This is what people try to do already, but often with little success
> for great effort. The ability to directly modify your mind to achieve
> this would change everything.

It's important to distinguish between technologically modifying
(improving) our instrumental effectiveness in relation to the
promotion of our present values, versus technologically modifying
(improving? Relative to what?) our values themselves.  The former is
quite coherent; we do it all the time, whether it's practicing a
skill, (un)learning a behavior, or developing and using tools.  The
latter is incoherent in its recursively regressive application of

My point is that we already modify our minds--but there is no
mind-object, thus no "directly"--and all the while our instrumental
effectiveness tends to improve.

- Jef

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