[ExI] Unilateralist

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Fri Dec 28 06:33:44 UTC 2012

On Thu, Dec 27, 2012 at 3:22 AM, Anders Sandberg <anders at aleph.se> wrote:

> So our advice for unilateralist curse situations is: 1) if possible, talk
> and set up a joint decision. 2) if talking is not possible, calculate how a
> rational agent should have solved the situation (including uncertainty about
> the other agents and their abilities) and act like that, 3) if that is too
> complex and you can just randomly select a single agent to act, do that
> (yes, sometimes the rational choice is to flip a coin to decide whether to
> act even when you think the action is good). 4) if that cannot be done
> either, try to defer to a group consensus (real or imaginary) about this
> type of action rather than striking out unilaterally.

### I agree with this reasoning but with an important limitation: The
technical contributions of most humans, especially in realms both far
from simple experience and likely to trigger various human cognitive
and emotional biases (like mind design, a.k.a. playing god), are
likely to be detrimental to the decision-making process. I do believe
that there are thresholds of intelligence, rationality, and
goal-disparity (think classic liberal vs.
communitarian/statist/religious) which preclude being able to
positively participate in joint decision-making, at least not as equal

On the other hand, among agents capable of sufficiently curbing their
emotions, hubris, fear, power-greed, and other distractions, or in
other words, among serious wanna-be Bayesians, collective, iterative
decision making is indeed likely to be beneficial, as exemplified by
the progress of physical sciences.

Anybody calm enough, smart enough, and technically knowledgeable
enough should be invited to the club. The club with the largest number
of presumably iteratively self-selected, smart, nice folks is likely
to produce the best, nicest results sooner, hopefully preempting the
clubs of stupid, mean people from messing up all of us.


More information about the extropy-chat mailing list