Comments on “No meaning without justification”

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Broken link

Anonymous 2021-12-26

I’m not seeing the link for the Cosmic Plan definition at the start of the article. I’m sure there is one because I swear I’ve seen it on other pages (and besides, it’s such a key concept…)


David Chapman 2021-12-26

Fixed—thank you for letting me know!

Thank you!

Kenny 2021-12-27

This is (yet another) great post and I’m reminded of how much I have enjoyed, and been enriched by, your writing over however long its been now – thank you!

Something that I noticed in particular on reading this post is that your attitude is so warm and generous. Your arguments, points, and references are wonderful, but it’s occasionally even more helpful (to me) that they’re all made with such obvious charity towards all of us ‘suffering’ from “human being”.

I was delighted to find that your thesis book is available via Amazon! And even more delighted that you found the code too and shared it publicly. (On (re-)reading the post at that last link, it occurred to me that you are something like the ‘Ur-modern-rationalist’ – an AI researcher that self-imposed a moratorium on continuing to research technologies you expected to be net-harmful!)

How do you justify...?

Marko 2021-12-27

Similar question but on the opposite end of the spectrum: how can you justify going to a restaurant alone to have a waffle covered in chocolate sauce as an adult?

(Sorry, i didn’t read the post. Just wanted to post this ‘cause it’s funny)

On the justifiableness of procreation

Michael J.J. Tiffany 2021-12-30

“Still, particularly in the case of children (on whom you may impose your bad choice for a lifetime), I wish more people did think carefully. Explicit reflection on purposes and alternatives could prevent much suffering. Too many parents blunder into child-rearing by just going with the flow, and secretly regret it later.”

Consider a world in which you get your wish. Are you certain it is a better world?

I think you will find that there are at least two problems with this. I have never commented before, so I don’t know whether merely pointing this out is sufficient, similar to how Kasparov once reflected, about missing a winning line, that he would have found it if someone had merely said to him, at that moment, “Now”.

I think you’ll find that if the world in which you get your wish is different than the current world, then also we’re all dead. I think you’ll also find something interesting about decision-making as a realized phenomenon when you go deep on the “reflection” vs “going with the flow” duality you’ve set up with this wording.

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