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Thu, Oct. 23rd, 2008, 03:35 am
Overcoming Bias

Overcoming Bias is a masterwork philosophical thesis, cleverly disguised as a blog about rationality and cognitive bias. I've waited to pimp Eliezer Yudkowsky's work because with the heavy groundwork he was laying, I had the feeling he was building toward something strong. "Which parts of my brain are 'me'?" does not disappoint:
This post is filed under "morality" because the question "Which parts of my brain are 'me'?" is a moral question - it's not predicted so much as chosen. You can't perform a test on neural tissue to find whether it's in or out. You have to accept or reject any particular part, based on what you think humans in general, and yourself particularly, ought to be.

Read the whole thing, and follow some of the hyper-links. And read the comments, which contain such gems as:
I'm depressed about the coming end of the human race. Got a solution for that? :-)
Posted by: MichaelG | October 22, 2008 at 03:07 PM

Yeah, shut up and save the world.
Posted by: Eliezer Yudkowsky | October 22, 2008 at 03:18 PM

Which is funnier because he means it, and already he's written several good arguments for it. Seriously: this should be required reading for the entire human race.

Thu, Oct. 23rd, 2008 05:31 pm (UTC)
matt_arnold

So true.

Thu, Oct. 23rd, 2008 06:23 pm (UTC)
izzi13

It's a good read - thank you for posting the link.

Fri, Oct. 24th, 2008 12:01 pm (UTC)
holly_as_mom: OK, then

Well, he writes well, but he's hung up on the idea of being the discoverer of his discoveries: no one else has the right to have come to the same idea on their own. The comment section degenerates into a true pissing contest. Ho hum.

love, Mom

Fri, Oct. 24th, 2008 01:46 pm (UTC)
temujin9: Re: OK, then

I don't see him claiming exclusive discovery. He's made much reference to his sources, and raised too many parallels in other thought schools (esp. Zen), for me to buy that he'd want to.

I do see him pissing on the shoes of an older acquaintance who's trying to ride his coat-tails, despite having nothing useful to say. Impolite, sure, but so is trying to imply mentorship of someone that you've only impressed with your psuedo-intellectual arrogance.

And if I must choose between polite and right, well . . .

Fri, Oct. 24th, 2008 02:02 pm (UTC)
temujin9: Re: OK, then

And having read further, and encountered the rebuttal of the man he savaged: it looks almost completely deserved. I've known people like that, and if one tried to imply archly that he could show me a thing or two, I might laugh him out of the room too.