July 10, 2017

What are the distinguishing features of ‘reasonable’ people?

Or what qualities do people who are considered ‘reasonable’ have in common? What qualities are commonly ascribed to them, by the people who think they are reasonable?

July 10, 2017

How amenable to reductionism is human satisfaction with life?

In the sense of being able to optimize many pieces separately. For instance, if you just improve the quality of the ‘music’ slot, and the ‘restaurant food’ slot and so on, do you get a lot of the value, or would you do much better if you considered all the parts together, because for instance the human gets much value from the music and the food being part of a meaningful narrative, whatever that is?

July 10, 2017

How does value to individuals come from things like nature and culture?

Humans like being near nature in certain ways, and like being in specific cultures, seemingly for ineffable reasons. Often these things are very important though. One human settlement can feel empty and awful, while another feels rich and consumingly satisfying, based on something under the heading ‘culture’. Yet we don’t seem to have the skill to transform the first into the second.¬†How can these sources of value be predicted, or replicated?

June 29, 2017

If civilization was returned to pre-industrial technology levels, how long would it take to return?

June 29, 2017

If all conscious creatures were destroyed, would intelligent unconscious creatures eventually realize they could have consciousness, but don’t?

(Assuming intelligent unconscious ‘creatures’ are possible.)

June 29, 2017

If you make a 2D digital mind and slice it into two thinner 2D digital minds is each one as conscious as the first?

(Assuming the original design allows for this, with both resulting minds working like the original one.)
What if you put them back together? What if you nearly put them back together but they aren’t quite touching?

April 26, 2013

How much of difficulty coordinating agents is resolved by their sharing values?

February 20, 2013

What are the benefits of being consistent?

Yes, if you are inconsistent you are wrong. But only partly wrong. If you are consistent you could be completely wrong.

August 6, 2012

How useful are good concepts?

How much difference did it make to have the information theoretic concept of information instead of whatever the naive concept is? Was calling a set of things ‘computations’ really so revolutionary? Why?

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August 4, 2012

What balance of pain and pleasure should evolve?

Some say the worst pain is very intense compared to the best pleasure, for evolutionary reasons.