Thanksgiving prayer

Eliezer Yudkowsky:
And as she said this, it reminded me of how wrong it is to give gratitude to God for blessings that actually come from our fellow human beings putting in a great deal of work.

So I at once put my hands together and said,

"Dear Global Economy, we thank thee for thy economies of scale, thy professional specialization, and thy international networks of trade under Ricardo's Law of Comparative Advantage, without which we would all starve to death while trying to assemble the ingredients for such a dinner as this. Amen."


Marko said…
hehe, global economy is very good until it is excelent for some, good for some and very bad for others, when it becomes good for all it is bad for all actualy :)

I kinda love paradox of thanksgiving, native americans give first year food to immigrants. Next year immigrants give natives warm smallpox-infected blankets.

There were always problems with immigrants...
denis bider said…
I think you learned just about enough in life to get confused about things, at which point you lost track and started believing clueless stuff.

You have some valid knowledge and some invalid knowledge, and you seriously need to start working on weeding out the invalid parts.

You need to work on the consistency of your beliefs. So far, I'm seeing a load of junk, some good, some bad, but nothing consistent.
Marko said…
If you were to say something specific I could help you understand me.

On contrary, I think such a consistency in beliefs is weakness. I wouldn't say people who look most things from one constant angle are stupid, but they are much more limited then they imagine.

Is my "invalid" knowledge realy invalid, or just inconsistant with your set of beliefs? :)
denis bider said…
A formal system with incompatible propositions can be used to derive any theorem, even contradictory ones. If your mind is in such a state of inconsistency, then you can use your contradicting principles to believe anything you please at the time. If you can believe anything you please according to no consistent set of principles, then your beliefs are whims that have no predictive value, and are not useful for making decisions. In this case, 'thinking' reduces to pure entertainment/fantasy value with no practical use at all.

In a harsher environment, you wouldn't survive the winter.
Marko said…
example: You must be an expert on survival to be able to speak of survival skills of someone you read just few lines of text from.

Now, truth be told I don't think you are either an excellent or miserable judge of survival skills.
My remarks are sometimes incompatible and intended as such to point flawed logic you present your opinions with. My beliefs are quite separate thing.
denis bider said…
I knew I should have phrased that last paragraph differently or else you would miss the point and hang on that paragraph... and so you partially did.

It's not about your survival skills. It's about whether your model of reality has predictive value, i.e. whether it matches reality. Unless you believe in a capricious God who frequently acts arbitrarily, reality is self-consistent. Therefore, self-consistency is a necessary (but not adequate!) requirement in order for your model of reality to be accurate.

Faulty models of reality result in failure at tasks for which you rely on your model's predictions.
Marko said…
Seeing that every coin has two sides actually helps with accuracy of your model of reality. It depends on how accurate approximation of reality you really need/want.
I think that only if your model of reality “survives” look from at least two completely different points of view you can hope it is any good for being base of any more complicated decision.
denis bider said…
It depends on what you mean by "points of view".

If you mean evaluating a proposal based on all of its aspects, then yes, that certainly makes sense, ignoring aspects that matter leads to being bitten by the consequence.

But if you mean evaluating a proposal based on conflicting sets of values, then only the most neutral - i.e., useless - proposals can survive such "validation".

You first need to have a set of goals (values) which is not in conflict with itself. Then you can evaluate proposals consistently based on those values, being careful to take all considerations into account.

But it makes no sense to "evaluate" proposals based on other people's values, which you have already evaluated and dismissed as being in internal conflict, or being in conflict with yours.

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