• AMMDI is an open-notebook hypertext writing experiment, authored by Mike Travers aka @mtraven. It's a work in progress and some parts are more polished than others. Comments welcome! More.
Incoming links
from Rationalism
  • Assuming that the overarching goal of life is "winning"
from optimizing
  • One of my gripes with Rationalism is the unquestioned assumption that intelligence is about optimizing some quantity. Closely related to the similar gripe about winning. I find this an impoverished way to think about the mind.
from LWMap/Embedded Agency
  • Here, embededdness has been reduced to reflection, meaning that the agent can take itself as an object in its world, like any other. And to optimization, which further abstracts away the richness of the world and hides it behind some numbers (aka winning).
from anti-purpose
  • The dichotomy he sets up between finite games and infinite games is basically between narrow, game-based goals of "winning" and the more expansive goals of infinite play.
from LWMap/Embedded Agency
  • Apparently while Emmy may be embedded, she's not embedded in the real world but in a game world where "winning" is the main concern.
from Rationalism
  • It has a very particular theory of what that means, comprising a theory of knowledge (representational objectivism) and of action (optimizing aka winning). Both of these theories seem extremely weak to me, in that they don't adequately describe the natural phenomena they are supposed to be about (human intelligence) and they don't serve as an adequate guide for building artificial versions of the same.
Twin Pages


21 Jan 2021 11:24 - 01 Jan 2022 07:48

    • The constant references to "winning" in Rationalism discourse really grate on my nerves. I get what work it is doing – it's suggesting that life is a kind of competitive game, in which there is some kind of scoring metric, and you are able to compare your score with others. The best, most rational ideas are those that produce the most winning.
    • However – life is not a competitive game; that's just a metaphor. It might be a really great and productive metaphor in certain ways. It highlights the competitive aspects of existence, which to be sure are extremely important and also somewhat repressed (in the sense that in some versions of polite society, one doesn't want to appear to be too competitive, to be trying to hard, because that loses points!).
    • But competition is not the only frame through which to view life, or the best one. An overapplication of the metaphor is tedious and tends towards gradgrindism.
    • It occurs to me that the real issue behind "winning" is competition. Who is competing with whom, over what, and according to what rules? Games are competition within certain boundaries; war and evolution is boundless competition, although somehow the result is not quite the "nature red in tooth and claw" that that would suggest.