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I think most of the time the metaphor of the drunkard under the streetlight searching for his keys applies to us.

You can see this most clearly in other individuals, but it is also writ large in our institutions various efforts in welfare, justice.

In my view, what is required to get to the Next Level is vastly improved metacognition of the sort gwern and other inhabitants of Less Wrong + SSC, notably CFAR are attempting to do. However I am not confident we can do this 'manually' on a consistent basis or introduce good habits without discovering new ways to be stupid (much of Scott and Gwern's efforts are directed towards observing dead ends being trod by other relatively bright individuals or reasonably sophisticated meme complexes). The main enemy at present is not just 'knowing how to think' but also in being consistent. The best of us are at best temporarily rational, which is too haphazard to build any serious foundation on.

This is where I am convinced computation comes in. Humans are creative and slow, computers are consistent but stupid. A truly augmented human would receive 'assists' from a computer AI.

This would require full surveillance on your outputs (text typed, speech etc) and inputs (websites, books read) and some manner of at least rudimentary brain monitoring.

From these sources it should be possible to construct an apparatus that acts as personal assistant, pointing out your forgetfulness, the contradictions in your thought patterns or behavior, like a Compiler for the Mind. We could personify such a thing as a living entity in its own right, like Lyra's daemon.

Who wouldn't want a daemon?




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