Jan 29, 2022 1:40 AM
delegations from topias: anomaland, bobbiverse, malachitin, elfland, ozytopia, alicornutopia, dath ilan
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One of the elves sings a song about the things they won't be able to do after dying and the importance of doing them while alive.  It has a nice melody and the words sound lovely but much of the wordplay is likely lost in translation.

Another elf is interested in the intellectual property trading.  They have a vast database of best practices on all conceivable topics, and are interested in interfacing with others' databases.  

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WELL SHIT (conditional on the remaining 35% probability mass that this isn't a massive con; prediction markets updated when other worlds presented with an implausible level of incompetence that implied a massive humanitarian crisis that might spur dath ilan to exploitable action).

Dath ilan nonetheless cares a lot about that remaining 35% probability, which is what makes this such a good tactic, if it is that.

Dath ilan will rush printed specifications for improvised, fast-manufacturable, and slow-manufacturable cryosuspension technology to this location, so that everybody can rush them home and then IMMEDIATELY start saving all of the people currently dying true deaths.

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Anomaland doesn't have anyone dying true deaths nonconsensually and vanishingly few doing it consensually, but they'll totally share their own specs back and call for volunteers to help with the humanitarian efforts elsewhere!

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"Is that blasphemous? That sounds kind of blasphemous," says a monk dubiously.

"But we don't know if it's blasphemous. For all you know, the logos wants us to radically accept death because there isn't a solution to death yet," says a second monk, "and once there is a solution we should do something about it. A problem that can be solved shouldn't be tolerated."

"But not all problems," the first monk says. "Sometimes the logos created something for a good reason we don't want to poke at."

"It sounds kind of expensive," says a third monk dubiously. "I'm not sure we can afford it while there's still households without washing machines."

"Think for five minutes first," says the highest-rank diplomat sharply. The other monks quiet. "We will have plenty of time and philosophy-monks* to debate whether cryopreservation is cost-effective and/or blasphemous. We don't have to figure this out right now." 

*This also means "research social scientist."

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Is this what they're doing now? Okay, they can get their cryo people to trade cryo specs if that's what they're doing now. ...why would it be blasphemous. What is a logos.

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To answer a previous question, dath ilan can't reverse the process yet, but they've got the process to the level where there's no visibly destructive-randomizing transforms happening to the brain when it's lowered to preservation temperature with an appropriate cryoprotectant protocol, such that no two distinct people would plausibly map to the same stored brain.  It's clear enough that the Future will be able to look at the stored brain later and reconstruct an equivalence class of most-probable patterns which will be as similar to, and as causally related to, the original person, as your self when you wake up in the morning, compared to yourself at night.


Dath ilan also wants to know what a logos is.

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Representatives of the bobbiverse arrive. The very least well dressed representative is wearing a dress that looks like it’s actually made of faintly glowing stained glass, full of strange ruffles and cut out sections and gently waving fins and things; the rest are wearing outfits that this margin is far too small to contain.

They already have cryosuspension for the half of the population that wants it. Also, would any of the other universes like to explain why they sent so many men? Why are there so many men here? They brought along precisely one man and that was for diversity-of-perspective reasons. Also what are blasphemy and logos?

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The logos created the universe and is the reason that math and physics function properly and also is the source of all morality! It is important to live your life in conformity with the logos because it defines what is good. 

"Blasphemous" means that it's so offensive you shouldn't be doing it at all! Like letting people starve when you have food or committing suicide or deliberately destroying knowledge or something. 

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One of the elves joins the conversation about cryopreservation (they haven't really been working on that).  Another is still systematically sampling snacks, and the elf who had to be poked earlier has wandered away from her compatriot and is now attempting to quiz a any delegate who has been observed to sing about their musical practices.

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Does Ozytopia have frictionless transaction logistics? On Green that is the major barrier to giving your food to starving people. Even if you leave extra on the front step and announce on the internet that anybody can come take the food they aren't going to come from very far away about it.

Green brought a man because, uh, half of them are men? Are Bobbis not half men?

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Dath ilan just got a code from their Observer Who Remembers The Past which means 'Don't worry', which is good because dath ilan was in fact very worried about the Logos, and was getting ready to flee out of the cave system and try to nuke the entrance closed.

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Why does physics get to have an opinion on ethics? Surely it isn't a person? And why would you listen to it? Is it coercing people? More than physics usually does by making dropped things fall and whatnot, they mean.

(They are contemplating some answers they could get to these questions that would make them flee the cave system, or possibly collapse the entrance so nothing including themselves can get out, but if it's not already too late they probably have another six seconds to check.)

Also how is committing suicide offensive? It's a bad idea, and if you have dependents it's hard on the dependents, but who thinks they have a right to an opinion about whether someone else lives or dies in the privacy of their own home?

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Speaking of the logos, a philosopher who is looking in on the meeting online wants to know what it means to be a "reason" that math functions properly. That doesn't seem to be something math even sort of requires, even in the sense that you could imagine physics and/or the universe doing so.

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Elfland also has questions about the logos.  Is this ... mysticism?  Doesn't everyone grow out of mysticism by the time they turn fifteen-or-thereabouts?

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This conversation is weirder than dath ilan expected, and the prediction markets were not previously expecting it to be normal.

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"How on earth do you get any significant fraction of people to even agree on what goodness is or to live their lives in conformity with anything, and what does it mean for the source of all goodness to have created the universe," says the malachitian with the hair that's half black and half blue.

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A singing Ozytopian delegate knows so many things about how to write songs which elicit the desired emotions in various subsets of people, and is happy to discuss this with an elf. She was thinking of going liturgy-track but unfortunately had to go diplomacy-track instead. 

Ozytopia does NOT have a solution to transaction logistics but it's not blasphemous if you can't give the person food, now is it. But you do need to design a society where no one starves, that's very important. Because you wouldn't want to starve either!

Ozytopians are not quite half men because one percent of Ozytopians are neither men nor women but otherwise half of them are men. They don't want to be crude but this seems important for reproduction?

Ozytopians think that probably people want to talk to theologians about this how-do-you-know-the-logos-exists sort of thing? They're diplomats, they're not trained to teach theology, and back home all of this is considered kind of obvious and it's not an interesting debate like how much censorship you should do or whether jobs should have dress codes. 

Committing suicide is offensive because if you let people commit suicide whenever they want then twenty or thirty percent of people will commit suicide and that makes it hard to run a society. Also because the logos gave you your life and you aren't allowed to refuse it. (This almost turns into an argument about cryo.)

In Ozytopia you don't grow out of mysticism? Actually you're most likely to be a mystic when you're old, because you can do less productive work, and you're a more stable and mature person and less likely to decide to believe in machine elves. 

Mostly they argue about what good is a lot but it turns out that after two thousand years of arguing you can come to a consensus on a lot of issues!

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OH NO that's so much suicide! What is causing it! Can it be fixed by exports of intellectual property or failing that material property!

Also, seriously, is the logos a person and is it likely to try to get through the cave and start imposing opinions on people. They really need to know that right now.

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The malachitians have NOT found that after two thousand years of arguing you can come to a consensus on a lot of issues. Mostly what happens after two thousand years of arguing, in the malachitians' experience, is that people have developed even more and stranger ways to disagree with each other. 

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The Greens are pretty alarmed that it's a live issue that you might want to do ANY censorship! That seems like an unreasonably hostile attitude for a government to take towards its citizens.

...they don't have anything near that suicide rate, is there something in the Ozytopian water. The water cooler's not from there, is it?

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That IS so much suicide! The Elf suicide rate hasn't topped a tenth of a percent since they got their basic social programs to be both universal and functional!  What do the current societal best practices documents say, maybe they can be improved on?

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Well until recently they kind of thought this was the normal suicide rate? Apparently other societies are much better at not committing suicide. They are agnostic about whether this is because they developed really good techniques to help people not want to commit suicide or because they're just like that. But what you do is you try really hard to be a good person and follow the logos, and then you won't want to commit suicide anymore. The Teachingsphere has a three percent suicide rate. They're very proud, it took a long time to get the suicide rate that low.

Obviously you have to censor some things? If you tell people how to hide that they have eating disorders, then they'll starve themselves to death. How do the Greens deal with this problem?

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...dath ilan is beginning to suspect that (in the increasingly small fraction of plausible worlds where this should all be taken at face value) other Civilizations have perhaps not optimized themselves into carefully optimal states to quite the same degree as dath ilan.

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(Maybe the censorship and the suicide are both caused by the creepy entity that claims to have created the universe and have moral authority. The one that trying to live in conformance with its will is correlated with not dying in suspicious circumstances. Probably it's something totally different but that's the option with the strongest utility delta from the others and it's a really big minus.)

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If people are getting a kind of information that is harmful to them you have to solve this by ADDING information to the situation, not REMOVING it. They don't actually have a lot of eating disorders? They have some but they don't especially think hiding them is a big social problem? None of these Greens are psychologists.

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