Monday, January 12, 2009



Eliezer Yudkowsky, at Overcoming Bias (one of my favorite blogs), writes about Weirdtopia, the place which is neither Utopia (the projection of your hopes / beliefs) or Dystopia (the projection of your fears), but something altogether different and at least potentially better than Utopia to actually live in. His recent series on Fun Theory give potential civilization engineers much food for thought. The opposite of happiness isn't isn't sadness - it's boredom. And it follows that a "perfect" world probably isn't a very happy one.

Does your perfect world leave room for personal development/growth? Challenge? Failure? If so, what makes it different from this world?

I hope soon to actually fill in those blanks in Eliezer Weirdtopia post - at least several have fairly interesting answers you can generate from "sustainable/green transhumanism"... in the mean time, please enjoy thinking of some weirdtopia's yourself.

I would find it very fun to be en route to a lush planet while a robot with perfect pedagogy teaches me all the science I was too lazy to learn in less perfect circumstances. The robots should please act out all the plays, too. I'd embrace the challenge of appreciating them with my un-augmented brain. That doesn't mean I have any interest in getting sick or hurt.

I like the question of whether all patterns eventually become instances of one meta-pattern, but maybe the question of indefinite fun has more to do with our human selves. A very different, more everyday approach I've seen to a putative science of fun is a friend of mine's "funology": see

I also believe that the Emma Goldman Institute for Theoretical and Applied Funology needs to exist, with an associated Journal. What would be some good double-blind studies?
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