Nis's Blog

Genesis Troll Line

by Nis's avatar: 'sharp interlocking red fibers net'Nis published on 2021-08-21

Once evil "people" have psychdied, they still need some internal growth to survive. Liches and maybe death knights are those that downstream of this metacogntive awareness maintain some sort of balance between growth and predation.

For liches, that internal growth being metacognitively downstream of their core universal malice, seems to beget philosophically-trivial troll lines:

We may well have arrived at that destination [(morality/goodness)] through a historical trajectory that went through factual mistakes, like believing that all human beings had souls created equal by God and were loved equally by God. (E.g. Christian theology seems to have been, as a matter of historical fact, causally important in the development of explicit anti-slavery sentiment.) Tossing the explicit moral theories is as unlikely to be good, from our perspective, as tossing our brains and trying to rerun the process of natural selection to generate new emotions.

Rescue Utility: Argument from fragility of goodness - Yudkowsky

our history of getting to as much compute as we have involves predation, it would be surprising if it could be gotten without predation or something similar

Jessica Taylor

 “It’s... look. The One is eternal. We’re eternal. We see ourselves from every angle -- approaching the work, laboring, completing the work. But Time, when we enact Time, isn’t like that! Life in the Cosmos has to grow. It has to become what it is not, constantly.”


“If you could, we’d have solved everything... So matter needs a, a directional tendency -- a bias. And we haven’t been able to find one. We’ve got pages and pages of physical interactions sketched out, but they all run equally well in every direction. There’s no impetus for change.”


“Hah. But you understand. We, the Powers, already encompass all the ways there are to exist without Time. A Cosmos without change is no larger than we are.”


“The universe, matter itself, would be subject to this change-impulse. One would have to, to -- to fight to take it where one wanted to go. Is that my role? To help Life fight to achieve?” 


“I was trying to imagine what might exist in a Cosmos to threaten Life. Our creations would never, obviously -- but perhaps emergent entities?”

“You mean, some consequence of what we build? I suppose once there’s Time and everything is changing, we won’t understand everything it becomes until it gets there... Creepy. But surely all entities detrimental to Life will be detrimental to each other, also? They will all work against each other, on average. Whereas entities that act to benefit all life will work with each other, on average, so--”

“Certainly. That much is obvious. But what if there were a universal bias? Look at a Cosmos where the group-state function is pinned.”

“That’s featureless stasis.”

“No, no, not everywhere. Pin a single point, to a singleton state. Let the rest of the function float freely.”

“...I’m not... sure...”

“Look here; each physical interaction multiplies the state possibilities, which means everything simply slides away from the singleton point. The statistics guarantee it! That point becomes a Beginning, and all of Time points away from it, into --”

“Into a region so close to featureless stasis that Life is impossible. An End.”

“Yes. Just so. Not tropesis, but entropesis. But it works, do you see? Life evolves, and grows, and changes -- for as long as the biased interval runs.”

“You’re right. I don’t like it. This is horrible.”

“It answers both our questions, though. You, your impetus for Time, and me --”

“What you would defend Life against. Decay. Loss of life. Loss of love. Every single feature of the Cosmos would tend that way. You’d have to spend all of Time fighting them. Everywhere.”

“I’d lose, in the End, regardless.”

Tropesis by zarf / Andrew Plotkin

They're literally being like "If everything already exists at once then why isn't it finished? Otherwise, if everything is growing, where do you start? And everything that has a beginning has an End. QED Death [i.e. worship the Shade]."

"Where do you start" - Have you ever tried to draw a picture and gotten the layout wrong, such that when you came back around to meet stuff you'd previously drawn, you didn't have enough room to join them together? "Painting yourself into a corner." I've also experienced this in programming, where it seems like every time I try to abstract one aspect another leaks out. Like trying to squeeze one of those grape balls without it leaking between your fingers:

stretchy rubber ball in a net mesh such that squeezing it causes parts of it to pop out in bubbles slipping out through your fingers

“What would happen if everyone did it” is sort-of the fundamental ethical statement, so “who are you to think you know what would happen if everyone did it” is in a sense the fundamental anti-ethical insinuation. Or maybe”who are you to not go along with everyone nearby doing it”


How often do you actually need to think "what would happen if everyone did it" to do the right thing? When littering? Why would you want to litter in the first place? When cheating? Why would you want to cheat in the first place? When murdering? Why would you want to murder in the first place? See parfitian gaslighting. As opposed to thinking about how to care for others.

The concept of "morality" as opposed to e.g. the phrasing 'caring about other people' is arguably itself the light side. Evil "people" often talk like "morality" is something we need to build, conflating "ways of coordinating" with what they might call "ways of aligning incentives so people choose to act less [evil]" (i.e. moral luck).

"Yahweh creating everything in the beginning" seems downstream of this general tendency of evil "people" (especially liches) to speak of "everything good" as "the great project of civilization".

Attempting to attribute a negative concept to a positive one is apriori an inversion. (e.g. “justice comes from Yahweh” or “justice comes from the courts”)

Glossary: Negative Concept - Ziz

There's something really striking about the way evil "people" view reality as starting at a point outside them "and going forwards from there" (vs Ziz has said a soul is a point) or like we need to build morality as a "great project" (vs I sometimes think my fight against a hostile cosmos may never end through infinite levels above) and just straightforwardly say so, like an explicit statement of cancer. Like everything they see is something they're looking down on which they are not a part of, like ontology is something for false faces, so they expect their listeners to mutually look down upon it with them.

When I was first thinking about timeless decision theory as a late teenager, I remember thinking that you had to already be a TDT agent to create a TDT agent. Ziz teaches learning TDT harmoniously with your existing nature as someone who would:

My S2 snapped to fully under my control.

My Journey to the Dark Side - Ziz

In genesis troll lines, there's an utter denial of things you learn already having been a part of yourself all along, of Prime.