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Published 11 months ago with 3 Comments

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  • ohtwenty
    +4

    Interesting thoughts, but it assumes that transmitting thoughts would work seamlessly, that your brain doesn't translate thoughts or word them in different ways. Basically, that we think the same, or similarly enough, that you thinking my thoughts would make sense.

    A post-verbal world would be one with less separateness, of more complete ideas, spreading globally (and activating coordination for them) over weeks and months rather than years (or in the case of things like democracy or absolution of slavery; taking centuries to spread).

    This is assuming again that everyone thinks similarly. Even worse, it assumes those against slavery, democracy, etc just "don't get it". I mean slave owners would've been some of the most well versed in what slavery means. Similarly, dictators will be really knowledgeable on democracy, because they'll spend a huge portion of their time on trying to make sure it doesn't happen. People don't just think differently or "wrong" (aside:slavery is obviously wrong to most of us, yet it exists; what about your views on <insert outgroup> that's so obviously wrong?) because they haven't thought the right thoughts yet. Maybe they've genuinely thought the same thoughts as you, but arrived at a different conclusion.

    See SSC for some thoughts on people 'missing concepts'. What makes you think you'd suddenly understand them?

    • Appaloosa
      +4

      I had this very discussion many moons ago with my sister in law, a research scientist. Her take, how we think is the product of a great many things, even diet. Of course the environment you grew up in plays a factor. She was looking and studying hormones, these are things we can not control willingly. Enter the scientists who think they can.

      • ohtwenty
        +6

        that's how I felt reading this. there's no foundation for what they're saying, no rationalization as far as I've seen that it'll work. I mean I had fun reading this and wbw's article, it's a fun thought experiment, but I don't see how it'll actually work. Unless there's some translation or whatever, but then you're back at square one, except maybe slightly faster transfer of flawed communication.

        And that's without getting into why you would want this, or how you expect to turn a really individualised society into one where enough people want this.

        I mean I have arguments with my wife sometimes about whatever, and we reaaaaaaaaaally talk it out and at the end I feel like I understand her argumentation, why she feels that way, etc, and still disagree. Not seeing how literally thinking what the other person thinks will somehow improve my empathic abilities.

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