Shut up and multiply

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You know what? This isn't about your feelings. A human life, with all its joys and all its pains, adding up over the course of decades, is worth far more than your brain's feelings of comfort or discomfort with a plan. Does computing the expected utility feel too cold-blooded for your taste? Well, that feeling isn't even a feather in the scales, when a life is at stake. Just shut up and multiply.

A principle that performing a utilitarian calculation may give a very important result that is intuitively surprising, and that won't register unless the calculation is actually performed. The ability to shut up and multiply, to accept an intuitively unappealing conclusion (if it is true), is a fundamental skill in rationality.

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Blog posts

Posts by Eliezer Yudkowsky: