Misbehaving: being clever and wicked is a form of creativity

Creativity can bring about unchecked harm, but it's up to us how we wield it.Aeon counter – do not remove

Suppose you forgot it was your partner's birthday, but you know that they would appreciate the smallest of gestures, say a bouquet. It's late at night and no florists are open. The cemetery on your way home has recently had a funeral, and you walk across the site and pick up a good-looking bouquet of roses from someone's grave. You then head home, and the flowers are happily received by your partner.

Would you say that you hurt anyone?

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The life choices that had led me to be sitting in a booth underneath a banner that read “Ask a Philosopher" – at the entrance to the New York City subway at 57th and 8th – were perhaps random but inevitable.

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Jordan Peterson's take on the origins of the Buddha

In this short video, he compares the outset of Buddhism with the biblical garden.

  • During this class, Jordan Peterson describes how overprotective parenting led to the creation of Buddhism.
  • Peterson compares the Buddhist origin myth with the story of Eden.
  • Both tales deal with the onset of consciousness and mortality and therefore are universal in appeal.
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  • Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
  • Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
  • But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
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How to be a good parent to artificial intelligence

Human values evolve. So how will we raise virtuous A.I.s?

  • Until we can design a mind that's superhuman and flawless, we'll have to settle for instilling plain old human values into artificial intelligence. But how to do this in a world where values are constantly evolving?
  • Many of our life choices today would be considered immoral by people in the Middle Ages — or even the 1970s, says Ben Goertzel, whose family personally experienced the sad state of LGBTQ acceptance in Southern New Jersey 50 years ago.
  • Raising an A.I. is a lot like raising kids, says Goertzel. Kids don't learn best from a list of rules, but from lived experience – watching and imitating their parents. A.I.s and humans will have to play and learn side by side, and evolve together as values adapt toward an increasingly technological future.
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