There's something in science like the shine of the Patronus Charm, driving back all sorts of darkness and madness...
To confess your fallibility and then do nothing about it is not humble; it is boasting of your modesty.
What people really believe doesn't feel like a BELIEF, it feels like the way the world IS.
In what weird alternative universe would that girl NOT be Sorted into Ravenclaw? If Hermione Granger didn't go to Ravenclaw then there was no good reason for Ravenclaw House to exist.
Every mystery ever solved had been a puzzle from the dawn of the human species right up until someone solved it.
The AI does not hate you, nor does it love you, but you are made out of atoms which it can use for something else.
I'm lazy! I hate work! Hate hard work in all its forms! Clever shortcuts, that's all I'm about!
To worship a sacred mystery was just to worship your own ignorance.
Not every change is an improvement but every improvement is a change; you can't do anything BETTER unless you can manage to do it DIFFERENTLY, you've got to let yourself do better than other people!
I'm wondering if there's a spell to make lightning flash in the background whenever I make an ominous resolution.
There is light in the world, and it is <i>us</i>!
Your strength as a rationalist is your ability to be more confused by fiction than by reality. If you are equally good at explaining any outcome, you have zero knowledge.
I see little hope for democracy as an effective form of government, but I admire the poetry of how it makes its victims complicit in their own destruction.
Like that's the only reason anyone would ever buy a first-aid kit? Don't take this the wrong way, Professor McGonagall, but what sort of crazy children are you used to dealing with?" "Gryffindors," spat Professor McGonagall, the word carrying a freight of bitterness and despair that fell like an eternal curse on all youthful heroism and high spirits.
Trying and getting hurt can't possibly be worse for you than being... stuck.
Why does any kind of cynicism appeal to people? Because it seems like a mark of maturity, of sophistication, like you've seen everything and know better. Or because putting something down feels like pushing yourself up.
When you are older, you will learn that the first and foremost thing which any ordinary person does is nothing.
Many have stood their ground and faced the darkness when it comes for them. Fewer come for the darkness and force it to face them.
I don't want to rule the universe. I just think it could be more sensibly organised.
You are personally responsible for becoming more ethical than the society you grew up in.
World domination is such an ugly phrase. I prefer to call it world optimisation.
I only want power so I can get books.
The systematic experimental study of reproducible errors of human reasoning, and what these errors reveal about underlying mental processes, is known as the heuristics and biases program in cognitive psychology. This program has made discoveries highly relevant to assessors of global catastrophic risks.
The media thinks that only the cutting edge of science, the very latest controversies, are worth reporting on. How often do you see headlines like 'General Relativity still governing planetary orbits' or 'Phlogiston theory remains false'? By the time anything is solid science, it is no longer a breaking headline.
In our skulls, we carry around 3 pounds of slimy, wet, greyish tissue, corrugated like crumpled toilet paper. You wouldn't think, to look at the unappetizing lump, that it was some of the most powerful stuff in the known universe.
If our extinction proceeds slowly enough to allow a moment of horrified realization, the doers of the deed will likely be quite taken aback on realizing that they have actually destroyed the world. Therefore I suggest that if the Earth is destroyed, it will probably be by mistake.
When something is universal enough in our everyday lives, we take it for granted to the point of forgetting it exists.
I don't care where I live, so long as there's a roof to keep the rain off my books, and high-speed Internet access.
To be clever in argument is not rationality but rationalization.
Intelligence is the source of technology. If we can use technology to improve intelligence, that closes the loop and potentially creates a positive feedback cycle.
When you think of intelligence, don't think of a college professor; think of human beings as opposed to chimpanzees. If you don't have human intelligence, you're not even in the game.
If you want to maximize your expected utility, you try to save the world and the future of intergalactic civilization instead of donating your money to the society for curing rare diseases and cute puppies.
You cannot 'rationalize' what is not rational to begin with - as if lying were called 'truthization.' There is no way to obtain more truth for a proposition by bribery, flattery, or the most passionate argument - you can make more people believe the proposition, but you cannot make it more true.
The purpose of a moral philosophy is not to look delightfully strange and counterintuitive or to provide employment to bioethicists. The purpose is to guide our choices toward life, health, beauty, happiness, fun, laughter, challenge, and learning.
A scientist worthy of a lab coat should be able to make original discoveries while wearing a clown suit, or give a lecture in a high squeaky voice from inhaling helium. It is written nowhere in the math of probability theory that one may have no fun.
If I could create a world where people lived forever, or at the very least a few billion years, I would do so. I don't think humanity will always be stuck in the awkward stage we now occupy, when we are smart enough to create enormous problems for ourselves, but not quite smart enough to solve them.
Textbook science is beautiful! Textbook science is comprehensible, unlike mere fascinating words that can never be truly beautiful. Elementary science textbooks describe simple theories, and simplicity is the core of scientific beauty. Fascinating words have no power, nor yet any meaning, without the math.
I keep trying to explain to people that the archetype of intelligence is not Dustin Hoffman in 'The Rain Man;' it is a human being, period. It is squishy things that explode in a vacuum, leaving footprints on their moon.
By far, the greatest danger of Artificial Intelligence is that people conclude too early that they understand it.
Nothing you'll read as breaking news will ever hold a candle to the sheer beauty of settled science. Textbook science has carefully phrased explanations for new students, math derived step by step, plenty of experiments as illustration, and test problems.