Eliezer Yudkowsky, (Yudkowsky 2007)

Summary

Thoughts

Notes

The most important thing is that there should be progress. So long as you keep moving forward you will reach your destination; but if you stop moving you will never reach it.

Tsuyoku naritai is Japanese. Tsuyoku is “strong”; naru is “becoming,” and the form naritai is “want to become.” Together it means, “I want to become stronger,” and it expresses a sentiment embodied more intensely in Japanese works than in any Western literature I’ve read. You might say it when expressing your determination to become a professional Go player—or after you lose an important match, but you haven’t given up—or after you win an important match, but you’re not a ninth-dan player yet—or after you’ve become the greatest Go player of all time, but you still think you can do better. That is tsuyoku naritai, the will to transcendence.

Take no pride in your confession that you too are biased; do not glory in your self-awareness of your flaws. This is akin to the principle of not taking pride in confessing your ignorance; for if your ignorance is a source of pride to you, you may become loath to relinquish your ignorance when evidence comes knocking. Likewise with our flaws—we should not gloat over how self-aware we are for confessing them; the occasion for rejoicing is when we have a little less to confess.

[…]

Never confess to me that you are just as flawed as I am unless you can tell me what you plan to do about it. Afterward you will still have plenty of flaws left, but that’s not the point; the important thing is to do better, to keep moving ahead, to take one more step forward. Tsuyoku naritai!

References

Yudkowsky, Eliezer. 2007. “Tsuyoku Naritai! (I Want To Become Stronger).” Less Wrong. https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/DoLQN5ryZ9XkZjq5h/tsuyoku-naritai-i-want-to-become-stronger.