A Fable of Science and Politics

January 2012

in Self-awareness

Post image for A Fable of Science and Politics

I’m writing a series that highlights key material from LessWrong.com. This post is based on A Fable of Science and Politics by Eliezer Yudkowsky.

Eliezer wrote a short story about a fictional society, hidden underground, that is split between the Blues and the Greens, based on their beliefs regarding the color of the sky.

Give it a read (it’s quite short) – I don’t think I could write a summary to do it justice!

When you reach the end ask youself, what you would do if you were a Green or a Blue?

Imagine a future society that flees into a vast underground network of caverns and seals the entrances.  We shall not specify whether they flee disease, war, or radiation; we shall suppose the first Undergrounders manage to grow food, find water, recycle air, make light, and survive, and that their descendants thrive and eventually form cities.  Of the world above, there are only legends written on scraps of paper; and one of these scraps of paper describes the sky, a vast open space of air above a great unbounded floor.  The sky is cerulean in color, and contains strange floating objects like enormous tufts of white cotton.  But the meaning of the word “cerulean” is controversial; some say that it refers to the color known as “blue”, and others that it refers to the color known as “green”. Continue…

Read the original article here: A Fable of Science and Politics by Eliezer Yudkowsky.

For all such summaries of Less Wrong posts see the Less Wrong tag.

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