I Am Thankful for Eliezer Yudkowsky

From that wonderland of freethinkery, Overcoming Bias, Eliezer writes:

At tonight's Thanksgiving, Erin remarked on how this was her first real Thanksgiving dinner away from her family, and that it was an odd feeling to just sit down and eat without any prayer beforehand.  (Yes, she's a solid atheist in no danger whatsoever, thank you for asking.)
And as she said this, it reminded me of how wrong it is to give gratitude to God for blessings that actually come from our fellow human beings putting in a great deal of work.
So I at once put my hands together and said,
“Dear Global Economy, we thank thee for thy economies of scale, thy professional specialization, and thy international networks of trade under Ricardo's Law of Comparative Advantage, without which we would all starve to death while trying to assemble the ingredients for such a dinner as this.  Amen.”

Of course, John Locke stripped us of reverence for God's providence, making gratitude basically impossible. So take this for what its worth. In any case, I'm grateful for Eliezer, despite the fact that he probably doesn't care about food miles.

Author: Will Wilkinson

Vice President for Research at the Niskanen Center