It's All About Me: Maybe. But he doesn't leave much wiggle room to argue with his viewpoints when he folds the very foundations of 'rationality' into his personal philosophy and names his blog collab Less Wrong.
Part of the real reason that I wanted to run the original AI-Box Experiment, is that I thought I had an ability that I could never test in real life. Was I really making a sacrifice for my ethics, or just overestimating my own ability? The AI-Box Experiment let me test that.
Single Issue Wonk: He has this thing about death, in that he... doesn't really see it's purpose. If you do think that death is part of the natural order of things, then he tends to bring out the soapbox a little.
In one sense, it's clear that we do not want to live the sort of lives that are depicted in most stories that human authors have written so far. Think of the truly great stories, the ones that have become legendary for being the very best of the best of their genre: The Iliad, Romeo and Juliet, The Godfather, Watchmen, Planescape: Torment, the second season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or that ending in Tsukihime. Is there a single story on the list that isn't tragic? Ordinarily, we prefer pleasure to pain, joy to sadness, and life to death. Yet it seems we prefer to empathize with hurting, sad, dead characters. Or stories about happier people aren't serious, aren't artistically great enough to be worthy of praise - but then why selectively praise stories containing unhappy people? Is there some hidden benefit to us in it? [...] You simply don't optimize a story the way you optimize a real life. The best story and the best life will be produced by different criteria. [...] There is another rule of writing which states that stories have to shout. A human brain is a long way off those printed letters. Every event and feeling needs to take place at ten times natural volume in order to have any impact at all. You must not try to make your characters behave or feel realistically —especially, you must not faithfully reproduce your own past experiences—because without exaggeration, they'll be too quiet to rise from the page. Maybe all the Great Stories are tragedies because happiness can't shout loud enough to a human reader.