Re: electronic intelligence and ethics

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Thu Feb 24 2000 - 18:31:45 MST

At 05:09 PM 24/02/00 -0800, Ziana Astralos wrote (after trimming out my
analogies meant to subvert the point of view she'd posted earlier):

>I'm open to
>any possibilities. :) (I didn't say that's what *I*
>thought would happen, just that I recalled someone
>saying that before. I was just trying to bring up
>multiple viewpoints. :) )

Okay, but what I was presenting in rebuttal had nothing to do with how *you
personally* felt about the objection you raised. In fact, I probably
wouldn't have been so sarcastic - and hence potentially hurtful - unless I
felt I was directing my scorn at an idea rather than a specific person.

More generally: I suppose everyone here likes to suppose that we're open to
more wild possibilities than usual, but the whole point of science is to
*throw bad ideas out* (although they can always be brought back later, if
we get an ah-ha! and understand that they're *not* such `bad' ideas after
all). Science winnows out the dried crap and disposes of it, freeing up the
mind to focus on useful, corroborated approaches that are not madly
inconsistent with everything else that's been established with such
tremendous communal effort.

(Mandatory bow, for all that, to the ghost of Kurt Godel, and to the
apparent incompatibility of relativity and quantum theory, and the still
inexplicable data of lab parapsychology...)


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