Re: Otter vs. Yudkowsky: Both!

From: Dan Fabulich (
Date: Mon Mar 13 2000 - 00:07:12 MST

'What is your name?' 'Eliezer S. Yudkowsky.' 'Do you deny having written
the following?':

> Given both the technological difficulty of achieving simultaneous
> perfect uploading before both nanowar and AI Transcendence, and the
> sociological difficulty of doing *anything* in a noncooperative
> environment, it seems to me that the most rational choice given the
> Otter Goals - whatever they are - is to support the creation of a Sysop
> Mind with a set of goals that permit the accomplishment of the Otter Goals.
> Yes, there's a significant probability that the momentum-goals will be
> overridden by God knows what, but (1) as I understand it, you don't
> believe in objectively existent supergoals and (2) the creation of a
> seed AI with Sysop instructions before 2015 is a realistic possibility;
> achieving simultaneous uploading of a thousand-person group before 2015
> is not.

Why not get into space as fast as possible while working on the seed just
as fast as possible?

Nanowar is a dangerous possibility, but, you know, life on Earth is
dangerous. Space, on the other hand, is comparatively boring and safe.
Moreover, it's not at all obvious why you couldn't work on building your
seed from space via radio.

You both concede the unstoppability of the other's enabling technologies.
d.Otter thinks the first Mind would have good reason to strike first; if
so, you're SOL anyway you look at it. Any Mind bent on the destruction of
all other potential Minds (especially one with access to nanotech, which
seems pretty darn likely,) is going to hunt you down and have its way with
you. Uploading isn't likely to help matters much; the AI will be way
ahead of you.

So getting into space won't help much against an AI, nor will it make
coding the seed significantly easier/more difficult, but it will help a
lot against all the other dangerous unpredictables you'll find at the
Earth's surface.

Finally, we note that totally different specialists will be working on
getting us into space from those who will be working on the seed.

So AI and space travel are totally compatible goals. d.Otter may have
good reasons to not want you to build the seed at all, but that's a
totally unrealistic thing to hope for. So where's the argument left?


      -unless you love someone-
    -nothing else makes any sense-
           e.e. cummings

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