Re: CULTURE: Chicago Tribune on Futurists (Includes Extropians)

From: J. R. Molloy (
Date: Sun Jan 07 2001 - 04:29:48 MST

From: "Spike Jones" <>
> Hmmm. I didnt make this clear at all. I dont mean make a 3D
> brain outta silicon. I meant a silicon microprocessor running a
> simulation of carbon-based brain cells. I suppose the first time
> we make a real silicon based sim of a brain, it would run much
> slower than realtime, perhaps one millionth as fast. It would be
> not much of a conversationalist. At first.

That would be one way to do it, I suppose. Another way would be to augment
and enhance an ordinary human brain (OK, for the sake of argument, I'll
volunteer) until it becomes an alien intelligence. Yeah, the old Borg

> But also a solution. We can run AI in geosynchronous orbit
> with restricted downlink.

Sounds like an orbital version of the Global Brain (3rd generation

> we have then two alternatives: one unknown and one
> unabiguously bad. I choooooose... the unknown.

Perhaps it's not all that unknown... if we keep testing the alien
intelligence as it is being developed, give it plenty of theses to write
and experiments to conduct, and give it MMPI and other psych tests along
the way, it's profile will become known around the world (and not just
because it's in orbit). τΏτ

> Actually, this whole thread has been tremendously insightful.
> Given the two choices, I personally would choose taking
> my chances with a possibly hostile AI than simply dying the
> old fashioned way.

Yes, especially if the possibly hostile alien intelligence turns out to be
our most promising hope of attaining indefinitely extended life spans.

> Yet if I had heirs, I see the point
> of view of the Luddites, who would prefer to relinquish
> technology and hand a low-tech world to their children
> and grandchildren.

Of all the scenarios presented here, I find this the most unlikely to

> I myself see the entire exercise as
> pointless if they too are to grow old and die. Yet I can
> see where some may logically disagree. spike

Well, just because life is pointless doesn't mean that it's not worth
living. One of the first hurdles in the education of an alien intelligence
would, of course, involve the question of the significance of life, and
how to deal with meaningless existence.

Life means to find out. τΏτ

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