Re: more on Brand and the Singularity idea

From: Charlie Stross (
Date: Tue Jan 16 2001 - 10:50:56 MST

On Mon, Jan 15, 2001 at 05:31:47PM -0800, Max More wrote:

> > > Unbounded? Where?
> >
> >In the extropian principles.
> Oh, really. Where? In previous versions, there was "Boundless Expansion"
> but there has never been boundless optimism.

Well, I last read the principles on the order of 10^8 seconds ago, so I
may be mistaken; but a pronounced emphasis on techno-optimism seems to
have stuck in my brain from somewhere.

> Still, I won't apologize for being primarily optimistic in a culture that
> continues to see death, human stupidity, and other limits as inevitable and
> even desirable.

I think my main problem is this: it is possible for intelligent people,
approaching a common problem with good intentions, to reach radically
different conclusions about how to resolve the problem. In some cases,
this is because one party has failed to analyse the problem correctly (as
a species we're poor at evaluating the relative merits of near-term and
long-term risks and benefits). In other cases it's because what seems to
one group to be rational behaviour looks like lunacy to the other.

But, fundamentally, we're the kind of species that can argue over the
half pint in a pint glass: is the glass half-full, half-empty, or simply
twice the size it needs to be?

Expecting to do away with the arguments for good and all is not realistic,
barring a fundamental change in human nature.

-- Charlie

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