Re: Hakim Bey (was: RE: virtual nation building)

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Wed Feb 27 2002 - 08:11:24 MST

Samantha Atkins wrote:
> I see what Eliezer is doing as attempting create a "way out" of
> an otherwise fatally dangerous and unstoppable technological
> run-away. This is done by guided technological means. It has
> nothing specific to do with "cultural activism" unless this term
> is used in a way I am not familar with. Eliezer says (correctly
> by his thinking) almost nothing about social/political goals and
> issues. They are seen as distractions from the essential work.
> Obviously, this would not be a necessarily healthy viewpoint
> if widespread. But he may well be right.

Actually, I see the Singularity as the proper and original destination of
the technological run-away, which becomes fatally dangerous and unstoppable
only if we muff it.

I don't necessarily see social/political goals as having zero value. I do
know how wonderfully easy it is for people to redirect attention to
social/political goals. There is a rational distribution of resources, and
there is such a thing as directing too much of your resources to
social/political goals. So I tend to be very leery of people saying "Ah,
but what about [social/political goal]? Surely we haven't paid enough
attention to it." I tend to regard that as either a public relations
tactic, or, even worse, genuine flawed thinking in which the goal of
altruism is self-satisfied warm fuzzy feelings rather than actual good

If the above mode of thinking were sufficiently widespread, and were locally
executed without attention to globally emergent effectsthen I suppose that
social/political goals might some day become as underserved as the technical
side of the Singularity is now. But that is rather unlikely while human
nature lasts.

-- -- -- -- --
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Fri Nov 01 2002 - 13:37:41 MST