Re: machine-gun who?

Eugene Leitl (
Tue, 31 Mar 1998 15:46:09 +0400 (MSD)

Arjen Kamphuis writes:

> [...]
> Let's recap _that_
> 'The vast majority of people would be worthless to the first post-Humans'

The first postbiological entity, whether ex-mehum or a ALife Golem, will
be very soon (<<1 Year scale) a god relatively to the average person,
only a few assumptions like strong AI, natural selection and a couple of things
like nanoelectronics and molecular manufacturing assuming. It will run
into saturation zone due to physical limits quite soon, but we nor our systems
are not nigh any such limits. There is a _long_ way to go
yet. Probably not temporally, but developmentally, certainly.

What this new thing will or will not do we cannot know.

Having said that, if natural selection at super and subsystem level still
holds, a neoecology should soon emerge, which will expand into all
niches, creating them and restructuring our current habitat past
recognizability in distinctly subgeological time scales. Unless the
new players are nice enough not to step on ants, mehums will survive.
Hence, if you happen to be still interested in these quaint, boring
things as personal survival you might want not to remain a mehum for
_very_ long. Indeed, it might be wise to try to keep up with the
Joneses. A rat race, once again? Hey, at least you have a chance of
being an _alive_ super-rat -- albeit only if amongst the winners.

> I'll agree with that, as I stated before we are already seeing the
> beginning of this trough advances in automation, IMHO this is one of the
> great social problems of the near-future.

Why, panem et circenses.

> 'and would be wiped out'
> The way this is stated makes it sound asif many extropians have accepted
> this as a fact-accompli (well, that's how can be interpreted anyway). Have
> you?

We don't know. As our personal survival is on stake, we better be
bloody sure we find out asap, nicht wahr?

> Now, please replace 'people' by, say, 'mentally-retarded persons'. To bring
> this logic to todays society. Down-syndrome patients seem to be fairly
> useless (from an economic standpoint anyway, as humans they can be great).

You are not getting it. I will not terminate a retarded person, but my
living room be better peachy-clean (yucky bacteria), and certainly
roach-free. Ah, and these ants are also _very_ annoying. I am a very
anal-retentive god, you see.

> Need I say more?
> I've always felt that the lenghts to which we go to protect and care for
> the weaker members of the species was one of the key things that set humans
> apart from animals (certainly one of the most admirable).

1) Humans kill each other routinely 2) People commit holocausts on
other species absentmindedly. (I don't mind this, mark, I'm glad to be
the one at the top of the food chain).

> I think we need to have a serious discussion about the possible
> PR-consequences of statements like these. Maybe I should stay totally out

In this gentleman's club, we gentlefolk only socialize before the
fireplace. Vulgar, wordly views are best kept outside according to the
statutes of the club.

> of it, being a guest on this list, but I really think this issue should be
> adressed.
> Respectfully,
> Arjen