RE: Re: Confronting The Singularity Conference

From: phil osborn (
Date: Sun Jun 04 2000 - 01:20:03 MDT

>Subject: RE: Re: Confronting The Singularity Conference
>Date: Tue, 30 May 2000 10:22:32 -0700
>"Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" wrote on
>Tue, 30 May 2000 10:39:41 -0500
> ------------------
>Robin Hanson wrote:
>"I wonder what would happen if you organized a 'party/poster'
>conference by just having a very large room with dozens of whiteboards,
>and with snacks and chairs distributed throughout. There would
>be no official schedule or map, and you'd spend the whole weekend
>wandering about joining whatever discussions or presentations
>formed "spontaneously." Any dispute about what a group talked
>about in a location would be handled as at a party, with the
>option of one group walking away to do what they want somewhere
>I like this spin on creative brain-storming. In most, criticism
>is not permitted or interrupting a person's expression. Every
>idea, no matter how frivolous is accepted because these ideas
>tend to trigger best solutions. In your design, the rules, in
>this regards, would be social skills and common sense, which
>would include not interrupting or censoring inappropriately.
>We performed a type of creativity session at university where
>we had butcher paper on all walls of the room and students were
>given total imagination-stretch to do with the white whatever
>they wanted. Usually, a person needs some sort of direction,
>or theme for the process to get motivated. This is different
>than bringing a type of creative thinker into a room with a specific
>scenario to build on, and giving total freedom to create and
>exchange ideas. Considering this, I might participate differently
>if I was with you (Robin), Max, Greg, Amara, and Eli than I would
>E. Shaun, Fiorella Terenze, Stelarc, Nadia and Francis Ford Copola.
> But then again, maybe not. Both groups are comprised of individuals
>whose creativity crosses disciplinary boundaries. Much of the
>outcome depends on the dynamics of the group and communication
>I like your "party" analogy -:) (I'm visualizing several people
>at a coctail party sipping on their drinks moving in groups (of
>one or more) to and fro from other groups - depending on whether
>the conversation is intriguing or a bore.) I don't think, however,
>that I would want to mix a party with a task. I would, however,
>mix a party scene with a performance art piece which would involve
>all participants in a task; or create a task session in a party-like
>atmosphere as long as everyone knew.
> >This is an excellent idea and should, at the very least, >be
>tried as a 2-hour across-the-board "panel" at the next >Foresight
>Could you explain? Thanks.

There was a very volatile, fertile intellectual atmosphere in libertarian
circles up to the mid-70's at least, in which many of the same ideas that
show up frequently here - including things like uploading, immortality, AI,
etc. - were often subjects of intense discussion. Then the movement
polarized into Libertarian Party vs. Anti-LP. Each side began
characterizing the other as fundamentally immoral, evil, or unbelievably

Then, the free-wheeling discussions began to be taken over by organized
intellectual purity squads - best exemplified by the "New Libertarians"
connected with Sam Konkin and his trigger man enforcer, Neil Shulmann. If
anyone said anything deviating from the official agorist line, they would be
instantly pounced upon and literally shouted down. The LP similarly
rejected topics that were not oriented toward strictly political ends. We
now can see where this got us.

Let's try to not repeat mistakes...
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