Stan Kretler wrote:
> I just joined this list recently, but I do not see a lot of what I would
> I call "naive technophiles". I do see a lot of technophiles, and a lot
> of naivete, but the naivete seems to be about the philosophical
> undergirding of transhumanism, not about the technology. Taking
> "controlled sips from a tidal wave" seems easy enough.
"Seems" is the glaringly operative word here. Yep, you're a naive technophile, all right.
Look at it this way: One person can take controlled sips from a tidal wave. A thousand people can't. Neither can two competitors.
> Technology can do anything.
And it probably will, whether you want it or not.
> But thought about * why* taking a controlled sip from a tidal
> wave is a worthwhile goal seems to be absent from this list.
> Seems important to think about these things. Is anyone here worried
> about slipping into a psychosis of nihilism once their IQs are high
> enough that they realize that their goals have no philosophical
> foundation (or *might* have no foundation)?
I suppose in theory I shouldn't worry about going nuts if I find out that there are no ultimate goals, because then my going nuts wouldn't intrinsically be worse than not going nuts. In practice, I do worry about it, partially because it sheds light on the "foundations of the foundations", partially because it helps me locate residual desires, partially because I'm still not sure I have the right formulation of anything, and partially because it's tied up with cosmological problems like the Great Filter Paradox.
In any case, I've already designed a philosophical foundation for transhumans and the initial stages of AIs. A fraction of that is in the link above. So yes, the problem has occurred to me, and I took care of it.
> Worrying about grey goo seems less important (and less interesting) than
> worrying about 400 IQ nihilists with a *lot* of technological power.
Only *incorrect* nihilists. If the nihilists are correct, then it's obviously meaningless whether we worry or not.
-- firstname.lastname@example.org Eliezer S. Yudkowsky http://pobox.com/~sentience/tmol-faq/meaningoflife.html Running on BeOS Typing in Dvorak Programming with Patterns Voting for Libertarians Heading for Singularity There Is A Better Way