Re: more on Brand and the Singularity idea

Date: Tue Jan 16 2001 - 19:19:50 MST

Robin writes, quoting Hal:
> >My view of this is that it doesn't matter that much whether our
> >descendents are meat or metal. ...
> >If most people have never looked at things this way, I believe it is
> >because they have never been presented with the argument.
> OK. Imagine we take a focus group of twelve random adults in the US
> and let you have them for eight hours, during which you will present your
> argument, some capable opponent will present an opposing view, and they
> will discuss it among themselves, etc. What fraction of them will then a
> gree with you at the end? I'd bet it would be six or less.

Very likely. In fact if as many as six of twelve came to agree that it
didn't matter whether our descendants are meat or metal that would be
a remarkable rate of conversion.

However my point wasn't that people were ready to be persuaded; it will
take many years for most people to get used to the idea. And of course
the issue is basically irrelevant now since there are no AIs around.

My goal in trying to present these ideas to people would be more modest,
that people would no longer view the position as laughable or worthy
of scorn. Even if they don't agree, they would be more open to the idea,
and they would have a greater understanding of the principles behind it.

> This is an experiment that can be done now for a few thousand dollars
> at most.

In fact every copy of Mind Children sold is something of a test of the
same idea.


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