Re: more on Brand and the Singularity idea

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Wed Jan 17 2001 - 13:16:43 MST

Jim Fehlinger <> writes:

> Samantha Atkins wrote:
> > Jim Fehlinger wrote:
> > > Moravec paints some pretty scary pictures himself...
> >
> > Really. Could you point out where he says the Exes would lie in wait to
> > blast newcomers from earth? I didn't see that. And I find it extremely
> > unlikely.
> Well, I'm afraid I can't -- my copy of the book seems to be lent out.
> I don't think he says they would "blast" newcomers; I think the image
> was more along the lines of eating them. Either consuming them for
> resources or else co-opting or enslaving them. At any rate, Moravec
> suggests that the first humans to "transcend" (he doesn't
> actually use that terminology) would be running the show, and that
> latecomers wouldn't have much autonomy, unless they could manage to
> escape into deep space.

Huh? This is extremely different from what I read in the book. He is
describing a very quickly evolving ecology/market in the solar system,
pointing out that economic pressures might be forcing latecomers to
make some possibly painful adaptions (this part is from his old "Pigs
in cyberspace" essay). As far as I can recall he did not succumb to
the popular but unsupported "first to become posthuman gets to be God"
idea (this idea assumes both the possibility and economic desirability
of total autarchy and that the distribution of power would become
discontinous by an autoevolutive singularity - Moravec doesn't seem to
be a singularitian himself, rather a gradualist).

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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