I think you're being too critical of Eliezer's explanation for changing his
estimate to 2008. As I recall the conversation, Eli said he'd revised his
personal projection about how soon the Singularity was likely to occur and
someone else asked him what his reasons were. This is very different from
asking him to defend his projection or to convince anyone else of it.
Eliezer listed his reasons, and I took them in that spirit: they might be
tentative conclusions, they might be based on private information, they
might be intended as conservative guesses.
Asking (seemed like demanding to me) him to come up with schedules and
budgets in order to convince you goes beyond what he offered. If you were
to ask if he can defend those beliefs, you'd be on more solid ground.
That said, I agree with you that some of his reasoning seems speculative
and optimistic at best. But given point 4:
> I stopped thinking in terms of "What is the precise degree of
> ludicrousness involved in the thought of my ever getting a cent from
> Social Security?" and shifted to "When do I need to do something if I
> want to do it before the Singularity?"
I have trouble debating the whole argument. What's your *conservative*
estimate of when you need to finish up any major projects if they should be
done before the singularity? What if you felt as strongly as Eliezer does
that it's crucial that you win the race?
--- C. J. Cherryh, "Invader", on why we visit very old buildings: "A sense of age, of profound truths. Respect for Chris Hibbert something hands made, that's stood through storms and email@example.com wars and time. It persuades us that things we do may last and matter." http://discuss.foresight.org/~hibbert/home.html
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