Re: A great new year

From: J. R. Molloy (
Date: Sun Jan 06 2002 - 08:03:57 MST

From: "Jacques Du Pasquier" <>
> Anders Sandberg wrote (1.1.2002/21:36) :
> > The excitement of creativity and watching our projects unfold is only
> > matched by the the delicious feeling of anticipation just before
> > springing into action.
> If this is true, couldn't one rationnally prefer to remain in this
> delicious anticipation, indefinitely delaying the springing into
> action ?

One can prefer to remain wherever one wants, but not rationally.
Preference and reason are diametrically opposed.
Any suffieintly sentient being abandons preference altogether...
which seems irrational to those still enthralled by their personal

> Contemplating the field of perfect snow, its openness to all the
> possible tracks -- and staying there instead of putting on the skis
> and schussing ?

As machines increasingly outperform humans, and as they eventually surpass
human cognition, the cognitive phase transition (aka, singularity) will seem
to many as if we ourselves, in our own lives, are merely slowing down and
passively contemplating life. Fermi's paradox vanishes when we understand that
superlative sentience simply surrenders to existence, when a brain understands
why there is anything rather than nothing at all, and the final theory of
everything has explained all that exists, there is nothing left to do but
laugh, and then to sleep, perchance to dream of fields of perfect snow, and
endless worlds and eternal sunrises...

Reminds me of a poem...
Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
by Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

--- --- --- --- ---

Useless hypotheses, etc.:
 consciousness, phlogiston, philosophy, vitalism, mind, free will, qualia,
analog computing, cultural relativism, GAC, Cyc, Eliza, cryonics, individual
uniqueness, ego, human values, scientific relinquishment, malevolent AI,
non-sensory experience, SETI

We move into a better future in proportion as science displaces superstition.

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