Re: incomprehensible changes?

Steve Witham (
Mon, 24 Mar 1997 22:42:12 -0400

>> > From: Eugene Leitl
>> > I'll give you a different problem to worry about... There are
>> > people of all ages today who are falling off the technological
>> > bandwagon. Those who manage to stay on the tiger (Mixed metaphores?
>> > Why not?), are getting further and further ahead of those not on
>> > board. Will there be a point at which no one not already on the train
>> > can get on? Sure looks like it. That is the problem I worry about.
>From: Anders Sandberg <>
>I agree. While I certainly find transhumanism and progress worthwhile even
>if they will be used by a smaller subset of humanity, I would like to make
>it accessible to everyone. Maybe I'm a bleeding heart transhumanist :-)

I think there's room for cautious...dynamic!...optimism. UIs do get
gradually nicer. Software that does sensible and useful things comes out
a little at a time. Hey, with a little prompting people could adopt Java
and maybe some good simple security models and get rid of a layer of OS
and mega-app stupidity. I paid $300 for the (used) color laptop with
built-in modem that I'm working on. Hopeful signs, I mean.

I think there's an argument that in general, the more advanced an economy,
the *easier* it is to get involved in. The most "advanced" people are
pushing diminishing returns, and all the tools (& economies of scale)
that are mass-produced to help them do that are even more useful to the
"have nots". Okay maybe not *air tight*, but it's an *argument*, all right?

[Btw, just thought of a really nasty quip about "post-scarcity":
Post-scarcity is an idea thought up by people who don't understand
economics and hope that the singularity will save them from having to!]

Another way of looking at it is, if this stuff is so confusing to learn,
it's not very "advanced," is it? I don't think so. It's actually another
reassuring sign, that after watching a couple decades of apocalyptic hype,
you start to notice that things change at a rather leisurely pace after
all! After a while, massive stupidity impedes its own advance.

I'm another "bleeding heart transhumanist" for whom clarity for people is
one of the most important goals I can see this side of the singularity.


--           Steve Witham          web page under reconsideration
"At the latter I was informal, at the former I wore my suit,
 I wore my swimming suit."  --Kate & Anna McGarrigle