Re: Paths to Uploading

Anders Sandberg (
11 Jan 1999 13:30:02 +0100

"Michael S. Lorrey" <> writes:

> Scott Badger wrote:
> > >> If you dropped back a hundred thousand years, how long would it take you
> > >> to out-invent hunters who had been using spears all their life? Skill
> > >> is a poor substitute for smartness.
> >
> > >I wonder how well I could build all those waterwheels, metal melting,
> > >steam engines and Volta cells. Have you tried to recreate technology?
> > >And the interesting thing in this example is that in the end it hinges
> > >not on me being a super-genius, but on me knowing things already (and
> > >then needing to somehow implement them, which is the hard part!).
> >
> > >It would be interesting to drop you off on an isolated island together
> > >with a randomly selected but stupid survivalist. Would your superior
> > >intellect bring you more food?
> Thats not necessarily the test. A survivalist, by definition, is trained to
> SURVIVE, not to PROGRESS. Anyone's first concern in a crisis situation like
> that is obviously "how am I going to make it through the day", then how am I
> going to make it though this month or year". Once these survival concerns are
> addressed and fulfilled, the question then becomes "how am I going to acheive
> as close to a 20th century lifestyle as I can?" which is where the engineering
> comes in and survivalism is far less usefull.

Exactly. But at that point I think Eliezer would have starved to death. If you cannot meet the survival needs well enough, you will never get the surplus necessary for progress. And the basic survival stuff is more about skills than being intelligent, which was the real point of the example.

> Combine survivialist training with engineering knowledge, and that person could
> go extremely far back in time and have a decent 18th century community going
> within 10-15 years.

Remember Jules Verne's _The Mysterious Island_ (or whatever it was called)?

> Teach some primitives written language, the scientific
> method, some ethics/philosophy, and record as much as you can of what
> technologies are possible and how to acheive them, and you'd have a 20th
> century civilization going within a few generations

Would be interesting to try.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
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