Re: Singularity: Just Say No!
Sun, 17 Jan 1999 08:53:03 -0800

Anders Sandberg, <>, writes:
> It is a bit ironic that borganisms are so often suggested, since they
> appear to be harder to implement than individuals. In very complex
> individual the concept of self will likely be rather complex (in some
> sense we are borganisms already, collective minds made up of
> semi-independent brain systems), but connecting minds evolved to be
> individual in an useful way is likely rather complex; it is likely
> easier to extend them instead.

This is a good way to look at the mind: separate systems, some evolved earlier (the "reptilian mind"), some added later (the mammallian cortex).

Imagine reptilian minds looking forward with horror to a future where they were taken over, suppressed, and dominated by a higher level mammallian mind. They might see this as an oppressive future in which they would lose their reptilian individuality. But actually, from our perspective as integrated minds, we see that the added layers give us more capability, more understanding, and a fuller experience.

Calls to "fight the future" have something of the same flavor. Are we so sure that our present minds have reached the peak of perfection that we should see any extensions to them as threats? What is the point of going forward if we have to keep our minds static?

I see Extropian philosophy as adopting the "embrace and extend" perspective towards mind enhancements. Yes, it may leave us with a new kind of mentality in which our current minds are just part of a much larger and richer whole. Some people view such a change as being so major that the person they are today has effectivelly died. But I think we have to accept that the future will bring major changes, and that we should adapt to them and welcome the new opportunities.