Singularity Passivity

Rick Knight (
Fri, 22 Aug 97 11:21:36 CST

Eliezar Yudkowsky wrote: looks like Sandberg was right; the "Singularity" CAN lead to
passivity. Insofar as there IS going to be a Singularity, cultish or
not, does anyone have suggestions on how the concept could be
presented so as to avoid a repeat of the above error?

Rick Knight responds:

I was pondering this as well. In recent posts and in your essay on
the subject, I found a well of apathy building inside of me. Why?
Certainly not because it wasn't going to be such a profound and
strangely curious and inticing event but because I was *implicitly*
forbidden to dream about/imagine it. In doing so, one was easily
dismissed because their dreams were so small, their imaginations so
limited. Well, you got to paint the sign with pretty colors if you
want people to come into the store.

An interesting article in this month's Discover magazine about
"scientific beauty" compels me to ask what part "beauty" and our
fundamental instinct of attraction towards the symmetrical combination
of power and elegance play in our advance towards the transhuman era.
If the Singularity is even remotely painted as something
incomprehensible, you might as well be trying to sign people up on
Columbus' ships because as far as they're concerned, they're going to
fall off the edge of the world.

At least some of my energy can be devoted towards what I dream a new
world to be. If I must stay myopically focused on what to do to get
me to "who knows where", my interest curiously wanes.