Re: Goo prophylaxis

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Tue, 02 Sep 1997 19:51:06 -0500

Eric Watt Forste wrote:

> It sounds as if you are attempting to make an a priori case for
> believing that "nanites" will outcompete (in biological terms!)
> biological organisms. I don't think a priori methods are very
> useful in dealing with these kinds of things. The best we could
> do right now, probably, is to open a claim on the Foresight Exchange,
> something like "Homo sapiens will be biologically extinct (no more
> phenotypes from unmodified Homo sap genomes) by 2050." and see what
> odds the market puts on that claim. This claim would stimulate
> research into the areas you are concerned with, because for someone
> to speculate successfully on this claim, they'd have to research
> the particular issues you are raising. But the person who registers
> the claim is going to look pretty crass: here's an opportunity for
> individualist curmudgeons to do something useful with their disdain
> for social opinion.

Whoa! Explain to me why any sane being would make that bet?
That's like the claim: "There will be a Singularity before 2200." Even I
would take the negative of that one; if you're right, you won't be around for
the payoff.

Maybe you could make money by selling claims of fluctuating value, but I still
don't see how a claim like that would have any *intrinsic* value.

--       Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

Disclaimer:  Unless otherwise specified, I'm not telling you
everything I think I know.