Re: The Singularity

Dan Clemmensen (
Fri, 17 Jul 1998 19:19:36 -0400

Robin Hanson wrote:
> [...] Consider the probability
> distributions my 1898 ancestor would have assigned to these:
> *Any* difference in his/her vs. my distributions assigned should mean
> I will make better forecasts (assuming I'm rational). Even if the
> distribution I would assign is broader than the distribution
> he/she would have assigned, reflecting the realization of a wider range
> of possibilities, that still means I am more likely to assign a
> higher probability to the right answer.
True, but not very helpful. Our 1898 guy (say, Mark Twain) would likely assign probabilities to a human future and ignore the post-SI future. 'gene and I assert that it's essentially impossible to select among physically possible post-SI futures. Your argument is that our prediction is therefore better than Mr Twain's. I agree, but I don't think we should get much credit for this answer, and it doesn't help us to further refine our uniform probability distribution. In particular, if the SI is a Mark Twain fan, it may decide that Mark Twain's vision is superior to all others. Would that mean mark Twain's prediction was superior? It would be correct, but not for the right reason (i.e., incorrect time trajectory.)