Re: Scooping Up & Blending Knowledge

Joe Jenkins (
Mon, 28 Sep 1998 14:44:25 -0700 (PDT)

---"Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" <> wrote: >
> Where are the da Vincis, the Rembrandts, the Bach or Mozart, the
Homer or
> Shakespeare of this age? Why has modern art degenerated into a test
to see
> how random or tawdry art has become, and why does modern music sound
> noise even to the teenagers? Why are modern novels either
> why is modern philosophy incomprehensible, and why is modern poetry
> In the old days, the brightest minds of a generation became writers or
> philosophers. Today they are scientists.
> In the old days, the poetic souls were drawn to art or poetry.
Today they are
> science-fiction writers.
> In the old days, the mathematical minds wrote music. Today they are
computer programmers.
> There are so many new professions which employ to the utmost human
> intelligence, which are so much better paid, that the former
occupations of
> genius are dying; there are many competent artists, but the great
geniuses of
> generations have gone elsewhere, and far from science even
competence becomes
> rare. Compare science fiction and fiction. Compare the philosophy
of AI with
> philosophy. Compare "Gödel, Escher, Bach" with anything.
> Except for schools dying out for lack of intelligent teachers, I see
> wrong with this. Once someone asked me whether computer programming
was a
> challenge that allowed me to use my talents; I replied: "There is
no limit to
> the amount of talent that can be used in computer programming." If
there is
> an explosion in the uses of talent, it is no surprise that those
areas which
> formerly had a monopoly will suffer.
> When will the days of art's greatness return? Perhaps when the
> babblings that now inhabit these dead fields peter out, when nobody
> with modern art or deconstructing existentialism, when all the
writers of
> Westerns and singers of rap have starved or moved to flipping
burgers at
> McDonald's, then we will see more Hofstadters and Feynmans move in
to fill the
> vacuum. But these _are_ the days of art's highest flowering, and if
you would
> doubt it, reread "Permutation City" or "Gödel, Escher, Bach". Let
those who
> bemoan the lack of culture in the old and settled lands look to the
> frontiers, the eternal tests of greatness.

Social status is still highly rewarded by the arts. There is no need for the motivation to be occupation. The inspiration needed to produce a masterpiece is such a small investment from genius. Science alone is social masturbation. C might evolve C, but masturbation only goes so far. Some things in the spontaneous order happen despite evolution not because of it. What are you selecting for? Get out and meet some folks face to face now and then. Soap will wash away most of the foreign body fluids when your done.

Joe Jenkins

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