Re: Principle of Nonsuppression

den Otter (
Wed, 01 Sep 1999 23:45:18 +0200

> From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky <>

> >From
&gt;As AI (of the conscious kind) is one of the biggest liabilities, this
> > field of research should be monitored extra carefully, and curbed if necessary.
> I see two possible problems:
> 1) We're so busy trying to sabotage each other's efforts that we all
> wind up getting eaten by goo / insane Powers.

Let's hope we can somehow prevent that...

> 2) Iraq gets nanotechnology instead of the US / the AI project has to
> be run in secret and is not subject to public supervision and error correction.

Note that "curbing" AI (or any other dangerous technology) by no means has to involve government-imposed bans. There are other (better) ways to do this.

Besides, do you really belief that the US military would ever drop their nano/AI research projects because of some sissy civillian ban? They're not *that* stupid. Not that such a ban would be likely to be imposed in the first place; there's too much money riding on this. No, scaring the public and the government would more likely result in a tightening of project security, which is quite good because it would buy us some time.

> "Trying to suppress a dangerous technology only inflicts more damage."
> (Yudkowsky's Threats #2.)

How defeatist. I'd say that suppressing the proliferation of nukes, for example, was a *great* idea. Otherwise we probably wouldn't be here right now. Stupid as they may be, big governments do offer fairly good stability, on average.

> I'm not sure - still running the numbers, and while I'm an idealist, I
> don't trust my own idealism - but maybe "Nonsuppression" should be one
> of the Singularitarian Principles.

Surely you're not trying to monopolize the definition of Singularitarianism?

> Can anyone really think that ve can panic politicians or the media into
> pushing for laws that suppress nanotech/AI without their noticing the
> existence of AI/nanotech/uploading/neurohacking/genetic engineering?
> You push for the "Nanotechnology Suppression Act" and you'll get the
> "Comprehensive Ultratechnology Regulation Bill".

So what? Laws can be broken, twisted, evaded. Like we were waiting for the government's blessing in the first place.

> Who are the "Transtopians", anyway? My guess is
> den Otter.

The writings are mine, obviously. Anyone who agrees with the principles can call himself a "Transtopian". And yes, there are actually like-minded people out there, strangely enough. Of course, as this is the fringe of a fringe movement, you can't expect it to be very big.