Re: Extropian Campfire Tales (was: Transhuman Beach Party)

J. R. Molloy (
Sat, 11 Sep 1999 00:46:58 -0700

Greg Burch wrote,
>If someone's involved in work that could lead to a singularity-like event
>someone in our group doesn't know about them, I'll be very, very surprised.
>There are people on this list or involved with ExI or its "extended family"
>who are at most one or two professional connections away from the leading
>edge in every relevant discipline. Now, to switch metaphors, consider that
>this little "digital campfire" attracts scouts who report back from the
>frontier regularly. It's also entertaining to tell scary stories around
>campfire, but that's not the same as the kind of hard-boiled analysis you
>in the morning before you hit the trail.

(IFSOYC), I'd add that the scouts who _do not_ report back from the frontier most likely have the scariest stories to tell. The US has successfully kept secrets from the public before (and not just about assassinations) as have a few other military industrial complexes. But perhaps the spooks have lost their edge. The (apparent) openness of Japanese AI projects can worry as much as it assures Singularitarians. Since we can't really prepare for a real Singularity, and since my plan to hit the trail to the high country got divested by the hillbillies (excuse me, I mean "Mountain Williams"), guess I'll head back to the beach party.
As they say, "Life's a beach... then you die."

No, really, if the White House (America's, Russia's, or anyone's) or the military gave serious consideration to these matters, would they try to flatten the spike, subvert the tsunami, or devise an action plan to deal with it (see for example, the bibliography: "Surfing the First and Second Waves in 2025"

Since the military sits on the bleeding edge of technology, I don't see a more likely suspect for developing and directing a total war/tidal wave. A future thus envisioned makes Orwell's _1984_ look like a beach party by comparison. Orwell's call to attention may have helped to avert the hell he depicted in his novel, but this time avoiding one kind of hell brings another one closer. If enough people in positions of power come to appreciate the need to transcend tribal instincts, Homo sapiens may survive and thrive. Otherwise... we may as well party on the beach as hit the trail. I mean, if the leaders of the world don't, won't, or can't pay attention to these issues, it doesn't do extropians any good to fret about it. So, I think extropians should collaborate on a multi-media presentation to educate leaders about the coming spike, while we have time to do it. Even if the tidal wave doesn't happen for fifty years, that still might worry some 20-year-olds.

"Homo sapiens will experience mass extinction, or mass meditation." --M. T. Ness