Re: MacLeod's Cassini Division

From: Robin Hanson (
Date: Tue Oct 03 2000 - 09:42:49 MDT

At 02:19 AM 10/4/2000 +1100, you wrote:
> >My purpose, however, was to take his book as a critique of us, and to try
> >to take that critique to heart as expressing a common feeling about what
> >is wrong with us.
> >uploads that leave
> >the human form, environment, speed, and styles of thought are
> >an evil horror.
>Well, my feeling still is that MacLeod's method is exactly to explore a
>variety of normative and emotional responses to these issues, and in his
>different books (and even within them) he deploys different readings,
>variant understandings, changing attitudes. The particular evil horror
>uploads you mention are explicitly a kind of botched first pass, as I
>recall. More benign AIs are shown--I seem to recall that THE STONE CANAL is
>*told* by one of them--and despite some prejudices against them they are
>eventually accepted by humans (a human-centric perspective, it's true, but
>then MacLeod and his readers are mostly humans). So the lessons you drew
>might be misleading and too over-simplified even to meet your own purposes.

In Cassini Division, the good AIs are those that retain human form,
environment, speed, and styles of thought, while the bad AIs are those
that do not. It seems from what you are saying that this is also true
in the Stone Canal as well. So what do you think I've gotten wrong?

Robin Hanson
Asst. Prof. Economics, George Mason University
MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030-4444
703-993-2326 FAX: 703-993-2323

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