Re: "the species' immune system"

From: J. R. Molloy (
Date: Thu Oct 05 2000 - 12:30:09 MDT

Eugene Leitl wrote,

> Sure, if you can show us how to sustainably strip Darwin, big boy. So
> all you have is to prove that imperfect replication in face of limited
> resources is not always applicable, or that there is a higher
> principle granting higher fitness while not utilizing above means.

I guess the only way for Homo sapiens to prove there is a higher prinicple is
for Homo sapiens to survive the confrontational holocaust it has prepared for
itself with weapons of mass destruction. If I had to give a name to that higher
principle, perhaps I'd call it what others have dubbed transhumanism.
Transhumanism grants transhumans higher fitness by making them exempt from
confrontation while not utilizing confrontational means. E. O. Wilson calls this
"exemptionalism" but he also uses the word "consilience" to refer to the
convergence of all scientific fields into a single consistent science.

> This needs to know the total shape of the fitness function en detail,
> including the current state of the population and ability to adjust
> faster than the system as a whole can adapt. In case you're wondering,
> this spells out effective 1) omniscience 2) omnipresence 3) omnipotence

If the species immune system corresponds to warfare, then omni-doo-dah
correlates to avoidance of disease vectors. Soldiers don't need to understand
foreign policy to do their jobs, and heads of state don't need to understand the
theory of everything in order to avoid war.

> A God could homestead a whole universe that way, provided it would
> want to, a god could do that for a small pocket of reality (assuming,
> it would want to), for a while (until a bigger god would come, and
> dislodge him). So all you have to show how less than godlike beings
> can create a god with above properties, where we're right at Eliezer's
> dilemma. Last time I looked they didn't offer Certified God Engineer
> degrees over there in Redmond (on second thought, these folks would be
> probably in charge of the nether regions).

For all we know, Homo sapiens are destined to become gods in the same
evolutionary way that apes have been destined to become Homo sapiens. Since we
haven't yet become gods, we can't know what a god would homestead, or would want
to homestead. Eliezer's dilemma is the human dilemma writ small.
We'll either transcend the species' immune system paradigm, or we'll kill
ourselves trying.
So it seems to me on Thursday morn.

--J. R.

Long years must pass before the truths we have made for ourselves become our
very flesh. VALERY

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