Re: Incomplete Singularity

Date: Wed Oct 11 2000 - 12:06:17 MDT

First you have to have the technology on the CAD system to make it seem
truly, plausible, and until I hear further, I contend we are not even there
yet. Secondly, since it hasn't been built or computer-modeled, the upload may
not even provide a convincing sense of personality and memory.

Anders is "uploaded" in some fashion into a computer net, and what comes out
the other side does not appear to sound or behave like Anders. The jokes or
political comments now seem unemotional, the enthusiasm for Extropianism and
Transhumanism are completely gone, and to boot, "Anders" now seems to only
respond to questions and have none of his own. Eventually, Anders is declared
deceased, by his friends and family after several years and a court agrees.
What was once Anders, perished that day on the Uploading table! Soon the
Ander program is archived for historians and analsyts. Maybe they can restore
him to life once they get the bugs worked out of his Singularity Machine?

The camera pans right and the Ghost of Rod Serling speaks: "Ladies and
gentlemen, submitted for your approval. One Anders Sandburg, a victim in the
laudable search for prolonging human consciousness, and giving hope to
Billions, now a mere, unaware, data-set in the long, cold, darkness, of The
Extropian Zone" (Load, cascading, Trumpet Flourish!>

Moral: The technology better be flawless before people hop on the ride. But I
guess that was true of the first Roller-Coaster?

In a message dated 10/11/00 11:43:55 AM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

<< The idea that some will go on towards Singularity (or whatever) and
 the rest will remain, is of course one of the main Scary Arguments
 Against the Singularity (cf. Stuart Brand, _The Clock of the Long Now_
 and Jaron Lanier's edge piece). Exponential growth might also imply
 exponential growth of differences, and this is generally viewed as a
 bad thing. After lecturing some first year students on waguely
 transhumanism related stuff, I noticed this was one of the arguments
 against it that seemed to work best. Well worth considering.
 The problem is relevant not just for the Singularity but any knowledge
 economy: if there are no strong rules against changing social class,
 but doing so depends merely on an act of will/ambition/ability, the
 resulting situation will still have some who due to their own values,
 passivity, culture or whatever remain down. The door is open, but they
 either think it is closed, to hard to get past or that remaining is
 good. The problem with this division is that it cannot be redressed
 using traditional means like redistributing money or rights, but would
 need some ways of redistributing or improving ambition (the later
 might actually be doable, by creating a more practically optimist
 social atmosphere). And even then we would have the people who do not
 wish to rise to the heavens.
 Ethically, I would say transhumanism values diversity and individual
 development. But it is not based on some narrow definition of linear
 progress - we are a bit too postmodern for that - so what kind of
 individual development is desirable is in the end up to the individual
 to make a decision about. A bit like the subjective optimality
 definition of health in Freita's _Nanomedicine_. Now, as I see this,
 when applied to the incomplete singularity scenario, this leads to the
 conclusion that it is completely OK to decide not to join in due to
 one's value system. In fact, it increases the diversity of
 What might happen is of course that the posthumans (or people of the
 new economy or whatever) want to make sure people staying behind do
 this due to their own values as a rational decision, rather than just
 due to mistaken information, habit or something else. Hence they will
 want to give an unbiased image of what they are missing out on (here I
 will just assume ethical posthumans; posthumans with an ideological
 axe to grind is another matter of course). Education becomes very
 Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
 GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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