Re: "Sufferance", was Re: Learn to shoot

From: Michael M. Butler (
Date: Sat Oct 28 2000 - 13:56:23 MDT

> > > No, actually the whole idea is that nanotech/AI/superintelligence scenario is
> > > hopefully alien enough to eliminate even the need for self-defensive
> > > thinking. My own philosophy is that the future is so distant - not just in
> > > terms of the environment, but in terms of who we will be - that the best
> > > course is to try and be the most intense human you can be, here and now,
> > > without moping too much over how much better you would be if you didn't have
> > > to be human. Arguably, firearms - and to an even greater extent, martial arts
> > > - are a part of that. The question, as always, is time.
> >
> > Cheerio. The one rhetorical card I see you palming in the above is "the
> > whole idea" s/b "my [Eliezer's] whole idea". :) You're still doing 'way
> > better than most politicians.
> I didn't get that. And what's s/b?

You used the phrase "the whole idea"; I was quibbling and suggesting you
might better have said "*my* whole idea" to clearly mark that it's your
approach, not The Only Way To Think. Not that you actually said that,
but the use of the definite article is a standard technique of sneaking
a desired assumption's nose into the tent as a goes-without-saying. I
wouldn't be surprised if the pre-Socratics did it. Does ancient Greek
have articles, or just single-dual-plural? I know they wrestled and
agonized over the "is" puzzles (is of identity ?= is of possesses a
property ?= is of exists)....

"s/b" is "should be", and I think it's an ugly shortcut but it still
slips in sometimes.
> > It can also be read as "I have a handle on a piece of what the Universe
> > can dish out, insofar as I am able."
> I have that right now, and while I may know which end of a safety is up and
> what a roundhouse kick is, the truth is that I don't know how to shoot and I
> haven't taken any martial-arts training since age nine or so. That particular
> got-a-grip feeling is the result of self-awareness, knowing how your mind will
> react even if you run across something you can't handle.

Absolutely. I was speaking of competence at arms as one stimulus for
that experience, not holding it up as the only way of achieving same.
"It's all good"--competence at anything(s) and a modicum of self
reflection, I mean.


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