Re: Humor: helping Eliezer to fulfill his full potential

Date: Mon Nov 06 2000 - 09:15:10 MST

In a message dated Sun, 5 Nov 2000 11:20:06 PM Eastern Standard Time, Spike
Jones <> writes:

<< Brian Atkins wrote:

> Mainly just in case Eugene or den Otter show up? :-) Don't get me started >
on our bunker and small arsenal of weapons...

Do allow me to make one semi-serious point among the mirth and jocularity.
Whenever the nanotech enthusiasts speak publicly, they point out the dangers
of the technology, and spend some time describing possible safety measures,
such as Ralph's broadcast architecture. Every time I hear Drexler or Merkle
speak, they
mention safeguards.

What is Singularity Institute's counterpart to that? Are yall thinking
safety? Is there some kind of technology which would allow yall to hit the
off switch if something goes awry? You know Im a big fan of the HWoMBeP and
all of yall, but if yall are rushing headlong into unknown and dangerous
technology without appropriate safety measures (if such a term even applies)
then I understand some of the criticism yall are getting. spike<<

>From what I've read on the subject, some (by no means all, not even Vinge
himself, if I read him right) proponents of Singularity believe that a) No
countermeasures are likely to work, so Singularity is more or less
inevitable; and, b) Whatever the consequences for humanity, Singularity is
worth doing.

Personally, I don't believe Singularity is a serious possibility in the near
future (the critical discussion at
pretty much convinced me it ain't gonna happen any time soon, if ever). If it
happens, and we let it happen, then we deserve whatever we get. But I'm about
as worried about it as about those fellows at Brookhaven National Lab
accidentally unleashing a black hole in our midst -- in other words, not much
(no offense meant to any believers in Singularity -- I am just applying a
little critical thinking here, and welcome any arguments trying to change my


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