Re: META: The spirit of the Extro list

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Wed Nov 15 2000 - 15:03:33 MST wrote:
> --- Original Message ---
> "Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" <> Wrote on
> Wed, 15 Nov 2000 15:04:42 -0500
> ------------------
> >This is the Extropians list. This is the place for science
> and edgy high-tech future shock.<
> Alluring and mind-spanking ideas about SI are created by multi-task
> mental architects, not dogmatized profession mongers.

Except that I have in fact created many alluring and mind-spanking ideas about
SI, and the people droning on about mysticism did not. Ergo, I am a
multi-task mental architect, and the mystics are dogmatized profession
mongers. In fact, I cannot recall a single mystic appearing on the slate
that extends from Egan to Vinge.

We may further deduce that intolerance of stupidity does not lead to dogma,
but it must be coupled with two other rare abilities: the ability to apply
this intolerance equally to oneself and the ideas one values, plus the ability
to distinguish stupidity from intelligence. But tolerance of stupidity,
especially if it leads to tolerance of one's own stupidity, or if it is caused
by an inability to tell the difference, leads only to ideas chosen on the
basis of how nice they sound. And those ideas do not have the raw,
shock-edged, mind-bending power that the mystics claim to seek. I can shock
the living daylights out of anyone except an actual transhumanist or an
Extropian, and some of those as well.

The Cosmic Consciousness folks can't shock anyone except the people
deliberately trying to be shocked. They can't leave themselves because they
have nowhere to go. And above all, I have the power to change the world, and
they don't.

I'll stick with my intolerance of stupidity, thank you.

-- -- -- -- --
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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