Re: Conscious Machines

From: Steve (
Date: Fri Nov 24 2000 - 14:31:55 MST

Date: Sat, 25 Nov 2000 17:20:34 -0800
From: "Jason Joel Thompson" <>
Subject: Re: Conscious machines

> If you think truth is a more important
> goal than utility, make an argument for it.
> I thought that is what I have done ... no point in labouring it
> too much, it is fairly clear that truth is the better yardstick.

I disagree. Truth is an important concept, but is it really the only means
by which we should measure personal power? Is truth always the best way to
achieve increased utility (or whatever goal you decide is worthy?) And
further, in the context of this discussion (arbitrarily limiting belief
structures,) truth is a really fluid concept. As far as personal
limitations go, the truth is often what you make it. Believe in your
ability to succeed-- you'll make your own truth. Conversely, self-doubt is
often self-fulfilling. For myself, the goal is optimization, and truth is
often a very valuable means of achieving that-- this is why I often
reference the need for clear observation. Learn your environment-- learn
how the system works, and play the game.

Truth, in this context, means a realistic assessment of our ability rather
an outlook based optimism.
> > I repeat, reject ideology because is false, not on grounds that it is
> > limiting.

I'll repeat my point here for clarity: If Joe holds the belief that he is,
for instance, unable to talk to women, is that a false belief?

Am not sure "talking to women" is empowerment. Is visiting a
prostitute *empowerment?* Isn't deliberating choosing NOT to talk
also an empowerment exercise of choice? Why not empower
Joe by normalising his choice rather than by forcing him to act differently?

the aspect of JW Betty's ideology that we find limiting is its falsehood--
she's unlikely to really reap any eternal salvation from her refusal to take
a transfusion. However, for many of us (list members) our limiting
ideologies have less to do with religious dogma, and more to do with the
particular kinds of fear that our environment imbues us with. Many of us
hold beliefs that are 'truth-independent'... self-fulfilling bootstraps with
regards to our personal capabilities, our society, etc. This is really what
I'm talking about.

Children will automatically assume that the words of adults are true.
Adults will instantaneously take what people say at face value, but will
assess the truth-value very rapidly, measured against their life experience,
then either accept or reject. We may be acting on internal scripts learnt
from adults in childhood that were never properly analysed ....

Hmm... sorry about that, I -do- get a little enthusiastic. I have been on a
long journey of awakening to my own potential and it has made me very happy.
I guess its sort of hard to talk about these sorts of things without coming
across as Tony Robbins or something. But there is a great truth here-- we
humans have power... and for those of us in the First world at least, there
are endless opportunities to manifest that power (and others, too.) I am a
wee bit of an optimist, I admit it. I do believe there is a way. I'm not
talking about any spiritual, philosophical or psychological magic here
either-- just be awake. Observe that there are people out there who operate
on another level-- who understand their empowerment-- who greedily embrace

Do you mean "self-actualisation" in the Rogerian sense?
If so, then you get my approval. I work as a brief strategic therapist
trying to achieve this type of (defined ) empowerment by hypnosis and
by other means ... shadow self work is particularly successful for me.

This is the sort of conversation I'd like to have in person.

$50 an hour I'm afraid ..... (I jest, meet me for a drink if in Leeds).

I'm not entirely sure why you hold that the word "Human" is a belief-- I'm
not sure that that's the context in which I most often hear it used. I call
myself a human, but for me the word simply references my biological status.
Deciding to call yourself NOT-human seems arbitrary-- and if that's
effective for you, then I'm in favor of it. But is that really a 'truer'
ideology, or simply a more effective one? I think we agree here more than
you'd like to admit...

The whole point (I though) of this list was that participants are actively
"trans-human" going on "post-human" .....

> Again, this is my attempt to be ironic at your expense.


Just my normal conversation ... though I should remember that Americans
don't handle irony very well, it's more of a British thing maybe.
> >Can we imagine environments we don't want?
> Obviously ..... some people in antiquity invented hell.

Sorry, let me rephrase for clarity: "can we imagine environments we don't
want to imagine?"

Nightmares are a good example of this.

Level Up!

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