Re: singleton and memetics

christophe delriviere (
Wed, 18 Nov 1998 22:38:48 +0100

Anders Sandberg wrote:

> christophe delriviere <> writes:
> > So, in a post human era, where we can imagine the total available
> > (matter+energy) in the solar system is used and where the global
> > intelligence can't move too much from his place to go to find a lot
> more
> > of (matter+energy), probably the singleton as a whole identity will
> be a
> > little insane.
> >
> > would you want to become insane ?
> First, I would like to point out that the singleton hypothesis is in
> itself rather debatable; I can't see why it is more likely than a
> "multitude hypothesis" where we are bound to get an exponentially
> increasing number of diverging entities.

well for sure, it's quite debatable;)... i somewhat prefer this hypothesis because i think there is some trend of borganisation and networking in all the natural process.

> As for insanity, I would say it is relative to a context. Behavior
> that is rational in one environment is utterly irrational in another,
> so insanity could be described as acting in a way unsuitable for one's
> world - Alice is sane at home, but in Wonderland she is
> insane. However, there is an additional factor of flexibility. Most
> people with mental problems today have less mental flexibility than
> normal people - their repertoire of thinking and acting has been
> limited due to their illness, and they often get stuck in nasty
> attractor states (like in depression or paranoia).

ha... i should not have used this term... yes, optimization and sanity
are relative to a purpose or a context.Probably "autist" was a bad one
too. But of that, i'm rather uncertain. I've eared several years ago
that totally isolated childrens are dying of their isolation for example (i don't know if this is a true fact). Seem that the human brain has really to be shaped by an environment. By analogy, i believe a stellar singleton would have to be exponentially more shaped. Of course, i'm aware there is different kind of autism. In my previous mail, using "deep autism", i was referring to a rather complete isolation.

> Would the singleton superintelligence be insane? Most likely it would
> be quite good at behaving in a manner suitable for its world (i.e
> using resources on a stellar scale)

yes, he will probably be very correctly configured for the purpose of using resources. But that is coming from the lesser entities which are parts of him.

> ; in that respect I wouldn't call
> it insane. Would it have mental flexibility, so that it could get out
> of bad attractors? Hard to tell, but it seems likely if it is composed
> of a diverse set of subintelligences that are not too tightly
> bound. Would it enjoy its existence? Depends on its value system and
> analogue to enjoyment, extremely hard to say anything about.

i think a value system is part of an identity. For a single isolated system, i think it could be very very difficult to emerge an identity. Because the identity of something is also relative to an external environment. Something act in his environment according to his identity and in return the environment act on it, then it act according to the reponse of the environment .... It's a rather recursive process.

For example the planet earth could be considered as a singleton, a networking of a huge number of physical process. But i don't think earth is able to emerge an identity alone... or you will have to wait a long long time.

So i think there will not be a true singleton, an alone identity. But always aggregates of different singletons of a lesser level of complexity. Of course one could consider that the external environment of an identity has not necessary to be constituted of other identities and be happy of the presence of the physical surrounding. But the singleton in such case will probably be a little bored... no external shaping, so much more difficulties to evolve, to progress, to change your purposes... not very transhumanist thinking i think.. if you consider it's rather easy to emerge a society of singletons of a certain order because you already managed to make one.

So if you want to emerge a kewl singleton of a certain size and complexity, i think you will probably have to make little brothers of the same order for him ;)..

So, because of networking and borganisation, the "intelligent" life is condamned to always evolve to complexities of higher orders... i think an alone entity is unable to have purposes quite optimally matching his order, complexity.