Re: singleton and memetics

Dan Clemmensen (
Thu, 19 Nov 1998 19:22:05 -0500

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:
> How would you define "identity"? The possession of a unified set of memories?
> A single set of goals? A single thread in a multithreaded process? A
> Cartesian consciousness? A unit having its own copies of basic reasoning
> faculties which can come to conclusions distinct from those of other units?
> All of the above? None of the above?
> Until you've decided what the distinction is between "many" and "one", you
> certainly can't figure out which the Singularity will be.
"Singleton" and "completely isolated individuals" are essentially the extreme endpoints of a continuum of possible organizations that humans believe they can understand. I suspect that neitehr extreme is achievable. Our current civilization is not comprised of completely isolated individuals, although I suspect thar we are closser to the "individuals" end of the continuum. We can of course attempt to guess where the SI will be along this continuum or how it will evolve along this continuum. First, I think we need to decide how likely it is that an SI is restricted to this continuum at all. It looks like the typical oversimplified bipolar mapping of a multivarate space to me, sort of like Myers-Brigg.