Re: Failure of AI a prediction of Neal Stephenson's "The Diamond Age"

Christophe Delriviere (
Tue, 22 Dec 1998 04:27:07 +0100

Anders Sandberg wrote:

But that is a rather irrational position. Suppose somebody actually manages to come up with a convincing experimental proof for a non-material soul (I would really like to see the methods and equipment section of that paper! :-), which was then independently verified, elaborated and studied in the classical scientific fashion. Would you still reject this interpretation, even when there were good evidence for another position? Of course, one might have different views on what constitutes enough evidence to change one's mind, but beyond a certain point one is joining the Flat Earth Society and creationists.

Yes ;)...
What i was saying is just that i'm not open minded at all in loosing the possibility to build an intelligence. (artificial or natural are just the same for me, there is no difference, human beings are parts of the nature processes). It's like 2+2=4, I'm not open minded in loosing that too. If non-material soul means new physical processes to study I can't have something wrong with it.
But if non-material soul means something that is not connected to the physics that build us... well it's total nonsense.


This is important to remember for us transhumanists, since we put so much faith in some technologies that might actually never be done. If we stop being openminded about being wrong, even about our most cherished beliefs,

Since we put so much faith and cherish beliefs we can't be really open minded. We are not babies naked to the world.

There is a difference in the global philosophy and the people following it. Of course it is important that our views as emergent properties of our interactions are strongly open minded. But look at the science methodology, the global process seems to tend to some local optimum in the description and understanding of reality and thus to be open minded. But I think a large number of people doing sciences are acting also like obsessive compulsive fundamentalists in their areas of expertise.

What is important for transhumanism is that his global belief-system seems to be far more scientific, open minded, rational, self critical that the others currently available. So what is the most important is that publications about transhumanism appears to have such properties.


we will become just like any other religion, cult or ideology.

It's, to some extent, the destiny of all belief-systems... I think. Humans are beliefmachines... they tend to think that their arbitrary models of reality are true.

A lot of science guys tends to believe that their models are true, they forget the easy way that they are just models. Science even if it's evolutive is also a belief system.

There is nothing wrong to be *a little* non openminded. I mean, it's just a interesting property of
our brain protecting us from time to time. What is irational is to believe that it is possible fo a human being alone to be *strongly* openminded ;)... to be "too much" open minded is also to loose time and energy that could probably be better used.

I'm not sure, but i think there is a majority of atheists in this list... could you call it be open minded?
What if somebody bring you a good scientific paper wich is a proof of the existence of god ? What will you do ? personnally, I will ask for a lot of other papers and experiments, and if they are working too, well I will ask to do the experiments by myself ;)... quite not open minded isn't?


BTW; the babay analog is spurious. It just shows that intelligence is possible, just as biology shows that physical law allows nanotech. It does not say we can necessarily build it.

Why ?;)
Just find two compatible mates, non steriles and you are able to generate a new intelligence.
In another way, understand the process and hack it, analyse deeply the genome and play with it to generate new kinds of intelligences the slow way... It's possible to build, but it's probably far too slow to be really interesting.

But perhaps we will generate zombies in this way, since the soul is perhaps not there ;))