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

christophe delriviere (
Fri, 25 Dec 1998 10:33:27 +0100

Anders Sandberg wrote:

> From an engineering standpoint
> space colonization is possible right now, but despite being fervently
> pro-space myself the O'Neill colonies are not up there - politics,
> economics and other things make it impossible *right now*. That may
> change of course, or it might turn out to be permanent.

Obviously yes and I'm rather depressed about that ...

> > Since we put so much faith and cherish beliefs we can't be really open
> > minded. We are not babies naked to the world.
> We might not be perfectly openminded, but we should strive to be it
> (were rational transhumanists after all). If we start to close our
> minds just because we like certain ideas, we will likely *fail* in our
> transhuman project.

What i mean is that when you think about something, being finite you can't think to something different at the same time. So thinking about something or spend time on something specific make you close minded to other things. If you define yourself for example as a transhumanist and think a lot about it, spend time on it, you will obviously become close minded to other things to a certain extent, after a certain time. Human machinery is finite. I certainly agree with the transhumanist principles, so i believe i could probably be at least on the top100 of the most transhumanistic peoples. But i see also problems in putting oneself in a box so easily, at least i don't like it too much.

> Sure, there are and will be close-minded transhumanists just as there
> are close-minded scientists. But how many are they? If you really
> start to look among scientists you will notice that the meme that
> there are plenty of fundamentalist scientists is wrong, it is another
> "Hollywood meme" (spread and beloved by everybody who dislikes that
> science doesn't support their pet theory)

Yes, very probably... But all the teachers in my engineering schools are not open minded ;))
95% are to different degrees of course...

> . In my experience scientists
> tend to be more open-minded than ordinary people (with some exceptions,
> of course).

It's not very difficult to be more open-minded than the average people ;))

> > 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 belief machines... they tend to think that their arbitrary models
> > of reality are true.
> Right now at least. Maybe we should change it.

Well Anders, seems that you are somewhat close-minded about the acknowledgment of limitations of the human beings openmindness ;)... but for me, it is the use of "illusion" to achieve some goals ;)... nothing wrong about that ;)...

> > What is irrational is to believe that it is possible for a human being alone
> > to be *strongly* open-minded ;)... to be "too much" open minded is also to
> > loose time and energy that could probably be better used.
> You mean "Be open-minded, but not so open-minded your brains fall out"?

In all things there is limitations. You can't spend time on A and B at the same time. I was writing that because i was thinking at the moment to all those philosophy peoples discussing "chinese box" and "zombies"... I certainly enjoy to listen such debates more than a lot of peoples but for me it's just fun and basically a loose of time in comparison to really try to build one. So the critic is obviously for me to. My private aesthetics ;) are saying to me that it is more "beautiful" to tend always to more complexity and intelligence and less pain.