Re: Suspended Animation

Max More (
Mon, 2 Dec 1996 10:49:41 -0700 (MST)

At 04:27 PM 12/2/96 +0100, you wrote:
>On Sat, 30 Nov 1996, Eliezer Yudkowsky wrote:
>> Zero. With the tech it takes to revive a terminal frostbite victim,
>> it's as easy to grow the body back as to repair it. Besides, this is
>> all going to be post-Singularity and all costs at that point are
>> effectively zero.
>OK, it is time for my bi-monthly reaction: I HATE THIS SILLY MEME!
>Recently, there have been far too much singularity-worship here on the
>list. [snip]
>But back to the animation problem: thinking that as soon as we get
>nanotech/uploading/AI all problems will be solved and we will happily
>transcend is plain wishful thinking. [snip]
>I'm sorry for this somewhat heated response, but I feel we have to tend
>our memetic garden so that it will not become a tangle of weeds. The
>singularity is an interesting concept, but it is not a fact and not a
>central tenet of extropianism.

I completely agree with Anders' comments, and those of Lyle on this topic.
The Singularity idea has worried me for years -- it's a classic religious,
Christian-style, end-of-the-world concept that appeals to people in western
cultures deeply. It's also mostly nonsense, for the reasons recently
articulated by Anders', Lyle, and Hal F.

The Singularity concept has all the earmarks of an idea that can lead to
cultishness, and passivity. There's a tremendous amount of hard work to be
done and intellectually masturbating about a supposed Singularity is not
going to get us anywhere.

Since many Extropians, like others, seem to be prone to uncritically
absorbing this idea, in my revision of the original Dynamic Optimism, I will
add an analysis and warning of the Singularity idea. I suggested that the
idea of uploading could be abused in a similar way, even though uploading
seems far more reasonable that a Singularity.

There is no heaven, there will be no Singularity. We can create a wonderful
posthuman future where we will be unshackled from many human limits, but it
will take critical thinking, creativity, and hard work.


Max More, Ph.D.
President, Extropy Institute, Editor, Extropy,
(310) 398-0375