Re: Singularity-worship

Eliezer Yudkowsky (
Thu, 05 Dec 1996 21:37:54 -0600

"Any major enhancement of human intelligence is a net evolutionary

> That "law" is so bad it's not even wrong. In the first place the fact that
> evolution has not come up with something is not evidence that the idea must
> be bad, it's only evidence that evolution has not come up with it. As I said
> before, except for microorganisms, nature never figured out how to make a
> part that can rotate in 360 degrees, despite the fact that it would certainly
> be a good thing to have in your tool kit.

And yet, Algernon's Law still works.

Which is better:
1) Knowing Algernon's Law, knowing that it's not absolute, and using it
to figure out safe ways of enhancing intelligence by either a) asking
yourself why evolution didn't do this or b) coming up with something
evolution can't do.

2) Not knowing Algernon's Law and being totally surprised when your
supergenius falls over dead in two weeks.

--       Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

Disclaimer:  Unless otherwise specified, I'm not telling you
everything I know.