Re: Singularity-worship

Eliezer Yudkowsky (
Thu, 12 Dec 1996 12:44:41 -0600

> I think some people are a bit put off by your arrogance, but not me,
> I like arrogant people, I'm an arrogant bastard myself and it's always nice
> to talk to a fellow member of the brotherhood.

Working definition of the term "arrogance": Self-righteousness
manifesting as condescension and belief in one's own correctness.
I try for a dry, un-self-righteous recognition of when my theories are
right OR, in an unrelated observation, of when your theories are
logically flawed.

Working definition of "bastard": A person who doesn't care when others
are hurt.
On occasion, I deem the truth to be more important than the feelings of
others OR MYSELF, but that does not mean I don't care.

Conclusion: I am not an arrogant bastard, I was right all along, you're
totally off the wall, and idiots like you shouldn't meddle in the
affairs of their intellectual superiors.

> There is nothing more relevant. If it were proved that we can not be run on a
> Turing Machine then I would abandon my interest in Science and Mathematics
> and become a Holly Roller. It would be the only logical thing to do.

If somebody proved that consciousness required temporal or physical
continuity as opposed to a discrete binary architecture, why would this
have any religious implications?

> We have only a hazy understanding of our motives and almost no
> understanding of out individual cognitive architecture.
Speak for yourself.
> there is reason to
> think that this ignorance about ourselves will not improve dramatically
> regardless of how intelligent we become.
An Algernon wrote "Algernon's Law."

And, the whole Halting Problem says nothing about my understanding how
my mental architecture works, just my predicting what it will do. I
know how my computer works, but it still beats me at arithmetic.

> In a different post on a different subject you indicated that you were
> certain that a Quantum Computer will be built in the next 15 years.
Not certain, since there could be a nuclear war. But the things are SO
damned useful and there's no theoretical reason why it shouldn't work.
As I understand it, an STM should suffice for manufacturing the
workhorse quantum dots. We might have it by next year.

> You also said you were certain that faster than light travel
Sure. General relativity says the speed of light is whatever I make it.
> and Picotechnology were possible.
Turing equivalence. If there are computations being performed down
there, why shouldn't we make use of them? It's frightening how much
computational power is being wasted every time *anything* macroscopic

--       Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

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