RE: The inevitable limitations of all finite minds....

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Wed Nov 22 2000 - 20:12:27 MST

> The perfectly infinite multiverse presents unlimited existential awareness
> to any intelligence (human or SI) that can grok it. "Does SI have Buddha
> nature?" asked the sanyasi.
> "Mu" replied the master.

Sure... my statement about the limitations of finite minds was made from the
perspective of science &

If one wants to go beyond science into spiritual domains, then, that's a
whole different story -- not
unrelated, but different...

Effectively, the notion of the infinite is the core of the notion of the
divine ... it's the ineffable...
that which goes beyond all our possible conceptions.

It's really independent of future technology, even of the Singularity --
it's always there, or else it
is never there... depending on what you mean by "there" ;>

When I said that SL5 is everyday life, I was slightly questioning the whole
notion of "shock level" -- and
mostly probing its psychological meaning...

Indeed, openness to future technologies is important... future technology
is shocking because of assumptions we've made about what's real and definite
and what isn't. Getting over
the shock is a way of penetrating through some of the veil of illusion that
surrounds us because of our
finite minds.

But everyday
life can shock us by shattering our assumptions, just as well -- if we look
at everyday life in the "right"
way. (Not the way of ordinary waking consciousness.)

The Singularity is a powerful notion because it makes us question the
notions of mind, world, individuality,
intelligence, ethics, and so forth. But everyday life can make us questions
these things too -- it does so
for me all the time...

Is it possible for someone not to be shocked by super duper futuristic
technology at all, but still to hold
onto all sorts of rigid, fixed beliefs in completely different domains (for
instance, the political
domain?). If so then someone's technological shock level is far from an
indicator of the complete genuine
open-ness of their minds....

Which is fine. But it means that, even after someone has adjusted their
to the possibility of the Singularity (SL4), they may still not have
adjusted their minds to question many
other, more basic things....

This seems to me to tie right back into the political discussion we were
having. It seems to me that
a single person can

a) accept the coming obsolescence of the individual self and the ultimate
melding into a superintelligent supermind --
a remarkable flexibility of mind and suspension of consensus belief
systems -- but then,

b) not deeply question the simplistic notion of "individuality" underlying
libertarian politics?

This kind of human contradictoriness suggests that a division into those who
"get it" and those who don't is not
really right. It may be people who don't seem to get it, who actually adapt
best when the new technologies come along,
because their minds are open in ways other than explicit conscious
acceptance of new technologies...

I could see writing an SF story in which the hi-tech gurus who thought they
were totally acclimated to future
tech, turned out really to be scared of it on a core level when it came
about; whereas others who couldn't give a hoot about technology were
actually more accepting of deep changes, because their minds as a whole were
more open and accepting and


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