RE: Post-Singularity Trade (was: Sysops, volition, and opting out)

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Tue Aug 14 2001 - 19:22:58 MDT

> I am simply arguing about the possible behaviours of creatures with
> intelligence close to humans in the Sysop scenario. I would wager
> that there
> will be no (or very little) trade going on, since you can get
> just about any
> information for free and you have only one thing to trade: energy/matter.
> >(Again, assuming that we do not all merge into a
> >single hive mind.)
> >Here's hoping we are both around to see who was right.
> >
> I certainly hope to stick around. If we read this conversation as a
> prediction however, I am predicting that we will both be wrong. ;)

Clearly, here we verge on philosophical issues that are extremely difficult
for us to deal with, with our small human minds.

We're sort of in the position of dogs debating, say, abortion, or stem cell
research, or the use of biological weapons in this or that extreme case...

My intuition, for what it's worth, is that a super-powerful mind with the
ability to reshape matter at will, is going to choose what to do by a
combination of scientific, ethical and aesthetic criteria. That is, it will
want to discover things, and will use its power to run experiments. It will
also have its own tastes, which will be hard for us to grasp.... It will
also perhaps have its own sense of which experiments are unethical to run
(or maybe not, maybe "ethics" will be an obsolete human notion).

The idea that a superpowerful intelligence is going to serve us lesser
beings, as its main orientation, strikes me as highly unlikely.

Will there be trade in a universe dominated by such a mind? Yeah, if the
Supermind thinks it's cute, or wants to learn about trade....

Gee, maybe such a mind exists now, but we happen to exist in a part of the
universe where it's running a peculiar kind of experiment ;p

-- Ben G

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