Singularitarian FAQ

From: Gordon Worley (
Date: Sun Oct 28 2001 - 21:14:11 MST

Okay, there have been sentiments expressed on occasion that we need
an FAQ. So, I've decided to get off my ass and put one together. In
the same vein, I'll be creating a Web site to serve as a gateway to
things that Singularitarians should read (don't inundate me with
links just yet; I'll post something up in a couple of weeks and then
send links if I left something out).

Now, aside from a statement of intent, I'm posting here because I
need some help. Basically, I need to know what are the questions
that need to be answered. Below is my initial list of questions that
I can remember needing answered, but, especially if you are new to
the Singularity, respond to this message with whatever questions you
have. For now, I think it would be appropriate to keep this
discussion on list since it will help with the identification of
subquestions, but if it gets too far away from SL4 appropriate I'll
take it off list.

The Questions:

What is the Singularity?
What/who is a Singularitarian?
How are Singularitarians related to Extropians/Transhumaninsts/etc.?
[separate questions?]
How can I help advance the Singularity?
What is the Sysop?
What is computronium?
How do you expect to react to opposition?
The Singularity will never happen for reason X. Your response?
What is Friendly AI?
What about X about Friendly AI? [A: see CFAI FAQ]
What is the meaning of life? [A: supplied by Eliezer already ;-)]
Why should I care about the Singularity?
Wow, the Singularity is AMAZING. Should I go enlighten everyone to
it? [A: just to ward off any worries, my answer to this is along the
lines of 'level people up slowly, not all at once']
Does the Singularity encourage political belief X?
Is there a central philosophy that Singularitarians hold?
When will the Singularity happen?
How much computing power will we need to get AI off the ground?
Does famous person/group X support the Singularity?!?
I just wrote this AI. It is going to bring us to the Singularity!
Want to see it?
How many Singularitarians does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Okay, how many ops/sec will the Singularity really bring about?
Does the Singularity mean I can live forever?
I'm scared. What should I do?
I have another question. Where can I ask it?

Well, I think this is a good start.

Finally, just to let everyone know how I plan to do this, my initial
thought is to keep the FAQ in the CVS repository on my computer and
then build it using a Python script into a Web page. This way I can
have old versions of the questions/answers and won't be stuck if I
try out a new answer and it sucks. If anyone knows of a tool
designed just for FAQ writing, please let me know about it. Only
Unix or Mac software, though.

Gordon Worley                     `When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty            said, `it means just what I choose                it to mean--neither more nor less.'
PGP:  0xBBD3B003                                  --Lewis Carroll

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