Re: Michael Anissimov's 'Shock Level Analysis'

From: Jeff Bone (
Date: Thu Jan 17 2002 - 09:07:44 MST

Brian Phillips wrote:

> I would have to chime in that while Eli's Shock Levels is coarse and
> neccessarily
> innaccurate..this is even worse! "Transhumanist" is a word that already has
> an established meaning, similarly "posthumanist". This is like me hijacking
> "Friendly AI" to refer to my new super-programmable Furbie!

Okay, call them "friggles" and "bozies." Or whatever --- I only used the terms
transhuman and posthuman because, well, aside from any self-identification
various people might have with those labels, they *are* actually rather
appropriate. The first case implies a certain continuity of interest with
existing humanity, the latter does not. But I'm not trying to introduce new
terms or repurpose old ones; I'm merely pointing out that a distinction in
point of view (continuity vs. noncontinuity of interest w/ "humanity") may
potentially exist.

> SL3 people do not neccessarily follow the above schema. I'm hanging
> out on SL3, my basic position is that I do not yet have sufficent grounding
> in cogitive science (though it's my field of study)

Grounding in cogsci isn't the only rational basis for a belief in near-term
Singularity; indeed, the majority of Singularity-believers out there believe in
a rather architectural sort of takeoff, driven not by modeling intelligence in
the abstract but rather human brain architecture in its specifics. (The fact
that this is the majority point of view doesn't make it right, of course.) For
the folks that believe this, Singularity becomes an emergent property of
expected technological trends; all you need is a working understanding of those
trends in order to rationally believe it will happen and even handicap the odds
on when it might happen.



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