Re: Steve Harris, "Return of the Krell Machine" (Singularity Article)

From: Paul Hughes (
Date: Fri Jan 18 2002 - 04:34:06 MST

--- John Smart <> wrote:
> Hello SL4,
> My friend Steve Harris wrote this interesting and
> educational article on the
> singularity (among other topics) a few months back.
> I helped him with some
> background research and a few ideas. I think it
> turned out quite nicely. I
> don't share his suspicion that the emergence could
> be isolating (violates my
> proposed principle of information integration), but
> that's for me to try to
> prove, of course, and here he nicely explores a
> range of sci-fi archetypes
> of non-Borgifying Transcensions. I think Damien and
> several others on this
> list would enjoy it.

Although I found his coverage amazing in its breadth
and depth, especially its coverage of historical
sci-fi themes, there are so many holes in his
narrative that I wouldn't even know where to begin. I
only have one comment which may get me flamed as fast
I recently subscribed to this list:

I find the overwhelming majority of fear and
trepidation surrounding almost all conjectures on SI
to be based on a couple of flawed cognitive hangups:

1) Fear of the unknown, of creating and/or being in
the presence of somethng much more powerful than
ourselves. The overhwhelming majority of sci-fi,
marred in primitive and archaic
emotional/terrirotorial squabbles, picturing aliens as
invading the earth for our so-called 'precious'
resources and the rediculous amount of horror coming
out of hollywood is the primary culprit in
perpetuating this irrational all-pervasive fear. Even
the Matrix, an awesome film in its own right, portrays
the creation of an SI as wholly catastrophic for the
human species.

2) The other primary culprit, which actually is the
deep cause of 1) above is the general and
all-pervasive malaise and emotional pain and
ill-health that effects nearly everyone on the planet
to an astonishing degree. We are only beginning to
unlock the emotinional underpinnings of sound
emotional health and happiness. I could go into great
length discussing the intricies of MAO-inhibbiters,
dopamine, seratonin, etc. but I won't. Please read
David Pearce's the Hedonistic Imperative for a more
fully discussed exposition on the topic. Bottom line,
it's rather silly that psychologically sick people,
albiet functional in an aqually sociological sick
society, attempting to discuss what SI's may or may
not do. I fully suspect that sufficiently advanced SI
in any form will suffer none of the emotional
sicknesses or petty problems that we current find
ourselves stuck in.

Concluding Prediction: Any sufficiently advanced SI
will be equally more benign than we are.

Paul Hughes

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