Re: Michael Anissimov's 'Shock Level Analysis'

Date: Fri Jan 18 2002 - 13:33:55 MST

In a message dated 1/18/2002 9:22:18 AM Pacific Standard Time, writes:

<< There is an assumption made in the article that the Singularity is likely
 be brought about by a small number of people (say, 1000) who are explicitly
 focused on bringing the Singularity about, rather than by the more diffused
 efforts of hundreds of thousands of scientists and technologists. >>

I speculate this because of a property I've called "progress differential",
which is where, in each subsequent universal cycle, only a small percentage
of material from the previous cycle almost entirely responsible for the
"progress" made. For example, only a small percentage of the universe's
matter has formed into heavy elements. Only a very small percentage of these
have formed into life. Only a percentage of the human race is currently
doing most of the producing more this world (sadly). As the pace of
technology increases, I believe that there will only be a few people to "get
their acts together", and their progress will create a feedback effect in
which they are responsible for most of the progress. This feedback effect
could be created in marketing sub-seed AIs and recycling the profits back
into better interfaces, more smart drugs, whatever. This is not elitism.
Jeff Bone put it well when he said:

"SL5 folks would then be those for whome the truly long-term outcomes of
generic intelligence and the universe itself --- the cosmological eschatology
by physics and technology --- is the thing of interest and motivation, who do
not reject the idea that even today's knowledge can tell us something about
post-Singularity long-term. For these folks, Singularities aren't
eschatological in any sense; they're just business-as-usual, a standard stop
along the road from eukaryotic life to ascendant intelligence. Let's call
those folks the "posthumanists" and posit that they've abandoned priorities of
individual or even species survival in favor of the notion of ultimate
of intelligence in general."

SL5 is just prediction and speculation. It's not an assertion, its not for
making anybody mad. How else would you describe people a distinct level and
mentality above SL5? Imagine if Eliezer (or some other critical SingInst
person, should the SingInst be critical) decided to fall in love and run off
with some girl? This could be a disaster. I just think it would take a
different type of shock level to *truely* serve the Singularity over
anthropocentric desires.

<<SL5 as Anissimov
describes it seems to me to be making some fairly specific and ambitious
assertions about how rapidly certain things will happen post-Singularity.>>

The loose reason is, that once adopting these beliefs, these people might
become even more committed to the cause. But of course this is speculation.
In fact, I'd like to ask Jeff Bone, if he is reading this, if I may integrate
his thoughts on SL5 into my paper, perhaps taking out some of the more
fanatical-sounding writings of my own in that one section?

<<I'm not sure it's a higher "shock level"; maybe it's just a higher level of
arrogance and hubris ;>>>

I don't think the anthropocentric attitudes of arrogance and hubris would be
adopted by a truely higher shock level. Higher levels of efficency and
productivity, on the other hand, most definitely would. This means
eliminating things like sex and eating long meals, or even chatting with
friends in person or going out to the "real world". Maybe they'll evolve
beyond the need to have "fun" for mental health, because new interfaces will
be so interesting and engaging that that will be all they need.


Maybe I should take that out, or maybe I should just make a bold note of it
that "SL5 IS PURE SPECULATION FOR NOW". Frankly, I didn't even think the
publication of my "Shock Level Analysis" would go noticed (much less
discussed) by anyone on SL4. Next time I have a questional paper to publish
I suppose I'll invite criticism before making it available on my site, if
people would be interested in constructively criticizing. By all means, join
my mailing list if you are. Here's my next paper, in very rough form, and I
invite you all to comment on it;

Michael Anissimov

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