Re: Ethical basics

Date: Thu Jan 24 2002 - 20:02:01 MST

Mmm, sorry for the delay. I'm preparing a much more lengthy statement on
this whole situation about ethics for release sometime this weekend, I hope
to shock/interest/scare people. I believe wholeheartedly in ethics. I don't
believe in geniuses wasting their time giving me reviews in evolutionary
psychology, however. I consider myself quite non-anthropomorphic and strive
to acheive more control over my mind everyday. I'm not interested in
hijacking the Singularity meme for my "selfish purposes", I'm only interested
in acheiving the Singularity as soon as possible. It's not that I *want* to
mass propagate the meme, I just believe it is 100% inevitable that it will
mass propagate itself within very short time. If we don't think about it, it
will propagate without any control. The meme is already in proto-form
everywhere, the "building is already rigged with dynamite" so to speak. And
6 years is too long for such a minute amount of progress. I believe we need
more Singularitarians and more specialization. But more on that in my
statement. Yes I am frustrated with the slow progress of the Singularity
meme, extremely, but I never had any intention of abandoning ethics, and I
think this faulty assumption came about primarily due to my first AIM
conversation with Eliezer in which I showed sympathy and a desire to think
about (but not necessary a commitment to) mass propagation of the Singularity
meme, or at least a greater degree of propagation than we see today.

<<The memes that are optimized for maximum propagation are NOT
memes that propagate best are pretty much *useless* for achieving the

Sorry, I don't see how a meme that has "Singularity! Eternal Life! AI!"
posted all over it could be entirely useless for acheiving the Singularity.
I also think some folks are suffering from undue paranoia and distrust of the
public. I don't think the universe is built to allow us to all die out, its
just a question of *when* we take this next step in evolution, not *if*. I
never had any intention of exploiting mental flaws in people, I just have a
desire to communicate the Singularity meme to people on *their* level.

<<As it is, believe me when I say that, ethical violation or no, you are
definitely messing up the memetic side of this. It is quite possible that
reporters will spend the next five years quoting you as definitive proof
that all Singularitarians are ends-justifies-means scary fanatics. Don't
think that reporters aren't that evil; they are. Don't think that they
don't know how to use a search engine; they do. Don't think that because
you think a webpage is, in your mind, only for the "inner circle", that
that's how it'll be used; reporters will read it and they will quote it.
Everything is out in the open, which is indeed as it should be, but it
also means that you've just screwed up.>>

Oh my. You'd better get 100 web pages out there made by SingInst people with
SingInst views in that case, because a chain reaction and runaway of the
Singularity meme will most definitely happen soon, reporters will quote the
rogue Singularitarians, etc etc etc. YOU WON'T BE ABLE TO GIVE YOUR ADVICE
TO EVERY SINGULARITARIAN, ELIEZER. I appreciate yours very much, but think
you are wasting your time, and should primarily focus on AI development and a
strong foundation for our community rather than "group ridiculer". You
should have other people to do this for you, if need be. Has anyone here
heard of the "Transtopian" philosophy? They were mentioning eugenics on
their site right and left, right beside the Singularity mentions, and nothing
bad has happened yet...expect many more cult-ish type Singularity
organizations to pop up very soon as well. You won't be able to stop them no
matter how hard you try. Even if everyone on the SL4 list tried, it will
shortly get out of our hands very soon. I'm suggesting we think carefully
not about *if* we should spread the meme, but *how*, because its spread is
unpreventable. It's like trying to eliminate AIDS by insisting that everyone
on the planet become abstinent.

<<If you
propose being "pragmatic" and abandoning all ethics in order to promote a
debased form of the Singularity meme, what other response could you
possibly expect from existing Singularitarians? >>

I believe strongly in ethics. Existing Singularitarians will eventually
become less relevant than they are now, due to my prediction of mass
propagation. Anyway, I'd appreciate it if people would check with me
personally before writing entire mails criticizing a pov that I don't even

For a more ethical Singularity,
Michael Anissimov

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