Re: How Kurzweil lost the Singularity

From: Mark Walker (
Date: Thu Jun 20 2002 - 05:50:59 MDT

----- Original Message -----
From: "Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" <>

This is not about the merits of any one course
> of research, but a question of how we are to fulfill those moral
> that devolve upon us when we become aware of the Singularity. I think
> first we have to resolve the moral issue of "Can we speed up the
> Singularity? Do we have a moral obligation to try?" before considering
> pros and cons of particular approaches.

I agree with the sentiment but I am not sure the first question is the one
that I would ask. Rather, I think the question is can we effect or at least
raise the probability of a positive type of singularity? Other things being
equal, yes speed is important. I think that there might be good reasons in
some circumstances to trade off speed against attempting to promote a
certain type of outcome.

My own opinion, for what it is worth, is that individuals can decisively
influence events. If you'll forgive the homely analogy, history is like a
rudderless supertanker and individuals are like little tugboats: one has to
push long and hard to make course corrections but it can be done.


Dr. Mark Walker
Research Associate (Philosophy), Trinity College, University of Toronto
Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Evolution and Technology,
Editor-in-Chief, Transhumanity, (
Home page:

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