RE: Activism vs. Futurism

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Fri Sep 06 2002 - 19:13:04 MDT

> > I trust that someone is thinking rationally about the Singularity, as
> > opposed to rationalizing, when I see that they are willing to make major
> > *new* life decisions explicitly on the basis of how it affects the
> > Singularity.

Of course, no one can make a decision based on how anything will affect the
Singularity, only based on how they're guessing something will affect the

And it seems to me that someone could *rationally* decide that nothing they
do is likely to affect the course of the Singularity, and hence rationally
decide NOT to change their life based on their thinking about the
Singularity. I wouldn't necessarily agree with their reasoning, because I
think there are things ANYONE could do to help with the Singularity. But
based on the limited information available and the difficulty of predicting
the future, I wouldn't consider their thinking about the Singularity

Also, someone could easily change their life to a life of
Singularity-devoted activity, based on IRRATIONAL thinking about the
Singularity, e.g. based on Utopian delusions about the Singularity.

All in all, I'm not so sure that the willingness to make life decisions
based on the Singularity is highly correlated with rational thinking about
the Singularity. Though it is definitely correlated with
Singularity-awareness ;)

Anyway, I didn't mean this argument to distract from the excitement of SIAI
getting a new full-time staff member. That is great news! I'm sure that
having someone to focus specifically on coordination of volunteer efforts
will be a big help to your excellent & important work...

-- Ben G

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