Re: Activism vs. Futurism

From: Stephen Reed (
Date: Sat Sep 07 2002 - 12:49:35 MDT

On Fri, 6 Sep 2002, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:

> 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.

It strikes me how few people actually get this point, and makes me feel a
bit odd having it. History is full of stories about visionaries and
activists who put great effort behind improbable ideas and made them work
- history does not much highlight the greater number of failures.

Nonetheless, at 50 years old I have a sense of urgency regarding the
seriousness of our business that makes me work at a level beyond most of
my younger peers. My day to day decisions are steered by how I can best
contribute to creating a Seed AGI. Not a day goes by that I don't dream
about the essential behavioral additions that will evolve Cyc from an
expressive ontology and knowledge base into Cognitive Cyc.

I see a historical analogy with the race to develop heavier-than-air
flying machines one hundred years ago. There were many different
approaches - most in hindsight ridiculous. Yet among the teams of
inventor-developers there was great faith and enthusiasm - and among the
general public ignorance/disbelief.

I expect that our numbers (activists and direct contributors) will remain
few until an obvious Seed AGI is developed.


Stephen L. Reed                  phone:  512.342.4036
Cycorp, Suite 100                  fax:  512.342.4040
3721 Executive Center Drive      email:
Austin, TX 78731                   web:
         download OpenCyc at

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