Re: Rationality and altered states of consciousness

From: hook (
Date: Fri Sep 20 2002 - 08:21:55 MDT

How can people be expected to parse this sentence? I have to be pedantic: I
*think* you mean "Given it has been shown without doubt that x person could
deliberately act to hasten the Singularity by one week, then, in the case that
he decline to do thus, it at least behooves him to see to it that the number of
people who would have died in any given week make it to see the Singularity,
however it might be done (good luck on that one)."
    If this is what you mean then I agree. Though I don't know how one might
show the given except in retrospect when it's too late.
    I mean I think Ben's full of crap saying implicitly that working toward the
singularity isn't helping humans concretely in the present world. CFAI is a
herculean task like the Augean Stables: Ben would have some of us throw dung out
of the stable with old reliable spoons, while the bigger thinker sees the
solution (diverting most of a river with a giant hollow log or such so that it
passes through the stables, according to the story). For a lot of people to act
together to move the log were more effective than getting them to spoon more
dung in that at least with the log there's a light at the end of the tunnel, and
the more people pitch in to move the log the faster it is accomplished.
    In many instances the only way x person might help expedite Singularity is
by donating a part of his income to those who have the requisite skill. That is
beyond debate; it's showing how the log will work and convincing him with, say,
a scale model. It's convincing all of them who can contribute. Ay, there's the
rub. The thing Ben needs to see is that the spooners could even slow the
loggers down (they don't help matters simply by remaining spooners or neutral
bystanders either), and that we can't let ourselves become obsessed with the bit
of dung immediately before us and start spooning at it, but must see the whole
    My sentiment is that all this ought to go without saying, but I felt like
typing today.

> This is going to have to be a huge amount of help. See the WTA
> Deathwatch for the numbers. For example, if that person's helping made
> the Singularity occur one week earlier, if he didn't work on the
> Singularity then I think that it would be fair to expect him to see to
> it that the number of people who would have died in any given week make
> it to see the Singularity.

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