RE: continuity of self [ was META: Sept. 11 and Singularity]

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Fri Sep 20 2002 - 18:06:03 MDT

Cliff wrote:
> More to the point, when talking about power I don't see this as being
> "in the hands" of people so much as embedded into various social and
> economic structures and loops. This is why I mentioned "people and
> institutions", although I should perhaps have been clearer.

Cliff, you are absolutely right that our current social, political and
business institutions are not well oriented to deal with abundance. And the
institutions will rebel against change that endangers them, systemically.

Just look at the nature of public school systems. Most people working in
the public school systems really care about kids, and are "good people" who
care about good education... but yet the school systems as a whole often
acts to oppose good education. For instance, the teachers' union fights
against charter schools, pays legislators to burden charter school
legislation with bureaucratic counterproductive nonsense, etc.

But yet, change does happen. The charter school movement is happening...
the banking industry wildly reorganized itself in the late 80's and early to
mid 90's with the advent of computerization (and this still goes on), etc.

But I agree that in thinking about society's future adaptation to abundance
and other pre-Singularity technologies, it's important to take into account
the dynamics of institutions as well as the psychology of individuals.

-- Ben

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