Re: Rationality and altered states of consciousness

From: Michael Roy Ames (
Date: Tue Sep 24 2002 - 00:26:43 MDT

Samantha Atkins <> wrote:

> [snip] I see the Singularity as very helpful (to say
> the least) or as a stage in this process. It is not the end
> goal to me. My primary goal does not grant a view that some
> sentients "are worth more" than other sentients.

"It is not the end goal to me"
This is a key statement, Samantha, one that needs more air-time. I also see
a Positive/Friendly Singularity, not as an end, but as a point on a
continuum. Even though it will be a defining moment, a phase-change for
humanity, it will not be a terminus... neither a begining nor and end. The
depiction of the Singularity as a terminus invites comparison to classical
apocaloptic visions, or classical utopian visions. I sincerely hope it will
be neither. Rather, it will be totally different from the past, providing
both new difficulties and new opportunities.

> [snip]
> Transition is a process already occuring now. Everything from
> here on out to Singularity is part of it. All of that will
> determine whether we even arrive at Singularity, how soon, how
> many of us arrive there, and to some extent, how Friendly that
> stage is and how friendly all the stages before were. We can't
> just shrug off everything till the sweet by and by of Singularity.

I could not agree more.

> [snip]
> I don't think the transition guide is the problem. What may be
> *if* we get to Singularity and *if* it is Friendly is not what I
> am most concerned about today or in the immediate future.

I too am unable to narrow my focus solely on to a hypothetical future. This
makes me unsuited to tasks requiring that strong focus... which causes me
some distress. However, I do what I can within my particular capabilities.
I suppose what I am getting at is: it will take many kinds of people to
'bring on' the Singularity soonest. The narrowly focused ones. The
grasshoppers jumping between disciplines. The visionaries mapping out our
way ahead. The communicators spreading the word.

Let us all play our part and learn from each other along the way.

Michael Roy Ames

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