Re[6]: continuity of self [ was META: Sept. 11 and Singularity]

From: Cliff Stabbert (
Date: Sun Sep 15 2002 - 22:20:03 MDT

Sunday, September 15, 2002, 11:43:22 PM, Ben Goertzel wrote:

BG> "Technology is the only way to overcome it [scarcity thinking]"
BG> would be an overstatement.

BG> However, it does seem pretty clear to me that

BG> a) technology is on a path of exponential acceleration

BG> b) spiritual advancement of humanity is not

Good point.

BG> Could b) undergo some kind of threshold effect that would allow it
BG> to overtake a) ?

BG> Sure, it's not impossible. But unfortunately, I see no reason to
BG> believe this, other than wishful thinking.

That's the sense in which I mentioned self-fulfilling prophecy
thinking being of possible relevance. That is, in the absence of
concrete data, I think it's more productive if I act *as if* people
can be convinced of the potential for abundance than if I assume they

BG> The "hundredth monkey" effect posited by New Agers for some time,
BG> has yet to be observed en masse..

I hadn't heard of this, so I have just received some education via
Google. Of course in human societies such effects (including, e.g.,
"Rubik's" Cube being close-to-simultaneously invented/discovered by
various parties) can be explained in a number of other ways.

That said, I wouldn't altogether discount the possibility of a
cultural/spiritual revolution, although I don't think it likely.
One could argue, for instance, that during the last century in the
West there's been a rapid (exponential?) rise of the number of people
interested in what's happening in the world at large and with the time
to fulfill that interest...

BG> I agree that it would be BETTER if humanity drastically improved
BG> itself mentally, emotionally and spiritually before launching the
BG> Singularity. I'm just doubting that's how it's gonna go down...

Again, I don't think convincing humanity at large is of anywhere near
the importance as is convincing those in power -- those who have a far
greater ability, and IMO greater subjective motivation (misguided, but
present) to stop or divert progress towards universal abundance.

I have quite a bit of faith that reasonably intelligent folks can be
convinced of the possibility of, and their self-interest in,
abundance, but very little such faith when it comes to those parties
(people and institutions) accustomed to power.


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