RE: Rationality and altered states of consciousness

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Mon Sep 16 2002 - 15:58:50 MDT


You say

> Rationality is not opposed to many of the things that people have been
> claiming that it is opposed to. Rationality is not opposed to `higher'
> or `altered' states of consciousness per se. Rationality is only
> opposed to those things which separate you from reality and from the
> truth.

You have talked about rationality a lot on this list, but you haven't
defined it in such a way that I can really understand what you mean by the

Furthermore, it seemed to me in some previous discussions that you and
Eliezer meant subtly different things by the term.

> Can things be done now to make acceptance of the Singularity easier?
> Possibly. When it actually happens, though, I bet everyone on this list
> will still be shocked to see it actually happening. Rather than trying
> to prepare people for the Singularity, your time would be better spent
> actually making the Singularity happen by recruiting, raising money,
> coding AI, etc..

I don't think one can responsibly make a blanket statement like that. There
is a lot of uncertainty about the Singularity, and it's quite plausible that
preparing people mentally and emotionally for the Singularity will help the
Singularity to go down better. For example, people who are better-prepared
for the Singularity are less likely to try to pass laws halting
Singularity-pertinent research, to try to blow up researchers doing useful
Singularity-ward work, etc.

> Humans are not addicted to Zero-Sum games.

Some humans certainly are!!!

-- Ben G

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