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

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Tue Sep 17 2002 - 10:10:19 MDT

> Chris Rae wrote:
> >
> > I guess that's a matter of personal preference. I personally consider
> > the first priority of the singularity should be to lift the poorest
> > people of the planet out of poverty.
> That's *everyone*. Get a sense of historical perspective...
> Also under the "historical perspective" department, the most important
> forms of poverty are not monetary poverty but intelligence poverty,
> lifespan poverty, and the lack of other resources which are currently so
> hard to obtain that people tend not to think of their absence as
> "poverty"
> but simply "the human condition".
> --
> Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

These assessments are highly subjective.

>From the point of view of many people in the world, material poverty is a
much bigger problem than lifespan poverty or intelligence poverty.

And I can't help suspecting that you, Eliezer, might consider material
poverty a little more serious if you were experiencing it! Even given your
generally nonmaterialistic world-view and personality.

While the human condition in itself is profoundly flawed, there is no doubt
that some humans live in vastly more flawed conditions than others. As a
person of great material privilege, you are inclined to focus primarily on
the limitations and problems we all share.

Of course, I agree with you that creating a superhuman AGI can be a great
way to end material poverty as well as to overcome the many self-defeating
characteristics of human nature.

-- Ben G

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