Re: Steven Pinker testifies before Leon Kass

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Sat Mar 15 2003 - 04:58:29 MST

At 06:14 AM 3/15/03 -0500, Eliezer wrote:
>Steven Pinker gets everything right. Impressive.

Weelllll-- Like this?

"Now, why are technological predictions so often wrong? First, there's a
habit of assuming that technological progress can be linearly extrapolated.
If there's a little bit of progress now, there will be proportional
progress as we multiply the number of years out.

"Engineers sometimes refer to this as the fallacy of thinking that we can
get to the moon by climbing trees. A little bit of progress now can be
extended indefinitely. "

Sensible caution before such an audience, no doubt, but unlikely to be
correct except accidently (since the extrapolation toward Singularity
*won't* be linear in that boring sense).

Damien Broderick

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