RE: Collapsarity

From: Lee Corbin (
Date: Wed Apr 02 2003 - 01:47:09 MST

Samantha writes

> Ben Goertzel wrote:
> > However, the amount of suffering in the world does not seem to me to be
> > intrinsically incompatible with the presence of a superintelligent AI with a
> > basically benevolent outlook.
> >
> > Perhaps all this suffering is "necessary" in some sense that our pesky
> > little human minds are not good at understanding...
> Well, our "pesky little human minds" are what we are stuck with
> for now. That last bit bothers me due to the negative
> conditioning of being raised with the continuous refrain, "The
> ways of God are mysterious and cannot be understand and should
> not be questioned by puny human minds." I rebelled against it
> then and I still do.

I think that's the right attitude. Definitely.

> However, I can see possible ways that an FAI could be in charge
> of a "universe", or apparent reality at least, where suffering
> still does exist. One possibility is that the universe is
> tailored for the natural evolution of beings who transcend their
> evolved limits. The suffering is there as natural consequence
> of the type of evolved beings and the nature of the laws
> governing that world. It is also a goad to further development.

Well, you're almost starting to sound as harsh as Jehovah.

Now, seriously, if you were anywhere near omniscient, just what
would you *do* for your children? Make them suffer for 40 years
wandering in the desert to "goad them" into further development
or because you felt bound to "natural laws"?

Pardon the presumption, but I know EXACTLY what you would do,
Samantha. You'd do exactly what I would do, namely, place
those other individuals on their own paths of personal
evolution to bring them up to your level at the highest
possible speed.

And for anyone about to surrender to the old notion of "some
things just take time", I find such an attitude harkening
back to really primitive times. An SI could work with me
to bring me (or my duplicates) up to fantastically higher
levels within hours. And for those versions of me whose job
it is to stay at 2003 technology, no reason for them not to
exult in the knowledge of the existence of those versions
racing ever faster ahead.


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