RE: META: Singularity Action Group attempting to recruit SL4 members

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Mon Apr 28 2003 - 19:19:48 MDT


About SAG. I don't want to devote a lot of time to the topic, but I will
note that, in fact, I did accept a position on SAG's Board of Directors.
This means that I agreed to provide general & occasional oversight to the

SAG is a young and still-forming organization -- it hasn't really achieved
anything yet, which isn't surprising given that it's just a few months old.

I don't like the term "crackpot" -- I think that the SAG is mostly a group
of "amateur scientists" who are Singularity boosters and want to work toward
the Singularity as a group rather than doing so as isolated individuals.

I think it's fine for there to be a host of different Singularity-focused
organizations. Let the fittest survive. Let them all survive and

Personally, nearly my time is reserved for my Novamente project and related
things, but I'm certainly willing to devote a *little* bit of my time to
helping out any group that's genuinely interested in working toward the
Singularity. I'm also loosely involved with John Smart's "Institute for
Accelerating Change", for example. When there are so many Singularity
groups out there that I can't pay attention to them all -- well, that will
be a pretty funky time to be living in ;)

I certainly don't want to see SAG pick on SL4, SL4 pick on SAG, blah blah
blah. This kind of "sectarianism" isn't really to anyone's benefit.

Ben Goertzel

> -----Original Message-----
> From: []On Behalf Of Eliezer
> S. Yudkowsky
> Sent: Monday, April 28, 2003 7:14 PM
> To:
> Subject: META: Singularity Action Group attempting to recruit SL4
> members
> I've been notified that Mike Deering of the "Singularity Action
> Group" has
> been trying to recruit new posters to SL4. SAG was formed by
> Mike Deering
> and Alan Grimes as an attempted "spoiler" against SIAI, after they were
> kicked off SL4 for failing to meet posting standards. As far as I can
> tell, the entire thing is based solely on personal animosity toward me.
> SAG appears to be a completely crackpot endeavor with no resources, good
> ideas, or intelligent people.
> Since a number of people have apparently had the bright idea of joining
> SAG to "spy" on it, I would like to repeat my advice of not feeding their
> need for attention. As I wrote in my last message to the ill-fated
> SingularityAction mailing list:
> > An interesting anecdote: During Israel's early days, there existed a
> > certain terrorist organization. Mossad infiltrated this organization so
> > thoroughly that they later found that one in ten members was a Mossad
> > agent. Moreover, they later found that the only reason the organization
> > had been staying afloat was that the Mossad agents were the only ones
> > actually paying their dues.
> >
> > I'd thus like to advise everyone not to join organizations unless they
> > really, truly believe that the organization will be effective and is
> > something they wish to be part of. Otherwise, everyone joins a
> bad effort
> > "to keep an eye on it" and keeps it alive where the effort
> would otherwise
> > have died a quiet death.
> Aside from this warning to anyone who may not be aware of SAG's status or
> history, I don't believe that anything needs to be done about SAG. We
> have other things to worry about. Please pay SAG no mind, and go about
> your business. They are neither good enough to help nor evil enough to
> oppose.
> --
> Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
> Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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