Re: An essay I just wrote on the Singularity.

From: Robin Lee Powell (
Date: Thu Jan 01 2004 - 18:42:58 MST

On Thu, Jan 01, 2004 at 06:33:47PM -0500, Perry E. Metzger wrote:
> Robin Lee Powell <> writes:
> >> 1. Why do you call Singularitarianism your "new religion"? I
> >> know it's basically all in jest,
> >
> > No, it's not.
> >
> > I define religion as a set of beliefs held in absence of
> > evidence or proof. Singularitarianism fits perfectly,
> > regardless of how much I might wish otherwise.
> Perhaps you should abandon it then. It is not healthy to hold
> views in the absence of evidence.

Well, not totally in absence of evidence I suppose. Regardless, my
mental health is doing just fine. Thanks for asking.

> I get the impression that some in this group feel that it is of
> paramount importance to go off and build their Friendly AI and
> that all other goals must be subverted to it. One worries about
> such people -- a lot.

No, *you* worry about such people.

Please do not attempt to bring silent observers into the fold by
using the word 'one' as though you were speaking for the Everyman.

> Myself, though, I will make a strong prediction -- which is that
> the laws of physics and the rules of math don't cease to apply.
> That leads me to believe that evolution doesn't stop. That further
> leads me to believe that nature -- bloody in tooth and claw, as
> some have termed it -- will simply be taken to the next level. I
> don't fear this particularly, but it isn't consistent with the
> "everything is going to turn up roses" viewpoint.

You've taken one sample set, Earth, and implied from the course of
evolution on Earth that it is a *law of physics* that violent
conflict occur.

That's not even tripe.

> it is unlikely that everything is going to suddenly be perfect
> when we've got nanotechnology and know how to build honking big
> AIs.

Given that almost all large-scale human conflict has been over
resources, and nanotech changes the shape of resource allocation
entirely, it seems that at the very least the nature of human
conflict must change to the point of unrecognizability.

> > I *am* atheisitic and humanistic. But that doesn't change the
> > fact that I have no proof, and barely any evidence, that the
> > singularity, let alone the sysop scenario
> I encourage you, then, to drop the meme complex. You will be
> happier if you base your activities on that for which you have
> strong evidence or proof, rather than on religion, regardless of
> the flavor of religion.

Your arrogance in this e-mail has been truly astounding, but
believing that you have any idea what constitutes happiness for me
really takes the cake.


Me:  ***   I'm a *male* Robin.
"Constant neocortex override is the only thing that stops us all
from running out and eating all the cookies."  -- Eliezer Yudkowsky             ***              .i cimo'o prali .ui

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