Re: An essay I just wrote on the Singularity.

From: Brian Atkins (
Date: Thu Jan 01 2004 - 19:52:22 MST

Robin Lee Powell wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 01, 2004 at 06:33:47PM -0500, Perry E. Metzger wrote:
>>Robin Lee Powell <> writes:
>>>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.


I think that's a little harsh :-)

You did: 1) Write a personal essay on your new mindset, inviting
comments. 2) State that you seriously consider your newfound mindset to
be a religion since you claim it is based on unfounded (and therefore
irrational) beliefs 3) Then proceed to say in the quote above that you
otherwise and generally hold and prefer the typical atheistic/humanistic
mindset that many here would say is based on rationalism.

So you might expect someone to look at all that, and based on their own
experiences/knowledge/interpretation, decide to offer you the bits of
advice you got from Perry. It doesn't mean you have to take them as
worth anything, but I don't think they were arrogant or even unexpected
- in fact, you seemingly set yourself up for it explicitly - at least
from my POV and apparently Perry's.

Also, I find his comments regarding the possibility of post-Singularity
life continuing to be a growth-of-the-fittest type scenario (although it
need not necessarily be "violent") to be quite possible, as I know
others here do too. At any rate, for one who claims on one hand to have
no strong basis for your beliefs you do appear to have latched quite
firmly and defensively onto a very specific idea of how things will turn
out, or at least this is the impression you are giving off.

Brian Atkins
Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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