Re: An essay I just wrote on the Singularity.

From: Perry E. Metzger (
Date: Fri Jan 02 2004 - 23:26:45 MST

Tommy McCabe <> writes:
> For the ten thousandth time, Darwinian evolution and
> its associated complex functional adaptations do not
> apply to transhumans.

Yes, and capitalist economics will not apply after the revolution,
comrade. We will build the new communist man, and he will be free of
these base drives you speak of. The very notion of supply and demand
driven economics is a product of the class logic of the bourgeoisie,
and with the end of the bourgeoisie and the triumph of the proletariat
we will have a new, proletarian economics based on need rather than on
base greeds.

> And you're telling me Ghandi isn't altruistic?

Gandhi (please spell the Mahatma's name correctly) is
a) dead, thus the past tense should be used.
b) had a number of human children and thirteen grandchildren, whom he
   spent considerable resources on.

>> >> > And if you have Friendly human-equivalent AI,
>> >>
>> >> You've taken a leap. Step back. Just because we know
>> >> we can build AI doesn't mean we know we can build "Friendly" AI.
>> >
>> > Again, there are humans which are very friendly, and
>> > humans weren't built with friendliness in mind at all.
>> I don't think there are many humans who are friendly the way
>> "Friendly AI" has to be. A "Friendly AI" has to favor the
>> preservation of other creatures who are not members of its line
>> (humans and their descendents) over its own.
> Read CFAI extermely thoroughly, (literally), then take
> a hammer, and pound CFAI into your head
> (metaphorically, please!).

I apologize for not having read the Gospels often enough. I realize
that if I only peruse them sufficiently, I will gain enlightenment.

>> > Perhaps I should clarify that: subjective morality is
>> > not only unproven, it is nowhere near certain. Neither
>> > is objective morality. The matter is still up for
>> > debate. A good Friendliness design should be
>> > compatible with either.
>> 1) I argue quite strongly that there is no objective morality. You
>> cannot find answers to all "moral questions" by making inquiry to
>> some sort of moral oracle algorithm. Indeed, the very notion of
>> "morality" is disputed -- you will find plenty of people who don't
>> think they have any moral obligations at all!
> And you can find people who think that Zeta aliens are
> communicating with us about the giant planet that is
> going to come careening through the solar system
> stopping the Earth's rotation in May 2003 (yes, May
> 2003, the month that has already passed).

I can conduct experiments to determine whether or not the earth has
stopped rotating (numerous ones in fact). I can also conduct
experiments to determine whether proposed "alien signals" do indeed
appear to be of intelligent origin from outside the solar system.

What is the experiment I can conduct to determine if it is immoral to
eat meat? How do I determine what is the correct objective moral
position on meat eating?

Perry E. Metzger

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