Re: An essay I just wrote on the Singularity.

From: Lawrence Foard (
Date: Sun Jan 04 2004 - 17:12:58 MST

On Sat, 3 Jan 2004, Randall Randall wrote:

> On Saturday, January 3, 2004, at 12:22 PM, Lawrence Foard wrote:
> > On Sat, 3 Jan 2004, Randall Randall wrote:
> >
> >> Even a population made up of exclusively altruistic individuals
> >> would require those individuals to pretend self-interest in
> >> order to find an optimal solution to goods distribution, no?
> >
> > And why wouldn't a society where individuals worked only in others
> > interests not work? Imagine that the pleasure reward from service
> > is proportional to the good done by the act.
> How do you make that true? Prices are one reasonably
> efficient way. If you have another way, I'm willing
> to hear about it (but this list may not be the proper
> venue).

Its already true to an extent for humans, do something beneficial to
another person, or society as a whole and see how you feel. This is
one driving force behind free software, the feeling of satisfaction
from knowing that your software is being used by 1 million people, even
if only a few actually realize you had anything to do with it.

Creatures seek pleasure, if you make >>effectively<< helping to solve
others problems a source of pleasure, then there is no need for a monetary
system. There is still a 'payment' of sorts, the creatures whose toilet
you unplugged would acknowledge that it was highly beneficial to them.

> > For example while cleaning
> > sewers is an unpleasant task, its a task which accomplishs a great
> > deal of good (preventing sewer backup), and would be a highly desirable
> > task for the altruistic minded organism.
> Right, but if no one ever considers their own needs,
> others have to guess at what those needs are, and
> they will often guess wrong.

I'm not saying to absolutely ignore your own needs. If you observe
a particular need (your own or others) and are unable to take care of
it you would broadcast it.

"Toilet ID=34053683 is backing up"

> As a producer of goods or services, you only know
> the service you produce is actually useful if others
> are willing to pay for it.

Or because they acknowledge your service as useful. If you
give someone a gift of a truck load of dog poo, unless they
are a farmer they arn't even going to take delivery let alone
acknowledge that it has benefitted them.

> Without this information,
> you may spend your time producing goods that no one
> wants. It doesn't matter how altruistic you are about
> donating your time to producing sewer-cleaning tutorials
> if no one wants them; you're just wasting your time.

And you will quickly become discouraged because your pleasure
seeking has been fruitless, and will go onto a more pleasure
producing activity.

> > Humans as currently wired have a mix of self interest and altruistic
> > pleasure. Even as we are altruistic pleasure can be one of the greatest
> > pleasures.
> How many times in your life has someone given you
> a gift that they expected you to be overjoyed with,
> but which you were indifferent to, or simply didn't
> like? Now rule out all the instances where you
> told the person what you needed.

There is no reason to keep needs secret.

> Imagine if you depended on others' gift-giving for
> getting everything you wanted. You'd have to talk
> about what you needed all the time in order to have
> any great chance of getting something resembling it.

No harder than shopping is now. If a particular gift, lets
say digital cameras proves useful, those who are skilled at
there production are going to make more in anticipation of
the pleasure of giving them away. And there would certainly
be nothing wrong with mentioning that one would be useful
to you. A while later being shows up at your door with a digital
camera, you describe how useful it will be to you, the being leaves
quite ecstatic (maybe even orgasmic) at the knowledge that
they have been of use. Those who make the components for digital
cameras are going to make more because there is an observed need
for them and so on.

It would have many things in common with a capitalist system,
with payment in pleasure instead of cash. However there is no
fixed money supply, the available pleasure is always equal to
the need. Again I'm talking about a society of engineered beings,
I don't think human brain wiring is up to this as it stands. If
you have too many selfish beings the system collapses.

However even as things stand hyper capitalists often overlook just
how much the modern world owes to altruism of this sort. Those who
did for the pleasure of giving rather than for financial gain.

 Laughter-Confusion, Pleasure-Pain, Happyness-Sadness, Excitement-Fear,
 Love-Hate, etc. The true primary emotions, a modifier makes each into two.
 This modifier is acceptance/unacceptance. Let go, surrender, accept...
  Be a counter terrorist perpetrate random senseless acts of kindness

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