Re: An essay I just wrote on the Singularity.

From: Perry E. Metzger (
Date: Sun Jan 04 2004 - 18:08:12 MST

Tommy McCabe <> writes:
> If morality is subjective, then the morality which
> says the Holocaust was the greatest thing in the world
> is every bit as good as the morality which condemns
> it.

Of course. And, had the Nazis won, that would have been the morality
being taught everywhere.

As it turns out, I don't particularly like that morality -- it has a
bad effect of leading to people attempting to kill me -- but I can't
say there is some experiment we can conduct that demonstrates killing
Gypsies is "wrong" but killing Reindeer is "okay".

>> > Cheetahs and antelopes aren't sentient (that's another
>> > discussion entirely) aren't sentient and therefore
>> > can't negotiatie, at least not in the way humans do.
>> Humans rarely negotiate with tuna before turning
>> them into very tasty sushi.
> A negotiation, at least in the way we understand it,
> requires that both parties be sentient.

What does "sentient" mean? Perhaps to a Jupiter-brain, we won't seem
very sentient, but we *will* seem rather tasty.

How different is it, after all?

I try talking to a tuna about physics, it gives me no answer, and I
conclude it isn't "sentient" the way I understand the term and eat it,
ignoring its pain response as I slaughter it because, after all,
they're just "animal reflexes".

The Jupiter-brain tries sending me an advanced encoded signal asking
my opinion on the solution to an astoundingly difficult math problem
which won't even fit inside my skull when encoded 20 bits to the
atom. I give it no meaningful reply, it concludes I'm not sentient,
and it decides to eat me, ignoring my pain responses which are, after
all, just "animal reflexes".

By the way, Tommy, eat any good pate de foie gras lately? Mmm, tasty.

Perry E. Metzger

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