[SL4] Re: 'Singularity Realism'

From: Yan King Yin (y.k.y@lycos.com)
Date: Wed Mar 24 2004 - 08:21:10 MST

[ I suggest we put [SL4] in the subject, makes it
easier to spot posts from spam ]

If Friendly AI tries to physically create a version of
morality, then it must address complex political issues.
The Singularity (in the form of a superintelligence) has to
resolve these issues. Theories such as "joyous growth", or
"positive qualia", do not seem to be able to resolve these
issues at all. Therefore it is morally IRRESPONSIBLE to
claim that the Singularity will sort everything out *without*
giving the details of how that can be achieved. This is a
lie and is worse than saying nothing, which is bad enough
already. Even as I type, people are getting killed in
various wars and it seems that no one is really applying
a scientific view to analyse the conflicts.

[ But I also want to point out that I'm not being unfriendly
to proponents of the above theories and indeed I highly
esteem their expertise in their fields].

>From an abstract perspective, I think the central question
is between evolutionary theory and the doctrine that all
human beings are equal. Evolution implies that 'unfit'
individuals are displaced by fitter ones, sometimes whole
species may go extinct. On the other hand much of the
commonsense view of morality is based on equality and
reciprocity. The idea that all humans are equal is
problematic because it cannot be extended to other life-
-forms such as primates. So one of the first ('politically
incorrect') things we must admit is that inequality exists.

Secondly let's look at some historical facts. I think it's
important to look at some facts squarely despite that they
may be very unpleasant.

1. European ancestors invaded Islam/Arab during the
Crusades. Some of the territories converted to Christianity
were later 'recovered' but I'm not aware of any reverse
invasion of Europe by Islam/Arabs on a similar scale.
This is asymmetrical.

2. The modern Israel state is founded by Jewish people who
(at least some of them) are genetically quite closely
related to Palestinian Arabs. The point is, if they have
descended from the same (or similar) ancestral population,
then both of them should have some claim to the territory
based on ancestry.

3. In Gulf War I & II, Saddam Hussein was depicted as the
villian because of Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and of their
genocide of Kurds. But hundreds of years ago Europeans
basically did the same to the original populations in
America. The point: If my dad robbed a bank and died
afterwards, am I entitled to the wealth he left over?

If the strong is entitled to rob the weak of their
possesions/territory, then why does this NOT happen
*within* civil society?

On the other hand, local patterns of morality do not
seem to hold in the evolutionary picture where humans
exploit other animals and there doesn't seem to be any
retributions (negative effects) from it.

I don't know the answer. What is the pattern that is
emerging in this? I think analyzing this is much more
important than speculating on the distant future, even
if you may be quite sure you'll be among the 'survivors'.


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