Re: [SL4] Re: 'Singularity Realism'

From: Jef Allbright (
Date: Wed Mar 24 2004 - 12:33:13 MST

Yan King Yin wrote:
> 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.

Thank you Yan for making this point. A lot of the discussion we see on
ethics is laying the groundwork for an understanding that there are no
set answers to specific moral questions. The best choice in any given
situation *always* depends on apprehended context.

Happily, it appears that no matter what your starting point, as
awareness increases, separate contexts tend to converge. This is
directly related to the non-zero sumness of the cooperation game we are
all a part of.

As society moves toward an understanding of the fruitlessness of seeking
  specific moral answers in an ever-broadening context, then we can make
progress toward understanding and applying a science of how
organizations at various scales can co-evolve most effectively.

> 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.

Inequality is axiomatic and essential to growth. Reciprocity is key to
effective long term interactions. What is not generally well understood
is the importance of Other in the growth of Self. We still have people
and organizations in some positions of power who think the key to long
term success involves demolishes their opponents. The Japanese word
aite means both opponent and partner and there's a lot of wisdom in that.

- Jef

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