Re: [SL4] Re: 'Singularity Realism'

From: Thomas Buckner (
Date: Wed Mar 24 2004 - 18:36:20 MST

--- Yan King Yin <> wrote:
> [ I suggest we put [SL4] in the subject, makes it
> easier to spot posts from spam ]
Not a terrible idea, but I'm not having a problem with

> 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.
There are those who do analyze conflicts
scientifically (a good author to look up is James

> If the strong is entitled to rob the weak of their
> possesions/territory, then why does this NOT happen
> *within* civil society?
It DOES, within whatever limits are imposed within a
given society. Some are so overtly corrupt that, for
example, a Palestinian who complains to a PA official
of low-level shakedowns is apt to get shaken down by
that official too. Other societies are better
governed, but theft by the strong from the weak is
still in evidence (example: President Bush, some years
ago, used poltical connections to secure eminent
domain over farm property from unwilling sellers to
build a new ballpark for his Texas Rangers baseball
team). Notice that more covert corruption requires
more legal camouflage. (I can offer many, many more
examples. If you buy a new car, the salesman will do
everything he can to get you to pay too much. But the
real octopus is the guy who owns the lot. The sales
staff live in fear of getting fired, and the lot owner
may pocket the sales person's commission, saying "If
you don't like it, there's the door." This really
> 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.
There are tradeoffs. Example: crossover from
domesticated animals is the major source of new
infectious diseases.
> 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'.
Einstein said the atom bomb changed everything, except
how we think. Saddam, Hitler and their like are best
seen as a continuation of past conquerors. The
Mongols, for example, killed everyone in one kingdom
(Khwarezm, I think): men, women, children, dogs and
cats. Lopez of Paraguay, in the 1860's, got 2/3 of his
country killed in the War of the Triple Alliance
(himself included). Seems humans can't stop fighting,
and since we just keep getting stronger weapons, we
are absolutely our most dangerous enemy. In 1983 we
almost had a nuclear war with the Soviets, who were
panicked by a big military exercise called Able Archer
(they thought we might be up to something real!)
Since those in the know expect a Singularity within 40
years or so, it's hardly a distant future; and since
unenhanced humans apparently cannot solve their
disputes without bloodshed, superhuman intelligence
looks more and more like the only way there might be
any survivors at all.


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