RE: SIAI: Donate Today and Tomorrow

From: Aikin, Robert (
Date: Fri Oct 22 2004 - 08:15:36 MDT

If AI were a horserace, the smart money would seem to be on Ray Kurzweil (but there is something odd about EY that makes him interesting to watch).

As for 'the man on the street', the only way to strike a chord with him/us (as I count myself among 'them') is on an emotional level, e.g., sci-fi stories and other arts that appeal to the human imagination (where broad strokes are more important than details)...the younger the mind, the better.

To rely on public donations is not much different than a monk holding out a bowl (you never know where the next meal is going to come from). Unless idealistic individuals in the upper classes can be enlisted to support the cause, it might be more productive to create capital through some sort of technological innovation. There are more than a few clever minds on the SL4 list that could do this.

Robert Aikin
Houston, TX

"Blessed are the cheese makers."
                                - Monty Python

-----Original Message-----
From: []On Behalf Of Marc
Sent: Friday, October 22, 2004 3:06 AM
Subject: Re: SIAI: Donate Today and Tomorrow

Probably the reason people not many people are
donating, is because most people simply can't
understand the concepts beind
FAI/Singularity/Transhumanist thinking. If I tried
explaining the ideas to my mother, for instance, she'd
just look at me as if I were nuts. Let me give you an
example of how 'the man on the street' reacts to SL4
ideas. Take a look at the responses to me in this
thread on an Objectivist web-site where I used to

Here is the typical reaction:

"Why indeed Cam?! Very well stated. This Transhumanist
crap, of which its unhinged promoters can be but 98%
certain, is best, at present, located on the Dissent
board - only I think we need another board to do it
justice: Lunacy!"


"Once & for all, Transhumanism is bollocks, & its
adherents nutters."

So basically: most of the world's population are not
likely to support Sing Inst, because most of the
world's population don't understand SL4 concepts.

Among those who *do* understand SL4 concepts, the
reluctance to donate probably arises from doubts about
the specific approach Sing Inst is pursuing. As
Slawomir Paliwoda asks, how do we know that you
(Eliezer) really know what you are doing, or can be
trusted with the fate of the world? ;) All the people
on SL4 are highly individualistic and all have their
own ideas and theories. For instance check out my
'Philosophical Schemata' - I'm not doubting your
brillance etc - I just have the sneaking suspicion
that REAL solutions will turn out to be a lot more
complicated than just 'Extrapolated Volition' ;)


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