Re: Memes and War

From: Thomas Buckner (
Date: Sat Nov 13 2004 - 19:51:53 MST

--- "J. Andrew Rogers"
<> wrote:
> The vast majority of
> important research and
> development is still funded by deep pools of
> private capital owned by
> motivated and intelligent individuals. Even
> mundane things like
> medical research can easily cost in the
> ballpark of a billion dollars
> for just one decent solution.
And yet for some reason, billionaires insist on
getting taxpayers to cover much of the
construction costs of their *ballparks*. I never
said great fortunes were never spent
constructively; but I will say that the portion
which is so spent (at this time, in this nation,
at least) is radically smaller than you seem to
> What is the point of living if your entire life
> is a cog in a life
> support system? I'd rather not go through life
> marking time so that
> the next generation can also mark time ad
> infinitum. Not just no, but
> hell no.
> The number of people who might lose a few years
> of life in a wild and
> 'dangerous' free market capitalist system pales
> in comparison to the
> number of lives and years that will be saved by
> the very rapid advance
> of technological development under such
> systems. I'd rather not force
> everyone to share the misery for as long as
> possible under some
> misguided notion of social equality.
Spoken like a true free-market capitalist
believer. I believe that we are looking at the
same economy and seeing two very different
things. What I see (here in the US) is a takeover
of the government by corporate interests which do
not want a true free market at all, except where
it furthers their goals. In a true free market,
can one not buy all the Canadian medicine one
needs? Should airlines get bailed out on the
public dime? And so on. They seek freedom for
themselves and interference for the competition
(did you know that marijuana was outlawed after a
PR campaign by the Hearst papers, which also
owned wood pulp interests? Hemp makes better
paper, which doesn't need chemical bleaching,
while obviating deforestation, produces useful
oil from the seeds, etc.) The common good is
served haphazardly, when there's a profit.
Tip O'Neil used to tell a parable about a
constituent who went to school on the G.I. Bill,
drove to work on federally built roads, in a car
that was safe because the gov't mandated it,
after dropping the kid off at a free public
school, etc. etc., then called Tip to complain
that "the government never did a thing for me."
The US owes much of its prosperity to
universities built with tax bucks.
But: the way the US is going now, the innovation
is pretty well guaranteed to go overseas. There
are many reasons, but a lot of it comes back to
the infrastructure being weakened by greed.
> > Anyone who dismisses my comments as the
> addled
> > ravings of a granola-headed egalitarian naif
> > should at least consider that a laissez-faire
> > Libertarian AI might feel no responsibility
> to
> > feed *you*. The social contract exists for a
> > reason.
> Umm... This arbitrary 'social contract' only
> exists insofar as it is
> forced upon people at gunpoint. It is not an
> inviolable law of the
> universe. Yet people generally get fed even
> when people are not forced
> to feed them.
Contradictory statements: "People generally get
fed" by magic? You are saying that the 'social
contract' is not the social contract? When Enron
uses fraud to suck billions out of California,
and elsewhere, is it not 'gunpoint' that prevents
Ken Lay's house from being sacked by a mob? See,
I *thought* the social contract referred to those
things we agreed to do *without* physical
> Good luck using threats of violence to force a
> super-intelligent AI to
> do *anything*. This is a naive and dangerous
> view of AI.
That is not my view at all. Straw man fallacy. We
will not be able to force a SAI to do anything.
My point is that if the SAI thinks as many CEO's
and world leaders do today, well, *gulp.* It's
like Somoza once said: "I don't want educated
citizens, I want oxen!"
The whole point of CFAI is to give the SAI
something resembling a conscience toward us. If
it has none, cogs are the *best* we can hope to

Tom Buckner

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