Re: Yehuda Yudkowsky, 1985-2004

From: Marc Geddes (
Date: Wed Nov 24 2004 - 20:19:33 MST

 --- Metaqualia <> wrote:
> That would also describe me before I started
> studying singularity and
> transhumanist topics.
> I wasn't terrified at all, I became a hedonist and
> devoted my life to sex
> and music.
> Horror is not what you know will happen for certain,
> it is what you
> constantly fear and doubt about.
> Overall I am more depressed now because I worry
> about not being suspended
> properly...
> mq

The sheer awesome nature of SL4 concepts, gnawing
uncertainly about ones own fate and continuous
frustration at a certain powerlessness to influence
events can start to cause mental 'perturbations' of a
weird nature. Someone diagnosed me as having
'Singularity Anxiety' ;)

Transhumanist concepts can have an odd effect on the
psyche. They can both greatly inspire on the one
hand, and seriously depress on the other. Sounds
paradoxical but let me explain. The possibility of a
massively improved world can greatly inspire in the
sense of realizing that one can help to make that
world, so there's a meaning to ones life. But on the
other hand, it can cause anxiety and depressions
because of the uncertainty of ones own fate and the
raised expectations. One realizes just how far short
one’s current life falls compared to what is possible.
 So raised expectations inevitably cause a certain
amount of 'dissatisfaction', even to the point of
causing one to become depressed and even want to
retreat from reality altogether. In other words,
contemplating radically transcendent possibilities can
(a) Greatly inspire and/or (b) Drive one mad. I
wonder if this mechanism is not at the root of the
power of most religious.


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                                                    - Gen. John Stark

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