Re: Transhumanist Community

From: Chris Capel (
Date: Thu Dec 08 2005 - 09:34:21 MST

On 12/8/05, David Picon Alvarez <> wrote:
> Sure, but what is the point? There's, from a singularitarian standpoint, one
> fundamental criterion to use when judging the utility of something: is this
> likely to increase the probability of FAI? In my view, unqualified
> visibility isn't necessarily useful from this standpoint.

The main way in which public visibility can increase the probability
of FAI is to attract notice and funding for projects that can use the
funding to increase the probability of FAI. People who might not have
heard of it otherwise become potential doners. And unless we can
determine that only .01-.001 percent of people hearing about the
singularity this way would contribute to our causes, it might be worth
it. Even if .1 percent of people hearing about the singularity this
way ever donated, that could be a lot of money with exposure in the
millions or tens of millions.

As far as making individual people more likely to contribute to FAI or
to contribute other tools that facilitate the work on FAI, public
visibility doesn't really gain us much, except perhaps a little less
resistence from technical people who might otherwise think the whole
FAI movement a bunch of bullshit. (Good) publicity does buy a little
legitimacy, even among the technically adept. Perhaps it shouldn't,
but it does.

> Visibility among technical people likely to contribute, though, is. But
> that's an entirely different matter, and in fact popular mischaracterization
> of transhuman/singularitarian ideas might be counterproductive, driving
> people away.

Given that, it's important not to be afraid of attitudes toward
transhumanism/singularitarianism being very polarized, as long as the
positive position is prominent enough.

Chris Capel

"What is it like to be a bat? What is it like to bat a bee? What is it
like to be a bee being batted? What is it like to be a batted bee?"
-- The Mind's I (Hofstadter, Dennet)

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