Re: Free Will debate [WAS Free Will not an illusion. AND impotent disorganized g

From: Michael Vassar (
Date: Fri Dec 30 2005 - 09:44:03 MST

For what it's worth, I'm far from convinced that almost everyone wants
psi/magik to be real. Many people surely do, but others find it
scary/horrofying. Read the old faerie tales. They don't sound like wishful
thinking to me. Neither does George R.R. Martin's "Tale of Ice and Fire".
Personally, I have always said that the desire for an explicable world is
optimism. It provides power and security. Extropians who brush away
complexity and pretent the brain is simple enough for uploading to be easy
seem to me to be the wild-eyed optimists. We know how rich life is already.
  If it turns out that this richness arises from pocket-calculator levels of
computation, how much richer the potential of a computationally efficient
universe. The people in Harry Potter get gadgets marginally cooler than our
gadgets, but pay the steep price of simply having to accept them rather than
being able to understand. Those gadgets impose the further price of live in
a demon-haunted world.
Of course, for the 5 years or so for which the nature of the danger
associated with hard take-off becomes more clear I have had to deal with
something rather less comforting than even a demon-haunted world. The one
thing worse than incomprehensible and unreasonable horror is completely
reasonable, understandable, and appearently nearly inevitable horror. Real
life turned out to be scarier, more exciting, and far more difficult than
fighting monsters. Maybe I do wish we lived in a demon-haunted world after
all, but I can't imagine it clearly enough to wish for it with any passion,
nor can I spare the time. At any rate, I'm pretty sure my case is highly

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