From: Thomas Buckner (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sun Feb 12 2006 - 07:30:24 MST
--- Ben Goertzel <email@example.com> wrote:
> > Not "within the Singularitarians", but
> distinct from the SIAI-breed(s)
> > there are the fans of Terence McKenna, who
> used the term 'singularity'
> > at some point for one of his ideas.
> I tend to think the shamen and McKenna-ites do
> have some real insights
> amidst all their lunacy, although unfortunately
> the psychedelic path
> seems to combine deep insight with rampant
> nonsense (which is not
> surprising given the somewhat indiscriminate
> effect of the psychedelic
> substances on the human brain). McKenna
> tripped a bit too often for
> my taste, but to each his own ;-)
> The Singularity is about going beyond the
> narrow human ways of looking
> at the world, and shamanism does tell you
> something about that, though
> ultimately modern technology is going to give
> us far more powerful
I think the powerful temporal coincidences
between certain 'new age' singularity ideas
including McKenna, time wave and the Mayan
calendar rollover are undeniable, particularly
the very odd fact of the Mayan calendar entering
a new cycle in 2012 and not, say, 2212; but is
there any logical way to make more of them than
I have to tell you, up front, I've never had
access to ayahuasca or its relatives, but I'm
definitely smarter when I have a very small
amount of THC in me...
I would suggest, no more than half-seriously,
that the human mind/brain has some sort of very
lo-fi quantum method of sensing future events,
which might be most reliable when almost all
future timelines lead to a particular event.
Suppose such a faculty added only one chance in a
million to correct random guesses, but as one
approached a massive discontinuity like we are
discussing, 999,999 out of a million possible
timelines lead to it. It's as if the
tech-Singularitarians were experts on ships and
could hear propellers approaching, while the
new-age-singularitarians only saw a looming shape
in the fog. Some of them might think it's a giant
gorilla or the Stay-Puft marshmallow man or The
Mothership; but they can all sense its approach.
One of my favorite Robert Anton Wilson passages
is from 'Reality Is What You Can Get Away With':
Cisco: The New Age is the biggest load of
bullshit and superstition since the Spanish
(a little later)
Cisco: The New Age is the greatest evolutionary
advance since our ancestors crawled out of the
ocean. It is a technological, biological,
spiritual leap that will change everything we
Pancho: Wait a minute. Didn't you just say the
New Age was bullshit?
Cisco: Yes, I did.
Pancho: And now you're saying it's a huge step
Cisco: That's right.
Pancho: Well, how can that be?
Cisco: It's simple. Some things called New Age
are complete bullshit; other things, also called
New Age, are incredible breakthroughs that will
change our lives completely.
Pancho: But then how do we know which is which?
Cisco: The only way is to learn to think for
ourselves, to stop being robots.
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