Re: Predicting the future

From: Kaj Sotala (
Date: Tue May 02 2006 - 11:19:37 MDT

>From Eliezer S. Yudkowsky:
> But what evidence is there that anyone *can* draw up such rough
> estimates, accurately? It would be nice to have them, yes; but what
> makes you think they're available?

...I thought I already covered this in the rest of my mail?

It's perfectly acceptable if there isn't enough information to draw up
even a rough roadmap of the things still to be done - of course, if
there isn't enough information to estimate even *that*, then it's
probably pretty good evidence of technology X still being a looong time
away (for how can one research anything if they don't even know what to
research for it?). And, of course, it's also entirely understandable if
somebody just plain doesn't know enough of the field to make up such
roadmaps - but in that case they shouldn't be saying that the technology
is 5-20 years away in the first place.

The "I really know nothing about this but we'll have thing X in 20
years" with X being just about every transhuman tech imaginable is the
main thing I was objecting to, more so than just saying "no clue". (As
could be seen from the context, since the sentiment I was supporting was
originally aimed towards the poster who said we'd have nanotech in 5

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