Re: Cold-War Disarmament Activism

From: Robin Lee Powell (
Date: Thu Jun 29 2006 - 08:33:44 MDT

On Thu, Jun 29, 2006 at 05:09:53PM +0300, Joshua Fox wrote:
> Perhaps I didn't express myself clearly enough.
> I was not raising the issue of whether the Cold War is analogous
> to the negative Singularity scenario. I was interested in a
> meta-analysis of certain arguments which might have been wrong,
> even when coming from the clearest of thinkers and with the best
> logic.
> In other words, how would Singularitarianism respond to someone
> who thinks as follows:
> "Yudkowsky just gave an apparently impeccable argument in favor of
> working against Singularity disaster. I guess I should give money
> to SIAI.
> "But then again, back in the 1980's, Sagan and Hofstadter (who
> resemble Yudkowsky in being advanced multidisciplinary, logical,
> ethical thinkers) gave apparently impeccable arguments in favor of
> supporting the disarmament movement, and it turned out that their
> positions may have not only been wrong, but would have actually
> made the risk of extinction worse if implementation had gotten
> underway.
> "So, it seems that I can't simply trust what seems to me to be a
> flawless logical argument from Yudkowsky, and I'd better not give
> money to SIAI, but rather only do what Kurzweil suggests: keep
> myself alive, and maybe do my little part to advance democracy,
> human rights, and technology."
> How would you respond to this? And remember, we're only human:
> Logic isn't everything in convincing people. Even if the argument
> is logically wrong, what do you say to such a potential supporter?

Exactly the way I responded to you; point out ho utterly
incomparable the two situations are. In particular, there are
first-strike advantages all over the place WRT AGI, but the cold war
was characterized by their lack.


-- ***
Reason #237 To Learn Lojban: "Homonyms: Their Grate!"
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