META: SL4 demographics

From: Joel Pitt (
Date: Mon Sep 04 2006 - 19:21:09 MDT

Hi all,

As promised from a couple of weeks back, here is a questionaire for discovering
the demographics of sl4. I understand that some of you feel that any
email questionaire is necessarily biased and this may be true but then
most collection techniques have some bias. One thing to note is that
lurkers on the list *do* respond to these off list, as evidenced by
the question suggestions I received from them.

Please make sure you send the results to me personally and not to the
list. Also please do not start arguing about the relevence of the
questions on list. Feel free to complain directly to me and I'll duely
note your points in the results. This is all just for interest's sake,
not a rigorous formal study of SL4 members.

Deadline for completion is 15th Sep.


1) Age:
2) Sex:
3) Highest education attained:
    o High School
    o Bachelors
    o Masters
    o Doctorate
4) Occupation:
5) Subject of formal work/study:
6) Subject of informal/independent work/study (if applicable):


7) a) Computer programming experience/ability
    0 None
    1 Newbie
    2 College graduate
    3 Average working computer programming
    4 Hacker that can competently design software
    5 Fluidly and elegantly use several programming languages
as naturally as speech.
7) b) How many computer languages have you learnt?
7) c) How many computer languages could you implement a sorting
algorithm in without referring to documentation?


8) Gateway to SL4 (e.g. technical, social, ethical/political):
9) When do you expect the "singularity" to occur? Pick a specific
year, if your expectation is a range of years then respond with the
average of the range (or, the year you think is most probable)
10) How hard a take-off to you "expect"? Please characterise the
duration between clearly-below-human AI and
clearly-above-current-human intelligence.
(a) minutes (b) hours (c) days (e) weeks (f) months (g) years (h)
decades (o) Other (please specify)
11) What do you expect the greatest existential threat will be before
the singularity?
12) How often do you contribute to the SL4 list?
0 (pure lurker) - 5 (reply to every topic several times).
13) Ever donated materially to SIAI?


14) Where are you on the political compass?
(If you are unsure there is a questionaire here: )
Y-axis (Libertarian=-2 Centre=0 Authoritarian=2) ?
X-axis (Left=-2 Centre=0 Right=2) ?
15) Are you an avid sci-fi fan?
16) Vegan / Vegetarian?
17) Do you have significant Ashkenazi genetic heritage?

Thanks for completing the questionaire. Please remember to send the
results to and not to the SL4 list.

"Wish not to seem, but to be, the best."
                -- Aeschylus

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