Re: Anders Sandberg in Second Life on converging cognitive enhancement, uvvy island in SL, May 23 2007 10am PST

From: Byrne Hobart (
Date: Fri May 11 2007 - 12:31:21 MDT

You don't think that the tools we have affect the way we think? People with
extensive computer experience have certain terms (e.g. 'diff') that the rest
of us don't automatically use; someone obsessed with economics is much more
likely to instinctively think on the margin; and someone who spends a lot of
time in Second Life certainly knows that physical appearance is a means of
self-expression, not a fixed property. We can pick tools that positively
affect our behavior. I can't think of a definition of human nature that fits
what you said, other than the tautological "That which we can't change."

On 5/11/07, Larry <> wrote:
> On Fri, 11 May 2007, Mike Dougherty wrote:
> > On 5/11/07, <> wrote:
> >> My analogy is lost, but Second Life still sucks. There have for years
> been
> >> more accessible and efficient methods for an online seminar. It's a
> shame
> >> that being marginally shinier and having a lot of users who build
> stupid
> >> crap should cement its pervasive application.
> >
> > The dark side of "Shock Level 4" is not all the advanced technological
> > benefit that enlightened individuals can conceive, but the perversions
> > that they will be applied to for/by those less enlightened.
> This has to be taken as a given, technology doesn't change basic human
> drives. Come up with a neat new piece of technology, and people are going
> to think "how will this get me more money, get me laid, get me high, give
> me power". Even given the power to change the genome, it will likely be
> these urges that influence the changes.
> The place everyone makes a mistake is thinking "oh thats horrible!", and
> trying to be above it all. Humans are the most dangerous animals
> on the planet, if you owned a lion you'd make sure it was well fed and
> well treated. Yet humans who are the most dangerous animal of all,
> we starve and abuse the poor animal inside while pretending to be
> something special and pure above having an animal nature. The
> fundamentalists show where this leads, despising life and the
> world, praying for global suicide to put them out of there misery.
> I'll argue for the intentional antimonian approach.
> If the first use of true virtual reality means being able to go online
> and having mind blowingly realistic sex with someone 1/2 way around the
> planet, thats a great thing. It means that persons going to be nice to
> people that day, and being well satiated may be thinking about the future
> of the human race rather than getting revenge on the person who just cut
> them off. That person who cut them off won't be stressed out, and will
> think more carefully about the rational for war.
> Human nature will win in the end, we can feed the lion on our own terms,
> or ignore it and it will feed on its terms. Given the power that is coming
> into our hands, I don't see a choice. We must stop the purity game, else
> we put our power in the hands of angry wild animals.

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