Re: Existential Risk and Fermi's Paradox

From: Norman Noman (
Date: Wed Jun 20 2007 - 18:02:01 MDT

> >Your desire for a point is as pointless as your
> desire for survival.
> >Nihilism is not a moral philosophy which leads to
> suicide, it is a
> >philosophy without moral direction at all. Minds are
> machines,
> >and machines do not need a purpose in order to
> function.
> Yes they are both arbitrary evolutionary hangovers. So
> why would some hard core post singularity AI choose
> either as a reason to live?

The idea that a mind can "choose" its basic volition is incoherent. What
would it choose on the basis of? A program that rewrites itself still does
so in the manner which it was programmed to. "higher purpose" is not a piece
which is missing from the universal puzzle, it is a piece which wouldn't fit
anywhere even if it DID exist. It is a nonsensical concept.

Water doesn't need a reason to flow downhill, toasters don't need a reason
to make toast, and we don't need a reason to do whatever we do. Our
intentions and desires don't rest on a void, they rest on the laws of
physics which operate our brains.

Exploration, expansion: We can conceive of an AI /
> civilisation that understands the fundamental laws of
> physics. All permutations of these laws might still be
> hidden due to chaos, but still, even the most
> beautiful complex life forms or wonders of geology
> would be like random rude phrases spat out of a random
> sentence generator. A child would eventually get bored
> of the latter and I maintain a god like AI would
> quickly get bored of the former. So why explore? I
> stress again I am not bored of these inspiring,
> fascinating flukes, but I am a relatively simple
> intellect.

Boredom is an emotional reaction, not a logical conclusion. A godlike entity
would be entertained by punch and judy, if it were programmed to be.

Furthermore, the idea that the universe can be entirely understood is
questionable to me. If it's infinite, there will always be a bigger problem,
a harder puzzle, a smarter opponent. I think our doom is probably inevitable
in the long run, but not by suicide.

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