Re: [sl4] Re: Property rights

From: Lee Corbin (
Date: Wed Jul 09 2008 - 20:57:33 MDT

Bryan wrote

>> Yes, but millions of people (so far in history, given their own
>> limitations and their upbringing and their cultural baggage) simply
>> NEVER spontaneously go from domination of elites and a great King
>> towards any sort of self rule.
> They already are able to behave in whatever way their brains come up
> with, to the extent that the implementation is available and so on, and
> whether or not they would survive a switch wasn't what I was hoping at
> getting at -- remember, we were talking about "Solar System
> Governments" (your words) and the general ai domination scenarios (my
> characterization) that are thrown around here, one ai to rule them all
> and such.

That's good! "And one ai to rule them all." :-)

> Specifically we were talking about 'property rights' and I
> was wondering how it is that you want an ai to behave in
> some characterized manner with respect to them (hint:
> the characterization is actually incomplete but nobody
> admits this methinks).

What's wrong with me *wanting* or finding desirable an
AI that does respect property rights? Or at least---this is
the most I would hope for one that had taken over the
solar system (or the small piece of it where I lived)---that
would respect property rights UP TO but not including
threats to itself. In other words, a kind of benevolent
Pinochet type dictator. I really dare not hope for better.
(For one thing, it would be good for it to keep an eye
on my neighbor---my neighbor may be plotting an overthrow
and I could end up with something far worse!)

> All of these layers -- ai domination, property rights,
> governments, these are just layers on top of the individual
> agents, and these layers are by no means 'magical', they can
> be created, recreated, destroyed, and most importantly
> redesigned, and they tend to show up on their own.

The way we always talk past each other is like this: you
argue on one "level of practicality" and I argue on another.
You don't seem to see traditions and societal inertia as
a real force to be reckoned with and against which only
*so much really is possible*! You always say, well,
"we could do this" or "we could do that" or "what's to
keep us from DIO" (the plural, I guess of DIY).

I always argue on a different level, namely, that there will
*definitely* be no overnight change in people's attitudes,
nor in those who are in charge (say in America, for instance).
I see that as a constraint, and you never do. So we talk
past each other.

> Look at all the random micronations, perhaps. Anyway, these layers can be
> likened to onion layers, which are wrapped around the actual thing that
> we are all interested in here -- intelligence, i.e. that person walking
> around with a skull and all of those silly social dynamics issues that
> we don't really care about. We're here for whatever the hell that
> intelligence is. All of the hypotheticals about implementation of an ai
> dominated society are ridiculous -- it doesn't actually have anything
> to do with intelligence.

Since this has to be about the Nth time around here, give
me a hand. Why do we keep talking past each other?
Why do you dismiss entirely *out of hand* the *possibility*
of an adverse AI takeover? In other words, when I ask again,
as I always do, WHY IS IT RIDICULOUS, for some reason,
your answer just goes right by me. Look deeper. What am I
failing to see? What about my position are you failing to see?

> Whether or not people happen to not know how
> to live isn't the issue (in truth, nobody does anyway); if you're
> afraid people will die, fine, let's go engineer solutions to those
> problems, but let's not mix it up with the task of ai engineering and
> design. :-)

There you go again. "Let's go engineer solutions." When, this
afternoon? Later this evening? Actually, my next two weekends
are booked, so I'll have to put off supplying myself and everyone
else an immortality drug until late August. What the devil do you
think De Grey and many, many others like him---far, far more
capable than I am of "let's go engineer solutions to aging"---are
doing? They *are* trying. And I cannot believe that you think
that "we"---whoever that is---can do it for them.

>> I'm surprised that by now you aren't starting to be just a bit
>> frustrated by how your own impeccably logical ideas don't seem to be
>> affecting thousands, yet alone millions, of fellow Americans. They
>> just look at things differently. Evolution takes a long, long time.
> I am not confused. What are these "impeccably logical ideas" that you
> neglect to mention ? In other words, just what is it that you are
> expecting of me?

Sorry. I really wasn't being satirical, even though it probably sounded
like it. No, I mean that if there were 10^5 people just like you on
Mars, then indeed you all would very shortly bring to fruition your
various good ideas and schemes. But you're living in a country with
300 million rather relatively conservative folk who just aren't going
to let you do whatever you want, and who aren't going to listen to
"good sense" (as defined by Bryan and Lee).


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