Re: [sl4] Uploads, slavery, concerts and fair trade

From: Dagon Gmail (
Date: Mon Feb 02 2009 - 13:20:59 MST

> The first objection to slavery is that the coercive elements keep
> wages and conditions for slaves far below what they should be; the
> second objection is that these wages and conditions are appalling.

Ludicrous and either cynical or certifiably naieve. A slave is used for
anything the owner deems fit, insofar
human rights considerations in the society would give a damn - and I have
very very little considerations in
human empathy in this area. In rome unsatisfying slaves were literally
killed as fertillizer or sacrifice. In
the US south they were used in dog fighting, i.e. entertainment. If slaves
are capable of suffering, the
device of suffering will be used as motivator. The mere suggestion that an
artificial and arbitrary contrivance
people called "the free market" does in any way act to lighten the plight in
the face deserves a glass of
ice water in the face. De factor large segments of the third world are
effectively slaves - they cant escape,
do not get anything close to adequate pay, are subject to horrid punishment
and can be mote or less
forced to work on dehumanizing or extremely dangerous work. In most cases
most humans in the
world today are worth less than animals.

And the capacity to appreciate this in educated first world people pisses me
seriously off.

> It should be relatively easy to avoid the first problem in a world
> full of uploads - general free market paradigms should be easy to
> implement and defend.

No. No no and NO. As I see it right now, a society advanced enough to be
able to construct machines
complex enough to emulate uploads is able to arbitrarily create intelligent
as well as completely reliable
(something like sigma six) willing servants. In such a world there is ZERO
demand for uploads, which
may have their own ideas, may be subject to distraction, which may be
inefficient. This means that
a society with current economies and uploads produce either scarce acccess
to uploading (a portion of
people die because they do not have resources by which they can buy/earn
uploading) - or society
stratifies into uploads with ownership and uploads without. On the long run
this will either result in
largescale income redistrubution based on democratic rights (disenfrenchised
voters, either upload or
not, consistently voting to increase wellfare type laws) or the
extermination of the havenots by the haves.

In the past those who owned could rebel. In a world where those who own can
create limitless robot
armies, those who do not own will die, period. UNLESS something radically
changes in human nature after
largescale uploading. I am not willing to bet on that. In the past
socialists could sabotage or strike or
vote in a leftist government to institute a wellfare state.

Please let me know where my assumptions are uncertain and if you do, please
take the effort in making
absolutely clear why yours are certain, foolproof and utterly, UTTERLY safe.

> Much more disturbing would be if the economic value of standard humans
> dropped to near subsistence levels (quite likely to happen). Then the
> everyday experience of standard humans would mimic slavey; this would
> effectively force all humans to upload in order to survive.

Assuming uploading is cheap. I can also see billions frozen in cheap dewars,
with the flimsy excuse they
will be restored at some later time when resources allow. Maybe a
preliminary upload to a really big
USB device to be run when server space is available. Fat chance on either

> That might be bad enough, but it could get worse - if the economic
> return on improving an upload is higher than uploading a standard
> human, uploading may become unaffordable. (think of this as working at
> the sweatshop rather than living on the garbbage heap - but with the
> provisio that never ever will you or any of your descendants be able
> to aspire to more than working at the sweatshop).

Some people right now, in Vietnam beg to have nice, comfortable sweatshops.
People there consider
sweatshops a rosy dream. That is the situation in a world where the poorest
can stumble along and if
they make grotesque authoritarian sacrifices can catch up over a generation
(China, Spore, etc) - In
the future that is considered plausible by people here - the richest
aglomerate increased wealth at a rate
thousands to xyzillions times faster than the poorest.

In the distant human past we were limited by breeding rates. The tribe that
had a system that allowed them to
breed faster generally won.

In the less distant past the human groups that could liberate sufficient
resources to have specialized careers
tended to winning the game. Societies with mathematicians, bankers,
soldiers, politicians were more effective
than societies with less so.

In the not so distant past the human societies that could effectively
generate useful memes faster tended to
be the winners.

We must AT ANY COST avoid drifting into a world where the winners in the
race are those who most effectively
rid themselves of the inefficient parts of the thinking, feeling population.
I will continue to accuse neocons,
many conservatives and comparable groups that PRECISELY THIS is what they
aim for - creating a selection
mechanism that marginalizes those in society that do not play ball, even if
the benefit of such atrocity is
marginal. I mean, if every citizen in the rich world [who could] would all
cough up a euro a day, hundreds of
millions in the third world wouldn't have to live on garbage belts, dreaming
in a stupor for the glorious heaven of
sweatshops. Yet Neocons (and assorted ideologies) are in the moral sewer to
consider these gaza-ites
potential threats to the security etc. - to be fenced in and humanely
disposed off, in proxy. I.e. you don't
shove em in incinerators, but "reduce their access to resources they can use
in acts of terror". Such as
fertillizer. Medicine. Food. Machine parts.

> A rather obvious solution would be to implement simply enforceable
> laws making uploading universally available, but I'm interested in
> looking at other alternatives, that do not involve effectively coerced
> uploading.

Let's start at creating a VERY robost system where people have inalienable
rights. All people. And then link
those inalienable rights to legal tools. And then allow all people, no
matter how despicable, access to guarantees.
I want a world where a somali can sue the community of nations to pay him a
basic income sufficient to lead
a life on par with the worst of rich societies --- medication, food, a
decent house, electricity, internet access,
clothing, safety, education, information and some entertainment. If that is
possible, and people reading this
article, then I will breathe with relief, for we are headed in the right
direction to making sure I am not ground
into computronium paste some time in the future because the demons of free
markets dictate it prudent.

When every human has rights, we have hope. Right now YOU may be kicked out
by the pigs one day. In
other words, some time very soon you will be left dying prematurely because
of this whole authoritarian
efficiency rush we have been in for a few centuries.

> One interesting alternative is to look at modified utility functions.
> If the value of an object is not only in its physical properties, but
> also in the manner in which it was constructed, then there may be hope
> for standard humans to continue to compete economically in an uploaded
> world. We have some examples of this today - concerts (especially rock
> concerts) where the performers do not do anything more than sing their
> usual songs in a more noisy environment. Yet the joint experience of
> seeing the actual performer makes this an economically viable set-up.

Ridiculous. You are listening music or argueing levity when you should be
argueing life versus death. But
then again, you life in a rich nation and the pursor is arranging your place
in the lifeboats while you have a
brief moment listening to the band to ease your nerves about the titanic
hitting that awful terrorist iceberg.

> Similarly, we have some fair-trade products. No matter how imperfect
> and distorting the whole system is, it is based around one significant
> fact: people are willing to pay more for something based on how it was
> produced. Can we harness this urge for uploads?

There is no demand for anything an upload could ever hope to produce as soon
as those who have more
can churn out alternatives to working uploads faster. I am seeing a future
of extremely dilligent and extremely
functional C3POs pushing back the margins for less affluent citizens ever
further, untill someone comes to
switch off the light.

> Compelling every upload to change their utility function would be
> unduly coercive; but there could be a posibility to subsidise or
> encourage "ethical uploads", which changes the uploads' utility
> functions slightly so that they place greater economic value on
> standard human produced goods. Since we are working on the assumption
> that uploads' productivity will dwarf the possible economic output of
> standard humans, it would not take many of these "ethical uploads" to
> ensure the viability of standard humans - and the competitive
> disadvantage of "ethical uploads" would be correspondingly small.

The only utility function I am interested in, before any other, is a vote. A
vote enforced by all over all. This
is sacrilege to free market thinkers. But as opposed to free market
imbeciles, who are in it for only a bigger
plasma screen and tuition for their kids, I am interested in something far
more fundamental - the right and
power to say NO, and FUCK YOU for EVERY human being.... if the evolution of
society leads me to me
defaulting on the right to buy server cycles to run my upload. If people are
slowly and incrementally are
barred from that, billions will die soon after. And soon in subjective
upload time might be milliseconds.

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