[sl4] Offtopic about the singularity.

From: ' ' (justin_benedict@hotmail.com)
Date: Tue Mar 03 2009 - 21:11:03 MST

One other thing, I mean, humans aren't designed to be cognizant systems, it just sort of happened by accident... RNA interactions in the primordial soup and you know the rest.


Nature got a lot right with us (emotions, desires, goals, needs, intelligence and understanding, etc.) but it also did a really damn poor job of doing it though... I mean look at how screwed up society is and the world is in general and look at how intellectually, emotionally, socially, perceptually, mentally, etc. stunted we are... we do really stupid things because of emotions and bad emotions tend really fuck things up (anxiety, depression, anger, boredom, frustration, paranoia, jealously, etc.) and can lead to extremely bad situations (suicide, murder, lack of production, lack of enjoyment, lack of engagement). Our awareness of our surroundings is INSANELY stunted, I mean what... we take in one bit of information per second or whatever and we are only aware of one thing at a time with our attentional systems... our working memory systems are very limited and obtuse. Socially, we just get by with the least possible effort on most people's parts and most people don't give a shit. Like I said earlier, our ability to fully engage with what is going on, enjoy every nuance of what is directly happening to us and orient ourselves suck... we are basically just poorly designed meat sacks that are used to our mental and emotional starvation. I mean how many people walking around are *truly* excited to be alive, truly happy in what they are doing and every moment is a miracle and how it could never get any better? How every experience is an unending plethora of sensory, emotional and mental activity and engrossment... At least 1/10,000 if not more like 1/1,000,000 I should be everyone times 10.


Sorry, but I am profoundly discontent with the current state of affairs and I think the singularity needs to happen relatively soon (like within the next 20 to 30 years MAX). Transhumanists only talk, it seems like singularitarians are the only ones that at least try to do, but they are so few of us and so little funding, organization, etc. that we are like trying to move a mountain with a Pez dispenser and we are not getting any younger or smarter.


Justin Benedict, justin_benedict@hotmail.com


P.S. Sorry if this seems as complaining, but its not... All I want to basically say is that we have bigger fish to fry than uploading, teleporting, TV shows that don't give a shit about us and never will, etc. when 150,000 people are dying a day when there is no reason in hell that they should and billions of people are constantly either suffering or discontent with their lives.


But you guys already know all of this. Maybe we can talk about more constructive things, like actually building an AGI (all of the research and theory needed and organization and collaboration, etc.) or getting funding.... those two topics are obviously the most important to discuss right now and for the foreseeable futre (i.e. 10 to 20 years).


Feel free to flame on.

From: justin_benedict@hotmail.com
To: sl4@sl4.org
Subject: RE: [sl4] Re: Uploads coming first would be good, right?
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2009 19:28:29 -0800

I don't want to die just because we are programmed to fear death, I don't want to die because I EXIST and I KNOW IT, yeah death is scary because it means I can't continue my genes or whatever non-sense people come up with (which is true, but I still consider it ridiculous). I mean life is really cool, it can get boring at times but think about how fun it can be.. chasing girls, figuring out logical puzzles and learn new math concepts, raising kittens, having a family situation, painting, learning about how everything works, playing board and computer games, watching 24, reading an engaging novel, creating something useful that helps other people and is fun to create, acting in a play or movie, eating nice food, I mean I could go on for days if I really thought hard enough why life is worth living and that there are more reasons to not want to die then just feat of death itself... I think we like to repeat intellectual sayings and statements just because it creates order and meaning in our world and because it makes us seem smarter, but come on... fuck evolution, who cares how we were created and why we act they way we do, lets just enjoy it forever (or at least indefinitely).
I know there would be no difference if I am conscious or not, but I think consciousness is a physical phenomena therefore it doesn't matter to me. I honestly believe, but can't prove, that every human being is self-aware to some degree. What we can do, instead of testing for consciousness, is figuring out what CREATES and MAINTAINS consciousness, then we will know if someone's self-awareness is continued on or not, not if they simply say, hello I am here and I remember everything.. we can simply simulate that without any understanding of personal identity and consciousness... once we understand those two issues well enough, if not perfectly, if that is ever possible... then we will know if someone's self-awareness continues on or not (in scenario X, Y or Z or, or) , not if we simply ask a physically identical person if they can remember their past or not, even if they didn't exist up until now... of course they will say that if it is in their nature to say that... that is obvious, but continuity of personhood and identity and consciousness are FAR more complicated issues then just simple logic and what if games we can play ad nauseum.
> Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2009 18:36:11 -0800
> From: matmahoney@yahoo.com
> Subject: RE: [sl4] Re: Uploads coming first would be good, right?
> To: sl4@sl4.org
> --- On Tue, 3/3/09, ' ' <justin_benedict@hotmail.com> wrote:
> > Of course there is consciousness... right?
> It depends on what you mean by "consciousness". How would you be different if you didn't have one?
> Of course it doesn't matter how you answer. Either there is a difference that others could detect, or there isn't.
> If there is a detectable difference, then there is no reason that we couldn't create a machine that simulates you and passes whatever test for consciousness you propose.
> If there is no detectable difference, then there is no sense in asking the question.
> I think your real question is "will I die?" which is understandable since we are programmed to fear death.
> -- Matt Mahoney, matmahoney@yahoo.com

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