[extropy-chat] TRENDS: Email is so yesterday

Michael Anissimov michaelanissimov at gmail.com
Fri Oct 6 20:55:39 UTC 2006

On 10/4/06, nvitamore at austin.rr.com <nvitamore at austin.rr.com> wrote:
> Anyone have thoughts on this?
> http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20061002-7877.html

My thought is, why don't extropians have chats on IRC ever?  If we're
all best buds like we're supposed to be, we ought to chat in realtime
rather than just this touch-and-go email shiz.

The only problem is getting the time-synch in order... and also
finding a suitable topic.  And also making it so that the more
talkative types don't totally dominate the conversation.  And
encourage the un-IM-inclined types to log on.  You know, the people
who are "too busy" to get acquainted with IMing even though they spend
hours a day on email.

I propose Thursday evenings, America-ish time, as a general time for
people to go on #extropians and hang out for chatting... I know that
Keith Henson is frequently on, for example.

There's also a WTA-SL chapter forming, though of course extropians and
WTA-ians are not necessarily the same thing.  Because of differences
in politics and history.  That can be fun to talk about because it's
controversial, by the way.

On 10/4/06, spike <spike66 at comcast.net> wrote:
> > bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of nvitamore at austin.rr.com
> I have difficulty imagining that instant messages would have very much
> memetic content.  You wouldn't bother thinking out and typing your deepest
> ideas into a medium so evanescent, gone like a wisp of vapor in an instant.
> I can easily imagine however, content such as "how r u?" followed by
> whatever is the mod hip appropriate response to that profound inquiry.

Hardly gone in an instant... as Florida's beloved congressman
discovered this week.

Your above comments could easily have been put into IM form.  In fact,
I think that IM form can be superior in certain contexts.  Sending out
emails is like preaching to a captive audience - I get no feedback, so
I can't be sure if I'm pissing people off, boring them, confusing
them, or whatever.  With IMing, you get the feedback.  It's somewhere
between F2F and mailing lists.

Personal experience with Friendly AI: I read 'Creating Friendly AI'
three times from beginning to end, but still kept asking, "how can you
predict the actions of an AI after it modifies itself a billion times
over?", and other questions-missing-the-point.  *Only* after a long IM
convo with Eli did it all really sink in, the short answer being, "the
point is not about predicting its exact actions way off in the future,
but sparking the Singularity in the most beneficial way possible".

> I expect that our own conversations were not terribly deep when we were
> teenagers.  It was all about mating at that age, a mostly unsuccessful and
> pointless exercise I might add.  This is one way being an adult really is
> better than being a teen.

Because of reliable access to a mate?  Seriously though, I was deep as
a teenager because I wanted to be, and got plenty of respect as a
result.  In some ways I wish I were still a teenager.  Most of my
present-day intellectual activity is actually just embellishment on
fundamental concepts I picked up as a teen.

The teens nowadays get laid more, and think more, and are more mature
than they were back in your time.  This is an unequivocally good
thing, it's a worldwide trend, and is particularly powerful in the
area where we live.  Google Ben Casnocha if you want an example of the
type of kid Bay Area schools can produce.

The funny thing about most adults is that they're slaves to their
paychecks.  I believe the way you once put it was "busting our asses
to buy a tract shack".  It's hilarious how adults 1) look around for a
job to get money, 2) join up and work hard, 3) see their company as
important just because it happens to be THEIR company now.  But if
they joined a different company, they could have just as easily had
the same experience there, which dispels the so-called importance and
uniqueness of the place where they actually are working.  Egocentric
bias at its finest.

> Friends I have no issues at all with being considered an old geezer.  Give
> me my email, use groups, my fovorite websites, and I will cheerfuly let the
> younger set how-r-u each other's brains out with no interference, objection,
> or trace of envy.

You seem to have some negative stereotypes regarding instant messaging
in your head!  Just because inarticulate people use a technology
doesn't mean that that technology is inherently useless.  Inarticulate
people use email too, doesn't mean that email is useless.

On 10/5/06, Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org> wrote:
> Not really a recent trend. What to do depends on whether a new
> medium offers advantages and/or the community around a legacy medium
> declines (should I personally adopt it?) or whether you're interested in
> outreach to new audiences (should I adopt new comm stuff in order
> to talk to the new kids? -- I must admit I don't, they just have
> nothing worthwhile to say).

The new kids in transhumanism have nothing worthwhile to say?  Or new
kids in general?

> My main beef with Google is surrendering privacy. It's the
> one-stop shop for any TLA on the information superhighway.
> And anyone who trusts a corporation with anything not related
> to maximizing revenue is walking on very thin ice.

Haven't you heard?  Privacy is dead.  Participatory Panopticon, baby!


Michael Anissimov
Lifeboat Foundation      http://lifeboat.com

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