[extropy-chat] "The problem is partly a matter of evolutionary psychology."

Keith Henson hkhenson at rogers.com
Sun Apr 8 04:37:05 UTC 2007

At 01:48 PM 4/7/2007 -0400, Robert wrote:

>On 4/7/07, Keith Henson <<mailto:hkhenson at rogers.com>hkhenson at rogers.com> 
>>Patrick McKnight is a Rutgers College senior, majoring in philosophy and
>>sociology. His column "The View from Nowhere" runs on alternate Fridays.
>It isn't worth my time to take apart the article on a piece by piece 
>basis.  It is nice that he is thinking in terms of "sustainability" but 
>the basis for many of the claims has significant flaws.  Most importantly 
>I would not expect a major in philosophy and sociology to have a grasp of 
>what engineering and technology could accomplish given sufficient economic 
>incentives (be they "natural" or artificial).

I didn't post it for the engineering insights, and didn't expect any.  The 
only really significant point is recognition by someone in a much younger 
generation than mine that humans are poorly equipped by our evolutionary 
history for "comprehending long-term threats" much less to take steps to 
deal with problems of such time and physical scales.

It is, in my opinion, a bigger problem than energy and global warming 
combined.  Unlike that problem I don't have the least idea of how to solve 
the problem of "comprehending long-term threats."  If I did, I would solve 
that first and it would be easy to get resources allocated to deal with 
such problems as energy--not to mention even harder problems like avoiding 
the creation of hostile AIs.


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