[extropy-chat] Avoid Too Much Change.

Randall Randall randall at randallsquared.com
Wed Apr 11 20:40:06 UTC 2007

On Apr 11, 2007, at 3:50 PM, Russell Wallace wrote:
> On 4/11/07, Randall Randall <randall at randallsquared.com> wrote:
> Personal power?  I think you missed the point.  It isn't
> about personal power, it's about whether you're willing
> to cavalierly create multiple copies of yourself at the
> cost of this instance.
> Well, the comment to which I replied dismissally was "your style  
> will become extinct in less than a century" (in a context that  
> suggested the extinction was going to come as a result of being  
> massacred by entities with "IQ 12000").
> If you are now advancing the argument that in the long run the  
> descendants of people who want to make a lot of copies of  
> themselves will outnumber those of people who don't, that's  
> something I don't have a problem with, it's a far more robust  
> conclusion.

That *is* what I'm saying, and by "outnumber" I mean vastly
so.  I actually thought this was the argument that John Clark
was making as well in what you quoted, but perhaps not.

> It's a fun quote, not part of any argument I'm making.  I
> must admit, though, it is a *polarizing* quote; lots of
> people I'm having discussions with like to quote it and
> attack it, as though it's part of whatever debate we're
> having.  I wonder what that means?
> *grin* In my case it's because I thought it was relevant to this  
> particular context, being representative of the same style of  
> argument.

Heh.  I think it's an interesting quote, because for
values of "matter duplicator" that merely include the
ability for anyone to make devices as powerful as
hydrogen bombs, it seems obvious that we'll have that
within a few decades, and maybe within 15 years.
Given that Jerry Pournelle *is* an SF author, you'd
think that he'd have given this some more thought than
his quote seems to indicate.

It's a quote which points out that even those who've
made their living writing about the (or a) future
will be blindsided by the changes we expect soon.

Randall Randall <randall at randallsquared.com>
'Somebody wake up the National Rifle Association. Does the 2nd  
Amendment say
  "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be  
infringed except on
   commercial airliners"?' -- Garrison Keillor

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