[extropy-chat] Avoid Too Much Change.

Russell Wallace russell.wallace at gmail.com
Thu Apr 12 16:53:12 UTC 2007

On 4/12/07, John K Clark <jonkc at att.net> wrote:
> I can kill you. You can't kill me. That is an evolutionary advantage.

Only if you use it. Except that the days when people killed their neighbors
with impunity (i.e. without a large expected loss) belong to the past. One
could postulate they will come again - but then, a new Dark Age would not
retain the technology to build desktop PCs, let alone "IQ 12000" beings. For
your scenario to come true, the world would have to retain the rule of law
while it focused all its efforts on the task of granting mighty technobabble
to John Clark alone, then all of society would have to relinquish said
technobabble - leaving you with a monopoly on it - and shut itself down for
no other purpose than to give you free rein to go on an unopposed killing
spree. There's nothing wrong with indulging in power fantasies - when I was
a small child I used to daydream about being Superman - but it is important
to retain the ability to distinguish between reality, stories that have some
shred of plausibility, and stories that are not remotely plausible.

> What's your evolutionary fitness?
> 42.

You have 84 children? Color me skeptical.

If I don't build an AI then people in country X will and then I'd be in deep
> shit, so best to make one first and hope for the best. And besides, there
> is
> something irresistible in working on such a Godlike project.

Let me know when you have a prototype up and running ;)

And I might add that there are people on this very list who think they can
> outsmart and control an intelligence a billion times greater than their
> own,
> by the time they learn they are wrong it will be too late.

For the record, nobody seriously working in the field is counting on being
able to outsmart or control (without its consent and active cooperation) an
intelligence greater than their own.
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