[extropy-chat] limits of computer feeling

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Tue Mar 13 11:36:35 UTC 2007

On 3/13/07, Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org> wrote:

On Tue, Mar 13, 2007 at 07:37:55PM +1100, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> >    No doubt, someone will try to regulate self-modification, but it is
> >    interesting to speculate as to what would happen if it were allowed
> to
> Frontiers are always unregulated. There will be plenty of experimentation.
> >    develop unfettered. We would have to consider not only second order
> >    desires but also third and higher order desires. For example, if
> >    someone felt uncertain as to what they should desire, instead of
> >    seeing a desire consultant they might simply nullify the
> uncomfortable
> >    aspect of the uncertainty, rendering themselves confident and happy
> >    with any decision they might make. I think the equilibrium point in
> Nobody can bliss out forever ignoring the physical layer.

No, you'd die: hence, you would need either a separate servitor to look
after the hardware or a subprocess of yourself not completely preoccupied
with bliss.

>    this process will ultimately be a computer heaven in which the
> >    inhabitants experience maximum pleasure for no effort, as John K
> Clark
> >    has suggested. However, it may be a long process before someone gets
> >    to heaven, and there will always be at least the eccentrics who
> >    deliberately limit their self-modification (perhaps by modifying
> >    themselves so that they are never again tempted to modify
> themselves).
> >    Moreover, even if everyone is in the heaven computer, there will be
> >    either servitors who will maintain it, and will have blocks in place
> If your computer is your body, why would you hire external craft
> (cosmetologists?) to take care of it?

For the above reason: if you devote all of your processing power to
pleasure, you would need an independent subprocess which would not be
tempted to join you sitting around doing nothing in heaven. My conception of
the situation was of multiple posthumans on a computer network rather than
free-ranging entities.

>    so they are not diverted from their goal. These servitors might
> >    continue to explore the universe, or give rise to new transhumans who
> "servitors might continue to explore the universe", well, I guess that
> means that the meek won't inherit the Earth, but certainly the stars.
> Where can I sign up as such a servitor?

Then you would be one of the posthumans who decide not to enter the heaven
computer. Maybe you would even modify yourself so that you were never
tempted. You wouldn't be missing out, because you could have just as much
fun doing X as you could sitting around doing nothing.

>    will pursue this or other goals prior to self-modifying their way into
> >    their final resting place.
> You people have really strange future models. Darwinian systems never
> converge to a static state. At best you'd get a Red Queen equilibrium.

I agree, you would never reach a position where everyone was in static
bliss, because there would always be, for example, the unconventional and
eccentric, as well as newly formed posthumans.

Stathis Papaioannou
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