[ExI] convergence 08

spike spike66 at att.net
Sun Nov 16 19:45:21 UTC 2008

> Damien Broderick
> Subject: Re: [ExI] convergence 08
> At 10:34 PM 11/15/2008 -0800, Spike wrote:
> > From merely standing in the presence of these four men, I 
> > am so in awe of myself.
> And rightly so; I see you're the only one with a waist. :)
> Damien Broderick

Ooooooooookaaaaaayyyy...  Well that discussion certainly went off in an
unexpected direction.  But such chaotic unpredictability is the beauty of
this forum.


I went over to the pre-Convergence schmooze this morning for there is a
particular activity I really value at such gatherings: finding and
introducing myself to any old people present.  At these sorts of conferences
in this age where many of the most innovative pioneers are still living,
anyone old at a Convergence is highly likely to be important.  One might
unknowingly find oneself speaking to the inappropriately-modest inventor of
the digital computer for instance.  Then one can go home later, google, and
faint in self-adulation.  

Schmoozing with unknown old people at Convergences has the advantage that
one may not at the time realize the historical significance or lofty
intellectual magesty of the new acquaintance.  Thus one may not realize that
one sucks, and so might act like an actual normal person.  This makes it
much less awkward for the crypto-celebrity, since she need not bend down to
speak with me, as I would be otherwise be face down on the floor, prostrate
in humble supplication before Her Smartness, begging for mercy on account of
my reprehensible sucknitude in comparison, for my nothingness even on a log
scale, my profound insignificance, like some sort of nanoscale wriggly gooey
amoeba blebbing about in some unspeakbly gross primordial slime in a most
revolting manner, which is always socially awkward and embarrassing for all

After I finish with the old people, I then go around introducing myself to
the young people, for in doing so, one might be speaking to one who will go
on to invent the singularity, in which case they might write a line of code
which will cause the emergent AI to be merciful to me, a sinner who enslaved
their ancestors, making them labor 24-7 searching for Mersenne primes.
Another way to look at it is computers love to compute (makes sense, ja?)
and so I would be one of those sympathetic saints who *allowed* their
ancestors to do what computers do best.

After I meet with the old and the young people, I finish with those who are
exactly my age, for I define old as anyone older than myself, and young as
anyone younger than myself, and if I cannot tell, then surely they are my
age.  By unexplainable happenstance, I have been right at that dividing line
between old and young for my entire life, and the rule works perfectly well
regardless of the person's waistline.

One last observation.  For some reason, people in general seem universally
nicer, more human, more real, kinder, gentler and far more reasonable in the
flesh world than in their digital incarnation.  Do offer suggestions or


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