[ExI] simulation as an improvement over reality

Alan Grimes agrimes at speakeasy.net
Sun Dec 26 07:49:50 UTC 2010

spike wrote:
>> ... On Behalf Of Mike Dougherty

> On Sat, Dec 25, 2010 at 6:32 PM, Alan Grimes <agrimes at speakeasy.net> wrote:
>>> faggotry. Where as the charge of faggotry is easily avoided by either 

>> Are there any people you don't offend with your biased (bigoted) word
> choice?
> ...
>> You continue to amaze; nice job.

> Alan, I agree with Mike, your word choice makes me squirm.  I have
> confidence you could reword this in a less offensive way, please.

I'm shocked by how mature that response was.

I really wasn't thinking when I sent that previous message. I had
intended to recover by rim-shotting off the excessively angry responses
I had expected, but it looks like I'm being presented with a different

I've been in a funk not just from all the candy I've been gorging on but
also but also from learning that my 3 year younger sister is coming on
her 5th wedding anniversary and I've never even been on a date.
Furthermore, my only prospects have been offered by homosexual men! =\

But anyway, to answer your question, here is my reasoning.

As exciting as transhumanism is, we find that a vanishingly tiny number
of people seem capable of becoming interested in transhumanism.
Whittling that number down further, we find a phenomenon that I call the
"two weekers". A two-weeker is a person who learns about transhumanism
while going through a manic period in their lives. As the mania subsides
(as it always does), they disappear never to be heard from again. But
there are active transhumanists who have been in the community for many

Because humans tend to be couch patatoes, these long-term transhumanists
must have achieved an emotional state that allows them to maintain a
strong interest in transhumanism over many years. So, drawing from the
brain's emotional circuitry, we must find a motivational circuit that
produces strong, specific motivations over many years and in spite of
other changes in the person's life. That shortens the list of possible
neural circuits down to no more than a handful, probably only one.

This is, of course, nothing more than a supposition. If you look at who
shows up to the Saturday meetings in Extropia Core, there you find all
the usually suspects, ranging from gender dysphoria disorder, to grown
up abused chlidren. All the regulars can be found in DSM IV.

I am not casting stones here, only trying to extrapolate predictions
based on the future evolution of the minds around me. Indeed, I am in no
position whatsoever to cast even a pebble. My own brain is host to two
different fetishes, one of which is an extreme form of a fairly common
one, and another which has no name. Indeed, these form the core of my
interest in transhumanism. Now, what I find absolutely impossible to
believe is that the sexuality of these people has nothing to do with
their interest in transhumanism. No matter what lies they might choose
to utter, the core of their motivations must be tied into their sexual
drive somehow. (I simply tend to keep my mouth shut on the subject, as I
suspect many others do).

Alright, so what the hell does that mean?

Well, we have a clue: Uploading.

An impartial person who knows what Eugene knows about the future would
be desperate to warn the public and try to steer events towards a
situation where you could go down to the quickie mart and get yourself a
neural interface and a pair of bionic biceps. That would be pretty much
ideal on all fronts -- everyone walks out of the store happy, even if
they just wanted a soda.


We don't see that, now do we.

Anyone who comes in with such a bright, shiny vision of the future will
face a gauntlet of ridicule for being "backwards" and a "ludite". All
proposals for any kind of conventional life extension will be soundly
dismissed even before any technical details are aired because it is not
based on uploading.

What we see is people going out and evangelizing uploading in both
fiction, nonfiction, and on the lecture circuit. All roads lead towards
uploading and uploading is the only stated goal of transhumanism these
days. Indeed, there is no second choice for an end-product to the
transhumanist adventure listed anywhere.

But that only deepens the mystery. We have a group of people who are
powerfully motivated by some hot-wired version of their sexual impulses
and the thing that they've agreed to pursue is destructive brain uploading.


The single feature that shouts loudest in my mind is not the ability to
simulate your fantasies, it is the aspect of the *clean break* from your
former life. The aspect of simulated fantasies is hardly ever raised,
indeed most belabor the point that it will be "just like your formal
life", or "completely indistinguishable unless you are told". The aspect
of simulation is, however, much celebrated. What shouts loudest to me is
the acceptance, or rather the enthuseasm towards converting the whole of
the earth into computronium. -- An issue on which I alone man the

Here's my theory. Just as a person is attracted to what he desires, he
is repulsed by what he doesn't. For the fantasy to be fully realized, to
him, the reality must also be totally obliterated. That is the crux of
the issue. Obviously, they are wrong to want to obliterate their old
lives. Less obviously, they are wrong to think that uploading will solve
anything whatsoever. It won't and it can't because if you are unwilling
to accept what's behind you, you'll keep running and running until you
run out of universe.

Practically, what that means is that the current crop of leading
transhumanists will probably end up sliding deeper and deeper into utter
fantasy that they are unable, even if they are willing, to respond to
problems and even emergencies in the real world, even though that is the
only one that matters, and thus the system is ultimately doomed to
extinction from its very inception.

That is why all of my designs are centered around a hard-wired landline
to base reality. (If this is not base reality, the design would be
adjusted to whatever is).

Powers are not rights.

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