[ExI] endpoint of evolution: was RE: why anger?

x at extropica.org x at extropica.org
Fri Feb 26 18:51:28 UTC 2010

On Fri, Feb 26, 2010 at 9:00 AM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:
>> ...On Behalf Of Stathis Papaioannou
> ...
>> > ...If we then send nanoprobes into the
>> > rest of the galaxy to turn other stars' metals into computronium,
>> > destroying all indigenous life there but facilitating the thinking of
>> > pure thought, is that not evolution in action?
>> To be strictly correct, those who oppose environment-altering
>> engineering have to change the language they use slightly to
>> say that that which nature created prior to the advent of
>> technologically capable humans is good and worth preserving.
>> --
>> Stathis Papaioannou
> OK I am with you on that, but let's look at the endpoint question:
> What is the ultimate endpoint of evolution?


> Question please: is there any other logical endpoint for evolution besides
> an MBrain?

Jarring to see on this list "endpoint" in reference to evolution,
which is not only the only known source of persistent novelty, but is
itself evolving.

Is this just another example of the reification of agent-centered
"intelligence", constraining nearly all transhumanist discussion to
anthropocentric imaginings of personal immortality, godlike powers,
inexhaustible monkey-hedonism, and protection by benevolent AI nanny?

There was a time when speculation about such as Kardashev levels,
Matrioshka Brains, and evolution as a process of increasing perfection
could be excused--those were simpler times and we didn't have the
wealth of information now easily accessible on the net.

Not very long ago, most of these topics were seen as engineering
problems--how to make things bigger, faster, stronger--and the leading
paradigm was that of the digital computer.

Since then, we (should have) seen the rise of chaos and complexity
theory, ubiquitous fractal self-similarity, increasing
ephemeralization, "evolution" as merely a special case of free-energy
rate density and "intelligence" merely a phase--with increasing
awareness that its not so much about engineering but about
information--and the leading paradigm becomes that of an ecology with
sustainable, ongoing, meaningful growth.

My point:  What the hell happened to halt the growth of the Extropy
discussion list?  I seem to remember that back in the 90s it was
pretty much leading edge.


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