[ExI] Call To Libertarians (David Lubkin)

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Wed Feb 23 16:00:24 UTC 2011

On Tue, Feb 22, 2011 at 9:36 PM,   David Lubkin <lubkin at unreasonable.com> wrote:


> This simplification also highlights the differences in political
> philosophies. Probably all of us would agree that
> (A) Initiation of force is bad.
> (B) Starving children is bad.
> The question is which is worse. A libertarian would say initiation of
> force is unacceptable; figure out some other way to feed starving
> children. A liberal would say that starving children is unacceptable
> and so be it if force is necessary to avoid it.

An evolutionary psychologist would say that even the future
possibility of starving children (bleak economic times) turns up the
gain on xenophobic memes, a situation that led to war among hunter
gathered people.  This was noted on NPR this morning as a major cause
of an upsurge in hate groups in the US.  (Without an EP explanation of
why this happens.)

> Two equally smart, rational, caring people can reasonably prioritize
> differently and rigorously derive different conclusions.

And evolutionary psychologist would make that case that "smart,
rational or caring" affects only on the margins of evolved
psychological brain mechanisms.  I.e., this is as wired in as ducks
flying south in response to shortening days.  People do differ in how
it takes to turn on "war mode" mechanisms.

> Looking in a transhumanist future, as long as we are distinct
> individuals, there will be room for competition, cooperation, and
> trade. That is something we talked about on the original list. Keith,
> if I'm not mistaken, wanted to have a quadrillion copies of himself
> with starships off exploring the universe, to report back to each
> other at our end-of-the-universe party. There are no limits to want.
> You can always want more than you have or more than exists.
> Could we be a single computronium borganism? I suspect not. I think
> that as long as there's transmission lag, a system that big will be a society.

Given expected switching times in the picosecond range or faster,
borgs might be limited to the dimensions of a human and off planet
societies highly decoupled from each other.  Interstellar society
might be impossible--which may be why we don't see any.

We have historical records as to how much communication delay is
tolerable before a society splits.  A million to one subjective speed
up puts round trip communication to the moon at 4 (subjective) weeks.
You don't want to even think about Mars.

> And, therefore, the same choices apply if I want what you have as they do now.
> Democracy, though, doesn't seem a viable concept in a transhumanist
> future. We'd all be too different in capabilities for "one being, one vote."

Charles Stross, member of the early list, discusses this at some
length in Accelerando.


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