[ExI] Consequentialist world improvement

spike spike66 at att.net
Wed Oct 10 00:56:11 UTC 2012

>... On Behalf Of spike

>...Regarding collecting enough material to make a convincing reply-bot, the
success of that effort would likely be a function of how much material could
be collected and how imaginative was the person on whom the table is based.
I do get the feeling that it has only been fairly recently that home
computers have had the memory capacity to do this trick.  spike


This *might* be within my own modest programming skills to do something like
this.  It wouldn't fool the old timers, but plenty of the new guys who
weren't around on ExI back in the 90s might get carried along, at least for
a while.  It would be a hoot!

There was a feller we haven't heard from in a long time whose name I will
intentionally omit, or just call him Omar.  He used to post here a lot in
the old days, kinda grumpy sometimes, but wasn't that way offline at all.
He was a smart, interesting guy, very creative and interesting sort.  He
disappeared for a long time, then popped back in to say he was seriously
ill, commented on a couple of math posts of mine, then no more.  Haven't
heard a thing from Omar in over three years now, and he didn't post anything
that I know of on ExI-chat other than the somber medical news and the math
stuff in the past six years.  I know we have guys who have showed up here
since then, so my task would be to go through the archives, download all the
Omar posts, place them in a table, figure out a bot of some kind to index
them by subject.  Then use that bot to classify new posts, paragraph by
paragraph according to subject.  Then auto-reply, see if we could match
subjects and insert material that Omar wrote a long time ago, see if we
could pass him off as a current human.

If he has passed away however, I feel weird about doing this.  It feels
vaguely wrong.  Is it ethical?  What would Anders do?  On the other hand, if
he is gone, this is a rather special way to honor the man, and let his
family know he was special to us.  He is gone but not forgotten, and in a
sense, not even completely gone.

If one often gets the feeling one should spend less time downloading one's
brain into ExI-chat, a cheerful thought is that it might not be such a
terrible waste.  You might be creating your future posthumous self with each
paragraph you write.


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