[ExI] Warren Buffett is worried too and thinks Republicans are "asinine"

Omar Rahman rahmans at me.com
Wed Oct 23 08:11:36 UTC 2013

> Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2013 16:28:18 -0700
> From: "spike" <spike66 at att.net>
> Subject: Re: [ExI] Warren Buffett is worried too and thinks
> 	Republicans are	"asinine"
> Message-ID: <016801ceceb5$3a47f5c0$aed7e140$@att.net>

>> ... On Behalf Of Anders Sandberg
>> ...Subject: Re: [ExI] Warren Buffett is worried too and thinks Republicans
> are "asinine"
> On 21/10/2013 10:18, Omar Rahman wrote:
>> I put to you list members that: the crazed billionaires backing the 
>> Brethren of the Koolaid are in fact far more extropian than us here on 
>> this list...
> Crazed billionaires, contradiction in terms.  If we are crazed, then we are
> just crazed.  But with ownership of sufficient piles of money, it is known
> as respectfully as eccentric, as was the case with Bruce Wayne.  Howard
> Hughes was extremely eccentric, growing ever more so as he approached the
> end of his life.  Had he actually lost all his money, he would have been
> demoted to crazy, even if he had managed to regain is clinical sanity.
>> ...Sitting on top of their mountains of money they can see 
>> further, just as those who stand on the shoulders of giants can see...
> (...snif...)  Omar, I am proud of you, me lad.
>> ...They can see the wave robotisation that will drive many jobs out of 
>> the hands of humans...
> The beauty of it all is that we can too, even if we are poor.  The rich have
> the advantage of the theoretical ability to make their visions a reality,
> and if successful, they get to scale ever-higher mountains of money and get
> to see even further.  Our challenge as poor proles is to compensate for our
> lack of money with ever sharper vision and ever deeper analytical thought.
> If we see further than the wealthy on their lofty perches, we may join them
> up there.  With the sharp-eyed foresight we developed down here, we get to
> see even further than they do once we are at the same altitude on our own
> piles of money.  Our vision will then be enhanced with our own ability to
> buy our visions into reality.  Ain't life grand?
>> ... They are the primary beneficiaries of this...
> Well sure.  But I would argue that we poor have benefitted wildly from
> certain visionaries, the computer gurus from the 70s, the electronics
> visionaries before them, the medical pioneers before them, my heroes, all.
> I bless their wealth.
>> ... It isn't an academic discussion for them it's a business plan. Anders
> and 
>> others recently posted information about jobs that will/could be soon 
>> computerised or robotised; egotistical crazed billionaire was not on 
>> any list that I saw...
> I can imagine a convincing software simulation an egotistical crazed
> billionaire.  If well done, it could be nearly as annoying as the real
> thing.  I have met (as far as I know) only one billionaire personally, and
> he was a most pleasant and interesting gentleman.  One could meet him at a
> party and never know he had stacks of cash.  They don't dress or act like
> that banker guy with the top hat in the Monopoly game.

Well, extrapolating from a sample size of one aside....=D

>> ... Being rich in a capitalist economy is a useful state, since it means
> that you can earn a living just by existing and having certain possessions.
> In fact, it might be the *only* stable state in sufficiently AI-enriched
> economies... Anders Sandberg
> Anders, I am really turned on by this kind of talk.  Rich people are our
> friends.  Rather, most of them are, or can be.  If they are atheists, they
> might decide to pour a pile of money into something like cryonics before
> they perish.  Bill Gates is doing a lot of good things with his dough.  My
> one billionaire acquaintance is supporting SIAI.  If you look, good chance
> most of the Silicon Valley jillionaires are driving good things into
> reality.
> spike

My point is that they might have interests that align with 'ours' but they might not, just like regular people. However, I would maintain that there is a fundamental change in things when your money reaches such a size that if forms self sustaining structures (trusts, inheritances, locating itself in tax havens, etc.) and attracts hordes of intelligent beings (accountants, lawyers, tax advisors, sycophants, etc.) to advise and amuse the 'owner' of the wealth. These activities seems roughly analogous to the behaviour of some sort of AI/Post-singularity entity.

Gates is an interesting case for me because I can remember back in the old anti-trust days when Microsoft was making serious moves to be the only viable OS and I thought that Microsoft was a company that really needed reigning in. Now they have backed off from that hegemonist stance and Gates is saving thousands, perhaps millions, of lives with his foundation.

Gates is a good guy these days basically, but we shouldn't forget that he almost took over the (computing) world.


Omar Rahman

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