[ExI] EUGENE!!!!!

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Sun Sep 8 11:19:52 UTC 2013

On Sat, Sep 07, 2013 at 11:59:39PM -0400, Alan Grimes wrote:
> You are really being counter-productive this week, Eugene.

Always happy to be of service.
> While we are in violent agreement about poly-ticks and, to some
> extent, about the state of our society, your continual repetition of
> the "All life is DOOOMED" crap is not helping the cause of
> transhumanism and I mean to call you out on that.
> We need people to work towards transhumanism.

Our future as a technological species is in jeopardy.
We first must arrest the ongoing regression before
progress has a chance to resume.

Right now we're doing a terrible job of it.

The core issue is that surplus energy is adaptively
transformed into fertility increase. A radical
approach would be engineering a sterility plague.

I doubt somebody crazy and capable enough is around on time,
so that's not going to happen. Luckily, urbanization
driven by landflight increases apparent density, setting
back feedback mechanisms, and high fertility is a
liability in cities.
> People need something to look forward to once the singularity arrives.
> When you tell them that there will be nothing but seating
> jungle-ecology of nanites people like everyone will look at it and

Not nanites. Postbiomass will have a much higher complexity spread,
and also scale. Individuum size may well follow a power law.
So you've got a metric buttload of tiny critters, but also
whoppers the size of a large mountain.

> ask "What good is that?" What value could that possibly have? And

Humanity is a tiny subset of life. Life doesn't give a shit about
what a single species thinks. Humanity as is is work in progress,
and not going to stick around in any recognizable way either way.

> they would be absolutely right.
> You are turning them off, Eugene.

That's possible. If you ever need really awful PR, give me a call.

> You are telling them that transhumanism is irredeemably evil, Eugene.

It is important to distinguish between what my own values are,
and what Darwin wants. I do not agree with Darwin. I will not
spam the universe with out of control hardware. I will help others
to figure out how to not do that.

So that's our job as transhumanists. First figure out how to
unfuck this planet, and then let's think about how to not
generate an irrecallable wave of pioneers. This boils down
to a transition from out-of-control to a considerable degree
of control. I'm not sure the solution is not going to become
worse than the apparent problem.
> I don't give a flying fuck whether the expansion front is
> inevitable. The present state of the universe seems to speak volumes

What we see gives us very little information.

> about that. I care whether it will be created by human hands,
> Eugene. I care whether my efforts towards a better future for myself
> will be perverted into committing atrocity  on a universal scale,
> Eugene.

I agree. 
> I actually want a better future FOR MYSELF, Eugene.

I also agree.
> A copy is not good enough.
> It has to be me.
> It has to be in a body that is compatible with my aesthetic tastes.

It's a hard problem, especially given that we're no longer
in 1970s anymore. A trajectory-pinching bottleneck is approaching 
(2050-2080s) that might well become a population bottleneck. If you 
care about people at all, at however abstract level, we should try to
minimize the number of people that are going to die.
> I will accept no compromises except those dictated by the laws of
> physics, Eugene.
> I will accept no vision, for myself, other than my own, Eugene.
> You are getting in my way, Eugene.

This is incorrect. A number of people, me included, are trying
make things better for many people, including you. You're aware
of a small part of it, actually. Unfortunately, I can't talk about 
it in any more detail yet. 
> You are dissuading people from contributing positively, Eugene.

This scuttlebutt here has shrunk down to a very small crowd.
What we talk about here doesn't make a difference. It's just
a social place to hang out. Don't take it all too seriously.
It's not worth it.
> Jeezus doGdammed mudderfugging christ, Eugene, have you, in the last
> five years, even uttered a scenario where this wildly diverse
> jungle-ecosystem of species of evolving nanites could even be
> survivable to even a human upload????

Of course. If you're the nucleation point, you're golden.
Expansion starts at periphery, is initially slow and directed
outwards. The core is doing what it always has been doing,
only more so.
> What will be the price, Eugene? What will remain, Eugene?
> Every fucking day I fantasize about flying a million ton starship

A megaton is a bit excessive. Think small, leave the drive
at home, and then, Oh, the Places You'll Go!

> out to the edge of the universe for fame, fortune, glory, and most
> of all, adventure. Am I supposed to be happy that you, Eugene,
> advocate allowing a future to take place where there is nothing but

I'm not advocating or allowing anything. I'm telling you what
the system naturally wants to do. You seem to be confusing that
with what I want to do. Nope, pegged me wrong.

> the nanotech equivalent of bacterium snuffing out every star, and
> devouring every planet?
> Your fatalism is driving me nuts, Eugene.
> It's long past time that you re-thought your life, Eugene.

Never stopped doing that.

> It's time for you to decide exactly what you WANT, Eugene.
> It is time for you to decide what GOOD future you want for yourself, Eugene.
> And it's time for you, Eugene, to get to work getting there instead
> of telling us how doomed we are once the nanites take over.

Which reminds me, there is a lit review to do, and I'm procrastinating.
> =|
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