[ExI] From Arms Race to Joint Venture

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Tue Oct 16 16:04:48 UTC 2018


From: extropy-chat <extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org> On Behalf Of Dave Sill

>…A "perfect" intelligence in a box, without the knowledge that it's in a box and without the power to get out of the box isn't going anywhere…


The problem with a perfect intelligence in a box is that it always does have the power to get out, in a sense.  It can convince those who are already outside the box to do things in accordance with its desires.  It spews memes.  It finds out it is in a box, then controls the world using its carbon-based appendages.  If I had a perfect intelligence in a box, I too would be tempted to do as it suggested, even if it doesn’t make much sense.  Humans already do this.  We whack off part of the penis because a long time ago a supernatural intelligence told people to do it, then it just kinda spread.


>…If you're right we're undoubtedly screwed, because there's zero chance that all of the parties involved will join hands and sing Kumbaya.  -Dave


Dave I must clear up a misconception with regard to Kumbaya.  We use it as a symbol of people getting along, rainbow people swaying in unison at summer camp and so forth, but the plausible urban legend has it that the term came from a missionary who was attempting to write the bible in the obscure language of a remote tribe.  He had trained up a translator to help.  Wanting his version of scripture to appeal to the young men of the tribe, he pointed to a group of young men standing idly by (as the women did all the work (isn’t that they way it is?)) and asked her: what do you call them (pointing to the young men.)  She gave him a word which means worthless bastards.


So he went up to them with his new word and said “Hey you collection of [worthless bastards] what is the word for peace and love?  They replied in unison Kumbaya, which means [go fuck yourself asshole.]  


He incorporated the word and the song is with us to this day.


A similar origin applies to the term Hallelujah.  Handel would be horrified if he had known.  


If you are in a setting where either Kumbaya or Handel’s Hallelujah chorus is being sung and someone has to just leave because he cannot control his laughter, you know what is his native language.  Object lesson: always be suspicious of words whose etymology is unknown or suspect.



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