[ExI] to my fellow renaissance life forms

John Grigg possiblepaths2050 at gmail.com
Sun Aug 15 00:54:08 UTC 2021

BillK wrote:
"Civilisation ends bathed in continuous pleasure."

A recent popular singularity scenario is where we are ruled by AI not at
gunpoint, but by the hordes of sexbots that keep us contented. And so AI
takes on the role of the seducer/seductress...


On Sat, Aug 14, 2021 at 2:24 AM BillK via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> On Sat, 14 Aug 2021 at 05:51, spike jones via extropy-chat
> <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
> >
> > If it has been a while, re-read Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four, and read
> carefully please.  This applies to people in every country everywhere.
> >
> > Read some of the other old time classic lit, such as Lord of the Flies,
> and Hofstadter’s Godel, Escher, Bach.
> >
> > spike
> > _______________________________________________
> Orwell wrote 1984 and Huxley wrote Brave New World.
> Consider who turned out to be more accurate.
> <
> https://graspingatawes.com/2021/02/08/neil-postmans-famous-comparison-of-the-prophetic-insights-of-orwell-vs-huxley/
> >
> Quote from Postman 'Amusing ourselves to death' in 1985 ----
> Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally imposed
> oppression. But in Huxley’s vision, no Big Brother is required to
> deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it,
> people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies
> that undo their capacities to think.
> What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared
> was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no
> one who wanted to read one.
> Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared
> those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity
> and egoism.
> Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared
> the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance.
> Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we
> would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of
> the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy.
> As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil
> libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose
> tyranny “failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite
> for distractions.” In 1984, Huxley added, people are controlled by
> inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting
> pleasure.
> ----------------
> Quote from Ben L Self in 2021 --
> In the years since Postman published that passage, I think the
> internet and the general proliferation of recording technologies have
> given us a little more cause to be concerned about the kind of
> propaganda-infused “groupthink” and the prospect of the “surveillance
> state” Orwell feared than Postman predicted. The internet has
> certainly become a powerful tool for surveillance and the spread of
> propaganda and disinformation, and if you want to see a disturbing
> modern manifestation of Orwell’s dystopian vision, look no further
> than to what’s been happening in China.
> That said, the overwhelming impact of modern media and communication
> technologies has clearly been to numb and distract the public through
> pleasure, rather than to forcefully deprive us of our autonomy. In
> that sense, I think Huxley (and by extension Postman) was spot-on.
> The two ideas that most stick out to me from the passage are
> (1) that “people will come to love their oppression [like any
> addiction], to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to
> think” and
> (2) that we will be bombarded with so much information (most of it
> trivial) that “we would be reduced to passivity and egoism” and “the
> truth would [thus] be drowned in a sea of irrelevance.”
> Those two fears have clearly been realized to a disturbing extent.
> -----------------------------
> Spike's frontiersman independent spirit is clearly more opposed to
> Orwell's view of oppression from governments and restrictions on his
> freedom. But for the great majority of the modern world's population
> the greater threat is voluntarily giving up their freedom in return
> for pleasure and distraction.
> It is the current version of 'wire-heading' --
> <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wirehead_(science_fiction)>
> Civilisation ends bathed in continuous pleasure.
> BillK
> _______________________________________________
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> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
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