[extropy-chat] Singularity Blues

Mike Lorrey mlorrey at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 6 12:49:14 UTC 2005

--- Samantha Atkins <sjatkins at mac.com> wrote:
> On Apr 5, 2005, at 9:11 AM, Mike Lorrey wrote:
> > I think history shows that not only are humans more capable than
> cynics
> > think to handle change, actual change tends to be far less dramatic
> > than the cynics fear and the optimists hope for.
> We are not talking about something that has any historical analogue. 
> So historical experiences of change are disastrously irrelevant.

Sure we do. European technology exposed to native Americans, times ten.
The thing you are forgetting is it isn't going to be an immediate
event. We will be easing our way over the edge for many years before it
happens (it is already starting) so by the time it gets really hairy
from our current point of view, we will be quite inured to radical
> >  Most people will choose to live their lives out as they always
> > have, with a few marked improvements, and change will happen, but
> > outside of those who fear change reacting more strongly to it,
> change
> > will happen and people will adapt because people have been adapting
> to
> > change for a century or more now.
> You don't seem to have much idea what is coming, or you don't believe
> it.

I have a very good idea of what is coming. I think it will wind up
being much more as well as much less than is written about. Unlike past
technological dislocations, we don't live in a static world suddenly
confronted by radical change. We are learning to surf the change waves,
to paraphrase Hughes. By the time the tsunami hits, most people will
have some idea of how to stay on their boards, some will be experts,
and others will struggle impotently trying to bomb the wave.

Only those who want to be truly different will become truly different.
Most people IMHO, don't want that, which I think is the real lesson of
Stross' novel: after a brief period of technological intoxication, and
a small percent of the population migrates into new states of being,
most people will get on with their lives with lots of new toys but will
wind up craving stability even more. Sentimentalism and romanticism for
the past will be quite popular.

Mike Lorrey
Vice-Chair, 2nd District, Libertarian Party of NH
"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom.
It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
                                      -William Pitt (1759-1806) 
Blog: http://intlib.blogspot.com

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