[extropy-chat] Re: Recipe for Destruction - Joy/Kurzweil NYTimes Op-Ed

Samantha Atkins sjatkins at mac.com
Wed Oct 19 01:50:25 UTC 2005

On Oct 18, 2005, at 6:30 PM, Russell Wallace wrote:

> On 10/19/05, Samantha Atkins <sjatkins at mac.com> wrote:
> The trouble is that you are very short on the how this can be  
> accomplished.
> I did say, did I not, that an antisocial and uncharismatic guy who  
> sits in a basement writing code is not the person to draw up  
> marketing plans? :)

Ah.  Good point.  :-)

> I'm rather long, however, on how to at least stop actively damaging  
> the chances of this being accomplished. And that's what this boils  
> down to: if you (plural) can't help, at least stop doing harm.

But exactly what is and is not harm?  Who decides?   Who has your trust?

> This is where we really need Eliezer Yudkowsky to write one of his  
> posts that summarize the matter with clarity that nobody else could  
> accomplish with a thousand times as many words. I'm no Eliezer, but  
> I'll try:
> Your (plural) instincts are telling you, someone is saying things  
> that might be in support of a position you oppose, so come up with  
> heartfelt arguments as to why this is wrong. They're telling you  
> that because that was the right survival strategy for your genes in  
> a hunter-gatherer tribe of 200 people where being a great- 
> grandparent meant getting to the top of the pecking order. In  
> modern times, they're a deadly liability. If you're a rationalist,  
> please try to see through this and turn off the switch long enough  
> to realize that arguments about why it's okay to publish this or  
> that _don't matter_. Then ask someone who knows about marketing and  
> politics (not me, please, I'd rather bow out of this discussion at  
> this stage anyway) the best way to move forward.

Academic freedom does matter.  Self-policing generally to mollify  
others who largely don't understand the problem space and have many  
unfounded or overblown fears and opinions is suicidal.   No, I do not  
think I am simply engaging in some kind of evolved pecking order game  
when I bring up the point.

Thanks awfully for the bananas though.

- samantha

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