[extropy-chat] On difficult choices (was: Books: Harris; Religion and Reason)

Russell Wallace russell.wallace at gmail.com
Thu Jan 12 10:18:02 UTC 2006

On 1/12/06, Marc Geddes <m_j_geddes at yahoo.com.au> wrote:
> In fact the more I've learned about Ai stuff, the more
> confident I am that there's no danger.  I would never
> have posted the things I did to Sl4 , wta-talk and the
> Extropy list if I wasn't
> very very very very very very very VERY confident that
> Eli is wrong.  That's why I've been taking the mikey
> out of him.

Oddly, you're right about this, though for the wrong reasons.

That a race as mighty as 21st century Man could be exterminated by
implacable Terminators with glowing red eyes and plasma rifles wielded by a
superintelligence, at least makes intuitive and aesthetic sense. It's no
more going to happen in real life than the USS Enterprise hitting Warp
Factor 10, alas.

The entities exterminating us aren't aliens from outer space in flying
saucers with force shields that can withstand a nuclear explosion. The
terrible truth is that we already know them. MTV. East Enders. Zoning laws.
MAs in political science.
It makes sense, of course; the one thing an exterminator meme can't look
like is an exterminator meme, otherwise almost by definition it wouldn't be
one. Bacteria die to penicillin; HIV, the simplest thing, slips by.

Sic transit gloria mundi.

Unless we can win, in the timeslot available. I used to think if it took
until 2500 AD, so it it. I was wrong. The clock really is ticking.

- Russell
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