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

Russell Wallace russell.wallace at gmail.com
Sat Jan 14 19:48:36 UTC 2006

On 1/14/06, Samantha Atkins <sjatkins at mac.com> wrote:
> On Jan 14, 2006, at 11:11 AM, Russell Wallace wrote:
> Out of curiosity, how close to the Singularity do you think we are?
> About one generation away if we don't do something stupid.

I hope you're right! I think it's likely to take longer, even in the best
case scenario; but if the Singularity does arrive in one generation, feel
free to say "see, Russell, you were being unnecessarily grouchy and
pessimistic" and I'll agree that this was indeed so :) Operationally, I'll
keep trying to figure out how to prove myself wrong.

Of late I think the odds of us doing something catastrophically stupid are
> higher than the odds of Singularity by a growing margin.  That is not a
> happy conclusion.

No indeed! I'm actually a bit more optimistic than you are on this one,
since I think civilization is strong enough to withstand any single
catastrophic error.

I also believe that the Singularity is increasingly much more likely to come
> out of the East rather than the West.

Maybe; fair play to them if that does happen, as long as _someone_ manages
to pull it off.

- Russell
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