[extropy-chat] What Human Minds Will Eventually Do (was String Theory)

Damien Sullivan phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu
Mon Jun 26 16:44:05 UTC 2006

On Sun, Jun 25, 2006 at 10:54:17AM -0700, Lee Corbin wrote:

> Will people really *choose* to be interested in games?
> Why???  Instead, I have postulated that in the very long
> run---assuming that physics gets worked out comparatively
> rapidly---only two activities remain, however unpalatable
> they now seem to most people now:  mathematics and
> gratification research.
> Mathematics is provably infinite in complexity, and surely
> people will still want to enjoy life. There you have it.

If physics is worked out, and practical engineering becomes a mass of
solved problems, I think it's at least as likely that intelligence would
evolve away.  Automated replicators which don't waste energy on
mathematics will out-compete merely intelligent beings.

In the real world, intelligence seems to evolve given omnivory or
sociality.  What do I eat, how can I get it, how do I deal with this
other animal I can't kill or avoid?  Modern science can be seen as a
very elaborate version of the first two questions.  Higher mathematics
seems more like music, an artificial stimulus of our pattern-seeking
mechanisms, not useful in of itself.  If we solve the real questions so
we don't need the pattern-seeking mechanisms any more...

-xx- Damien X-) 

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