[extropy-chat] Humans--non-rational mode

Lee Corbin lcorbin at tsoft.com
Sat Mar 11 01:36:50 UTC 2006

Russell writes

> On 3/10/06, Lee Corbin <lcorbin at tsoft.com> wrote:
> > We're operating on different levels. I'm thinking biology:
> > 
> >     Gene: The fundamental physical and functional unit of
> >     heredity....
> > Those things---in the sense that they're "selfish" a la
> > Dawkins---have made an awful mistake that greatly imperils 
> > their survival.
> > 
> > You're evidently thinking of our genes' collective hypothesis
> > that there is a niche for a thinking general purpose creature.
> > Indeed, the algorithms and propensities that the human genes
> > have created (what you're calling the essential part of the
> > information) entertain a good chance of scoring really big
> > in this universe.
> Well, by "the essential part of the information" I mean something 
> more than the "hypothesis that there is a niche for a thinking 
> general purpose creature". There is a lot of information in the 
> human way of experiencing life, as opposed to that of some 
> unspecified general intelligence.

Agreed. And it is *this* information that there is hope for.

> Take the distant future, say 10^14 years, when all the stars will 
> have burned out (though other energy sources such as dark matter 
> annihilation and proton decay may still be available); will genes 
> in the biological sense - sequences of nucleotides coding for 
> proteins - still exist? Unlikely. Will the human way of experiencing 
> life still exist? I hope so. If it does, I will think it meaningful 
> to say our genetic inheritance has survived, in the same sort of 
> way that if my mind is uploaded into an electronic substrate I 
> will say that I have survived even though my neurons have not.

Okay.  Like I say, two different ways of speaking essentially
the same thing: I'd call it simply "us", and I'd mean "our values,
predispositions, beliefs, dispositions, preferences, and attitudes".

To me *we* are, (in the sense "to be identified with") those things.
Those things are both genetic (genes) and environmental (memes, 
mostly) in origin.  It is *we* as a race that I hope survives.
Your way of speaking emphasizes our origins, and mine does not;
but we seem to totally agree on substance.


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