[extropy-chat] More forwards please

Robert Bradbury robert.bradbury at gmail.com
Thu Jan 11 23:57:51 UTC 2007

On 1/11/07, Jef Allbright <jef at jefallbright.net> wrote:
> I don't have official statistics, but my guess would be that the
> distribution was something like 18-30 yrs: 25%,   31-49 yrs: 50%,   50+ yrs:
> 25%.  So average age about 40 yrs.

That is better than I would have expected.

> (A) No I don't think I would choose to stand outside with such a sign.  I
> don't think it would be effective.

Because....?  Would you have to be Steve Jobs (who is older than 50) to make
a statement that causes people to get serious?

(B) No, I don't think they would really mean it.  See Keith Henson for the
> (evolutionary) psychology.

So, you are saying... Money talks, people walk... ???  At what point does
humanity flip from being concerned about self-survival to species (or
concept) survival?  Or does it ever?  Is it ever possible to make the flip
where morality or "rightness" trumps ones personal self interest?  (It goes
without saying that always being focused on ones own self interest (or $$$)
limits the phase space of development).  [1]  Keith may wish to offer some
insights here.  Is there any hope? [2]

iRobot has had two main product lines:  (1) Consumer products which are
> variations on the Roomba floor cleaning robot, and (2) the military PakBot
> robot.  Just now, at the CES show, they announced the new iRobot Create
> which is a hobbyist/development platform based on a stripped-down Roomba at
> a very affordable price.  There was much discussion about how this was hoped
> to stimulate interest in diverse new applications.

So in other words, "you" the altruistic (cough) public can develop the
applications that really *help* people.  We on the other hand will continue
to develop the applications responsible for ending human lives because that
is where the profits lie.


1. Sounds like I need to go out and sign up for the not-so-friendly-AI camp
since the "human" camp is doomed.  Maybe "There can be only one" is the
right philosophy.
2. There is a point when inbred survival instincts are trumped.  It might be
achieved by biotechnology but will more likely not be until robust
nanotechnology becomes available.  At that point in the time of human
development the "evolutionary" survival instincts become no-ops.  All
survival instincts and memes at that point are "software".  So what drives
oneself would be entirely "of ones own invention" rather than built into
ones being.  The question would be "How long after our survival needs are
met do we continue to operate as if they are not met?"
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