[ExI] A very surreal day

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky sentience at pobox.com
Wed Jul 4 23:27:49 UTC 2007




You ever have one of those days where you're, like, checking 
Technorati to see if anyone has linked to singinst.org recently, and 
you come across a blog post which mentions that -

- and as Buddha and Belldandy and the Flying Spaghetti Monster are my 
witnesses, I swear that I am not making any of this up and moreover it 
checks out and doesn't look like a joke -

- where was I?  Right.  So apparently there's this guy in New York 
whose name I can't remember ever hearing, and who doesn't seem to have 
ever emailed me, who's written and directed a play called:

_Yudkowski Returns: The Rise And Fall And Rise Again of Dr. Eliezer 

"In a seemingly deserted island, Dr. Eliezer Yudkowski and his 
artificial intelligence drones and cohorts wage a war to keep their 
circular narrative from ending.  Their only weapon?  The hope that 
humanity can finally evolve. (90 min)"

Written and directed by Bob Saietta (possibly a.k.a. Bobby Silverman).

This has already had one run and is being brought back for another, at 
something called "The Pretentious Festival" at the Brick Theater in 
Brooklyn, NY:


If you're going to be in New York on:

Tue 7/24 8pm
Tue 7/26 7:30pm
Sat 7/28 3pm
Sat 7/28 9pm
Sun 7/29 3pm

You can buy tickets for $10:



Yudkowski Returns!
reviewed by Robert Weinstein

Dr. Eliezer Yudkowski, the lead character in Yudkowski Returns (The 
Rise And Fall And Rise Again Of Dr. Eliezer Yudkowski) wishes he were 
Japanese. He sits at a desk scattered with seemingly random 
paraphernalia, downloads episodes of Lost and analyzes the homoerotic 
subtext of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He orders Chinese food. He puts 
on his Psycho-Sociological Hat, dances around the theatre and leaps 
into the narcissistic void of his psyche created by a recent breakup. 
He restages significant moments while putting others in newfound 
contexts depending on his ability to understand them. And he is not alone.

He has the audience, whom he addresses frequently and with a 
plastered-on smile, and he has The Assistant, a friendly, disheveled, 
and increasingly confused woman who is at different times his 
girlfriend, his girlfriend-as-ex, his confidante, and his conscience. 
Is she real? I'm not confident Dr. Yudkowski knows. But their 
isolation—his voluntary, hers more problematic—creates an incredibly 
complex relationship which plays out as they wait on the appearance of 
The Singularity, an Artificial Intelligence technology that can solve 
all of life's unsolvable problems. It makes sense of the nonsensical 
and will bring an end to all of humanity's conflicts as well as Dr. 
Yudkowski's isolation and, quite possibly, The Assistant's existence.

[ Continued at:


Apparently I'm played by Patrick McCaffrey:

"A charming assistant introduces the entrance of (cue the cheesy 
music...) Doctor Yudkowski, played by Patrick, who exudes all the 
charisma and appeal that Tom Cruise should have had in _Magnolia_."

That was from the original blog post I found, at:

I know what you're all wondering:  "How does Eliezer look in the 
director's vision of what his life *should* be like?"  Apparently I 
look like this:



Since no one had the courtesy to notify me that a play had been 
produced about my life - and possibly Erin's, though I don't know if 
The Assistant is based on her - if anyone in New York goes to this, do 
please bring back some photos.  Though it would probably appeal more 
to the taste of my enemies than my friends, unless you have a very 
liberal sense of humor.

I used to describe myself as a D-list celebrity.  But I guess that 
when they produce a play about your life, with your name in the title, 
and they don't bother to tell you, it means you've officially been 
promoted to a C-list celebrity.  I think next I'm supposed to release 
a sex tape of myself or something - no wait, that's how you go from 
the B-list to the A-list.

It's been a very surreal day.

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky                          http://singinst.org/
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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