[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
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:
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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