[ExI] A very surreal day

Benjamin Goertzel ben at goertzel.org
Thu Jul 5 02:02:56 UTC 2007

Wow, that is hilarious!!!

Someone has **got** to sneak a video camera in there, and post
the thing on YouTube....

If I were free any of those days I would definitely take the train up to NY
to check it out ;-)


On 7/4/07, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky <sentience at pobox.com> wrote:
> Yeah.
> So.
> Um.
> 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
> Yudkowski_
> "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:
> http://www.bricktheater.com/pretentious/
> 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:
> http://www.theatermania.com/content/show.cfm/section/synopsis/show/133057
> *
> 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:
>    http://www.nytheatre.com/nytheatre/P07rev_02.htm#400
> *
> 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:
> http://tba-ny.blogspot.com/2007/07/bobby-silverman-my-nemesis-where-has.html
> 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:
> http://www.amrep.org/people/patrick.html
> *
> 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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