[ExI] Life @ Playstation

Stefano Vaj stefano.vaj at gmail.com
Sun Nov 4 13:17:24 UTC 2012

On 4 November 2012 13:34, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:

> Hi Stefano thanks for the info, sir.  Is there any kind of status report or
> anything that can be shown for what Folding has accomplished?  It gobbled
> up
> a lotta CPU cycles, and many of us here contributed some, so it stands to
> reason there should exist somewhere some kind of progress report, ja?

Accomplishments it terms of fame and fortune for its managers are listed

More seriously, this is the science product as of today:

Even if the theory is flawed and we didn't get anything, we demonstrated
> that idle CPU
> cycles can be used for research, so don't feel you need to defend what has
> been done.  SETI at home didn't find anything either.  Or look at it this
> way:
> the human genome project didn't do what we thought it would do.

Yup. I am not into hard sciences myself, and as an "intellectual" I am
mainly concerned with societal values, trends and philosophies, so I have
always paid more attention, eg, to the number of contributors - which tells
us something about what people care of - than to the raw power put together
or the results of a given research axis.

But one area where the two issues overlap is a general cultural environment
where not only does popular prometheism and futurism seem at an all-time
low since 1870, together with investments in, and societal commitment to,
fundamental R&D, but expected breakthroughs are delayed or never happen
also because of a lack of grand, original, out-of-the-box, lateral-thinking
visions in many fields of fundamental science.

In spite of the decline of western educational systems, some geniuses may
well be walking amongst us but if they are real geniuses they are likely
too be engaged in the study of the newest and best Ponzi scheme, and if
they really really have to be into science they probably specialise in
strategies for getting short-term visibility and grants. See Smolin's The
Trouble with Physics.

Alas, most transhumanists do not appear to pay much attention to the
sociology and the cultural anthropology of all that, and trust that the
Kurzweil's S-shaped curves are going to deliver anyway, so that our efforts
- if any - should be devoted to "steer" a progress which is taken for
granted, or to decide how its dividends are to be shared. See for instance
many positions expressed by the Singularity Institute or the IEET.

Stefano Vaj
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