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( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 6th, 2008 12:48 am (UTC)
He didn't really say much... and the comments made my eyes bleed...
(Deleted comment)
May. 6th, 2008 05:00 pm (UTC)
Nerd Rapture
(Deleted comment)
May. 6th, 2008 06:03 pm (UTC)
Re: Nerd Rapture
You know that I'm an ex-transhumanist, right?

Yes. I remember you telling me that.

I'm with you on most of what you have to say, though I would not object to some sort of non-destructive scanning/copying process being used to create an intelligent entity based on the template of my consciousness for the purposes of exploring parts of the universe where my body could not go.
May. 6th, 2008 05:44 pm (UTC)
Re: Nerd Rapture
In response to "Nerd Rapture, Not," I posted the following:
I navigated here from a peak oil discussion thread started by someone who is concerned about peak oil but who is put off by the tendency of peak oil zealots to reflexively reject any notion of a technological singularity without taking the time to thoroughly examine the arguments of Singularitarians. Another poster in that thread provided the link to "Rapture of the Nerds, Not."

I had just made a post that contained the following when I found the link:
I’ve heard people bring up the similarity between the “Geek Rapture” and the “Millenarian Christian Rapture” for over a decade now, but I’ve yet to see anyone flesh it out into a rigorous argument for rejecting the possibility of a technological singularity.

Then I came here and I read, “Kooks like Terence McKenna, who connect the singularity to Mayan prophecies, are laughed at by serious singularitarians.”

Sigh. Bias physician, heal thyself.

If you know of any "serious singularitarians" who demonstrate even a passing clue with regard to Terence McKenna’s thoughts and predictions concerning the accelerating evolution of machine intelligence, a url would be appreciated. The only person with "serious singularitarian" cred that I’ve encountered who has made a good-faith effort to take in McKenna’s viewpoint is Ben Goertzel, and Ben admires McKenna.


My comment is currently awaiting "moderation." Just in case the "moderation" process ends in oblivion, I post it here for safe keeping.
May. 7th, 2008 09:59 pm (UTC)
Re: Nerd Rapture
Sho'nuff. It seems my comment got 'moderated' right into the round file.
May. 6th, 2008 05:55 pm (UTC)
Thinking about singularity makes me tired in the same way we used to think about the future of television. Remember when "home" videotape recorders first emerged? Not VCRs, but those big reel-to-reel jobs? This represented an enormous capital expenditure, but one could save programming for later viewing. Revolutionary!

Then came the Betamax, then VHS, each for a smaller but still substantial pile of cash. Each represented "progress." Now we have DVRs and instant-record DVDs, in some places one can get on-demand programming, all tape-free alternatives.

What makes my brain hurt? Almost none of these formats work well with each other.

It gets worse. NASA has so many outdated formats that the original video of the moon landing may be lost forever, either erased or encoded in an obsolete format on a dusty, unreadable reel. When lawmakers wisely tried to bring the IRS into the 1970s, they found no fewer than nine mainframe systems -- running exclusive language formats -- each representing a colossal portion of the archived information, making automated standardization a near impossibility.

For any intelligence to function as such, it must be able to think, to archive its findings, and -- most importantly -- to communicate with other intelligences. I strongly suspect our technological past suggests the manner by which any AI will incrementally develop.

Yet Singularians somehow think this incremental technical crawl toward a single usable artificial intelligence will be less fraught with boondoggles reminiscent of the Maginot Line?!?

Sorry for the rant, kmo. This has been bugging me for some time.
May. 7th, 2008 10:01 pm (UTC)
Sorry for the rant, kmo. This has been bugging me for some time.

No problem. This topic calls out for a good rant from time to time.
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