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168: Accelerating Future

KMO and Michael Anissimov of the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence conclude their conversation on the promise and the dangers of the emergence of AI with an eye to the implications of the military aspects of its development and implementation, and then author Derrick Jensen offers a reality check and a counter-balance to Michael's optimism and exuberance. KMO closes the program with an excerpt from Ascent of Humanity by Charles Eisenstein on the diminishing utility of the technological program.

Music by Oaltitudo


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 27th, 2009 04:17 am (UTC)
Derrick Jensen vrs. Charles Eisenstein?
Since both are part of this podcast I though I'd mention this.
I'm a fan of both authors. I mentioned Ascent of Humanity on Derrick's web-forum with a link to the free on-line version of the book stating that it was on the same page with what Derrick wrote about. The response I got from fellow forum participants and Derrick himself was that the overall premise of the book was "highly anthropocentric." I've asked for an explanation and as of yet haven't really been given one. To me, Derrick's books are awesome, as is Assent of Humanity. Can anyone clue me in to what I'm missing? Thanks.
Aug. 27th, 2009 03:41 pm (UTC)
Re: Derrick Jensen vrs. Charles Eisenstein?
I have not yet finished Ascent of Humanity, but I get the impression that Charles sees the unworkability and contradictions of our present cultural modus giving way in the near future to something more sustainable and friendly to human psychological needs while Derrick sees human civilization as irredeemably flawed with the only sustainable adjustment being a dramatic die back of the human population and a return to a hunter gather existence.

I'll send your question and my answer to both Derrick and Charles, and if either of them respond I'll post their comments in this space.

Edited at 2009-08-27 03:49 pm (UTC)
Aug. 31st, 2009 05:55 pm (UTC)
Re: Derrick Jensen vrs. Charles Eisenstein?
Well, they both responded, and it started a bit of an exchange to which I just added:

Hi Derrick and Charles,

I told the person who asked the question that set this exchange in motion that I would post your answers to my blog, but after thinking it over for a few days, I've decided not to.

In our yet-to-be-aired discussion, Derrick, you talked about doing what your unique gifts have equipped you to do and about doing what gets you off. My gifts and proclivities involve mediating spoken word encounters, and I tend to get myself in trouble in a text-based medium, so I'm going to let that blog thread die a quiet and dignified death.

If either of you want to share the exchange with a wider audience via your blogs or forums I have no objections.

Thank you again for your participation on the program, and stay well.


So, that's as far as I plan to follow this thread. Thanks for listening, and stay well.

Edited at 2009-08-31 05:56 pm (UTC)
Sep. 9th, 2009 06:58 pm (UTC)
Re: Derrick Jensen vrs. Charles Eisenstein?
I'd greatly appreciate hearing at least a paraphrasing of what they had to say about their differences.
Aug. 27th, 2009 07:41 pm (UTC)
Morris Bermen podcast
Thanks, KMO. I couldn't find the "Living Heroes: Morris Bermen" link. Could you post it again please? Thanks again.
Aug. 31st, 2009 05:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Morris Bermen podcast
Sep. 2nd, 2009 07:22 am (UTC)
Re: Morris Bermen podcast
Just went to the podcast site, and found a new interview with John Taylor Gatto (http://jari.podbean.com/2009/09/01/interview-with-john-taylor-gatto/)

I don't know if you've read Gatto's The Underground History of American Education, but it's very worthwhile, even if it leaves you fuming, as it did me.

I read it quite a while back, and it completely changed the way I looked at my education in American schools. The text is available online at http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/chapters/ although I suggest checking a copy out of the library since it's hard to read a long book online.
Sep. 1st, 2009 09:36 pm (UTC)
The corporate ethics vs. AI ethics analogy is an interesting one. In both cases, there's a faction actively working to make the "intelligent systems" in question act maliciously (at least towards some people), which really complicates matters. Maybe SIAI should try to solve the "friendly corporation problem" first.

On a related note, I'm currently in the middle of reading The Shock Doctrine, and I think you should try to interview Naomi Klein. In addition to the topics covered by that book, I think she might have some interesting things to say on some of the less mainstream C-Realm topics (drug tourism and regulation, corporate memes, peak oil, etc.).
Sep. 2nd, 2009 02:08 am (UTC)
Naomi Klein
I sent her an invite a year or more ago and never heard anything back.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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