Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Thursday, August 01, 2013

More Anti-Futurological Agit-Pop from Robert Gross

16 comments:

jimf said...

I'm looking forward to "The Singularity is Coming (to Get You)!" LP.

;->

jimf said...

BTW, this YouTube video, narrated by Robert Gross, is worth
watching:

"LessWrong / CFAR / MIRI / Eliezer Yudkowsky / Julia Galef / Skeptics?"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ku9b-fPa1s

(Via
http://kruel.co/mirilesswrong-mockery-index/ )

jollyspaniard said...

Is it just me or is Michael getting older.

Dale Carrico said...

Aren't we all? More to the point, is it just me, or is Michael NOT getting wiser?

jimf said...

> More to the point, is it just me, or is Michael NOT getting wiser?

He's got a huge sunk investment hanging around his neck.
I don't envy him the weight of that albatross.

Dale Carrico said...

Boy, you're gonna carry that weight, carry that weight a long time...

Robert Gross said...

Sometimes cutting losses is the best thing one can do. I'd like to think we're being helpful in showing some of the robot cultists the path out of the wilderness.

Dale Carrico said...

I'm not sure ridicule can be counted on to reach True Believers (although I occasionally get grateful e-mails suggesting it happens) so much as it dissuades credulous geeks, legitimate scientists and progressive policymakers from buying into Robot Cult nonsense in the first place. I also like to think that exposing faith-based futurological pathologies at the extreme provides a critical intervention into more prevailing reductionism, eugenicism, narcissism, determinism, consumerism, pollution, exploitative global-developmentalism, and digital utopianism defining fully mainstream authoritative contemporary neoliberal and neoconservative elite-incumbent corporate-military ideology.

Robert Gross said...

My comment was tongue-in-cheek. I have no illusions about reaching any of the True Believers.

Dale Carrico said...

Well, you never know, when nothing comes of all the predictions and the futurological merry-go-wrong makes its circuit and all the same predictions get trotted out again even some True Believers scratch their heads sometimes and then there can be an opening in which the echo of our ridicule might have some purchase. As I said, I do occasionally get e-mails from recovered Robot Cultists who thank me for providing criticisms to which they could turn when they started looking to the exits.

jimf said...

> As I said, I do occasionally get e-mails from recovered
> Robot Cultists who thank me for providing criticisms to
> which they could turn when they started looking to the exits.

Also, there was a time, and not all that long ago, when the
most vocal on-line Extropians, Transhumanists and Singularitarians
actually thought they could **control** public discourse about
their hobby-horses.

For a long time, Dale himself soft-pedalled his public criticisms
to avoid riling up the fanboys, and after he stopped bothering
(around the time he started this blog), he was periodically
mobbed by the frothing faithful (we had some good times, back
then ;-> ).

If somebody completely new (like Dr. Gross) happened to stumble
on the scene and react with skepticism (or worse), great efforts
would be made to "educate" the offending commenter. Anissimov
was always out on the barricades, of course, but also somewhat
more august personages, like Dr. James Hughes of the IEET, would
call for corrective letters to be written. I remember such an
incident back in 2006 (I think it was) in the case of one John Bruce,
who started making reasoned and critical comments about the
transhumanists and cryonicists (whom he had recently discovered,
via Glenn Reynolds) on his blog "In the Shadow of Mt. HOllywood"
(now defunct, but see a couple of excerpts in the comments of
http://amormundi.blogspot.com/2009/04/is-superlativity-worthy-of.html ).

The Mores, Max and Natasha Vita-, have also always been acutely
aware of their PR duties vis a vis the "movement".

More recently, they seem to have realized (along with the Scientologists
and Mormons) the futility of attempting to engage in 360-degree
spin control.

jimf said...

> "In the Shadow of Mt. Hollywood" (now defunct, but see a
> couple of excerpts in the comments of
> http://amormundi.blogspot.com/2009/04/is-superlativity-worthy-of.html ).

And more (and some of the transhumanists' responses) in the comments at:

http://amormundi.blogspot.com/2010/01/transhumanists-are-not-just-wrong-they.html

Robert Gross said...

I just got two comments from Michael Anissimov on my youtube channel! I have arrived!

Dale Carrico said...

That's arrival on the road to nowhere as The Talking Heads would put the point! You know, from my vantage it seems as if comments are disabled on your vids at their YouTube point of origin. That may be an artifact of all the ad block and no script stuff I run, tho'.

Robert Gross said...

No, I disabled the comments on purpose. My songs are not invitations for freeping by the LW crowd. There's 144,000 of them* and one of me. That would be the inevitable result if I opened the comments--- just endless, endless streaming bullshit. Besides, as Michael A. has astutely done, they can respond on my channel in general.

*(Or, a thousand of them but with endless free time on their hands in mom's basement, which is the equivalent of 144,000 of them. It's like the Jehova's Witnesses. They can always find the time to knock on your door Saturday morning.)

In my view, if they *really* want to respond, they should respond in kind. Write their own songs. The battle of the bands. Bring it on, bay-bay!

(Though I suppose the extent of their cleverness would just probably entail various riffs on my unfortunate surname.)

jimf said...

> I just got two comments from Michael Anissimov on my
> youtube channel! I have arrived!

You know, I just went looking for those comments on the "tuttlemsm"
channel, and I didn't see anything that looked like it might
have been written by Anissimov (maybe he's since removed them?), but
I did see the brand-new "Heliocentrism" video. ;->

You know, whatever else you might want to say about Mr. Y., he
does genuinely have the "guru whammy". As much as Ayn Rand
or L. Ron Hubbard, he's got the prophet's gift, and he's
exercising his natural talent.

His particular brand of hectoring self-confidence was evident
even in the earliest traces of his activities on Usenet, when he
was (as a 12-year-old) railing against Barney the Dinosaur
from his daddy's account (and calling himself "Lord of the Bright
Day"). Latching onto the Vingean "Singularity" gave him
something to really sink his teeth into.

And Anissimov (and now Muehlhauser) are natural-born
sidekicks, like Thomas Huxley ("Darwin's bulldog") or,
perhaps more aptly, Brigham Young to Joseph Smith.