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

Monday, June 06, 2016

"In cyberspace no one can hear you scam."

I'd like to think that deadly daydream of the tech-talkers may be dying at last...


jimf said...

They're postponing my Singularity!
Greg. Tingey
June 5, 2016

There is an alternative future for humanity,
not encompassed by Fedorov or the "transhumanists",
that I was introduced to at a very early age. . .
The worlds & universe as seen in "Last & First Men"
& the other works of Olaf Stapeldon.

The moral compass & outlook is, if not "opposed", is certainly
completely orthogonal to the drives, desires & stated aims
of people like Dirk, here. . .


Dirk Bruere replied to this comment from Greg Tingey
June 5, 2016

That is the traditional flying car and galactic empire future,
which is now off the menu.

Once we create general AI it all ends. The only argument is when.
My view for the past 30 years has been around the year 2035.
However, if it is 2080 it really doesn't make much difference.
This century is the last where H[omo]S[apiens]S[sapiens]
is the dominant species on earth.
Giulio Prisco
June 6, 2016

Robin [Hanson] thinks that mind uploading is likely to be
developed much before sentient AI. I think the two are likely
to develop at comparable paces with strong feedback loops,
with advances in one stimulating advances in the other
(or roadblocks in one creating roadblocks in the other) and
reach operational maturity at more or less the same time near
the end of the century, give or take a couple of decades. . .

Dale Carrico said...

Nobody never right thinks blah blah non-thing blah blah likely will blah blah in blah blah years because blah blah blah but also ran never right thinks instead blah blah non-thing blah blah will likelier blah blah sooner because blah blah blah. Science!

jimf said...

> . . .blah blah non-thing blah blah will likelier blah blah sooner
> because blah blah blah. . .
> Science!
[I]ndefatigably incompetent Suzan Mazur. . . is a weird case.
She clearly aspires to be a real live science journalist,
but the science she wants to track down is all this fringey
nonsense. . .

But here’s the real shame. For once, Mazur has an interesting story
to write up, and she loses it in a disorganized, incoherent mess
of a ramble. . . This is actually kind of important:

> NASA’s Astrobiology Program — headed by Mary Voytek — awarded
> $1.108M (5% of its annual budget) to the Center of Theological Inquiry,
> a religious think tank with more than $23M in assets, to investigate
> how the world’s religions might respond to the discovery of life
> on other planets. John Templeton Foundation is co-sponsoring the
> two-year project (2015-2017) with a $1.7M grant to CTI.

Hang on. NASA gave a million dollars to a prosperous theological
think tank, which also got a hefty donation from the Templeton Foundation,
to do what? We don’t need to investigate how religion will respond,
we already know: some will take it in stride and try to incorporate
discoveries into their belief systems, and some will actively deny
it. Why is a NASA program throwing away 5% of their budget on trying
to scry how the irrational will respond to something they haven’t
found yet?

That’s a story. . .

Good heavens, Miss Sakamoto! You're beautiful!

jimf said...

> . . .non-thing blah blah likely will blah blah in blah blah
> years because blah blah blah. . .
Concerning M[achine]I[ntelligence]R[esearch]I[nstitute]’s
Place in the E[ffective]A[ltruism] Movement
17 Feb 2016
Posted by ozymandias in effective altruism

. . .

I am completely unqualified to assess the evidence that MIRI
is or is not an effective organization: I cannot tell apart a
deep mathematical finding from one that’s trivial or even
incorrect, and I don’t have a sense for how much math one
should expect mathematicians to create. However, several
people I trust have said -- mostly in private conversations --
that to them MIRI appears to be producing about as much math
as half a C[omputer]S[cience] grad student. If true, this
is a damning statement. [How much **math** are CS grad
students expected to produce?]

However, very, very few of the conversations I’ve seen about
MIRI have centered around MIRI’s effectiveness as an
organization. . .

It is genuinely difficult to figure out a way of assessing the
effectiveness of a speculative organization like MIRI. If they
produce little math, is this because of the difficulty of the
problem or some kind of organizational incompetence? . . .

There are a lot of reasons people don’t want to have this
conversation. Most obviously, it would create drama, and many
people are averse to drama. Many people, including myself,
have a lot of respect for Eliezer Yudkowsky as a person. However,
it should not be taken as an insult to say “I’ve looked into it,
and I don’t think the charity you’re running is particularly
effective”; ideally, our norm should be that that sort of criticism
is a **compliment**. We’re all trying to do the most good here,
right? . . .

To be clear, I am not saying that MIRI is an ineffective
organization; as I said above, I am incapable of assessing MIRI’s
effectiveness. However, I do want to encourage speaking up among
people who are privately thinking “MIRI isn’t very effective”
but feel reluctant to say anything because they don’t want to
create drama or start shit. And I do think the evidence is unclear
enough that we should have an informed discussion of this issue. . .

“Is MIRI effective?” is just another question. And it’s about
time we put serious effort into finding the answer.

Some day they'll clama for my drama. ;->

jimf said...

> . . .that deadly daydream. . .
Louis Theroux discusses Scientology and undercover reporting - Rambam
Published on May 13, 2016
Louis Theroux discusses his new documentary "My Scientology Movie" with Rambam.


Linda Hakeboom: And who are they, then, in your words?

Louis Theroux: Well -- I'm talking about the Sea Org now,
which is mainly what we were focussed on. . .

Linda: Yes.

Louis: The innermost. . .

Linda: The most intense, inside group.

Louis: The spiritual warriors. . .

Linda: Yes.

Louis: They are a vanguard of spiritual revolutionaries.
And the question that you have to ask yourself is: if you
truly believed that it was in your hands to revolutionize
the planet in such a way that insanity, war, crime would all
be eradicated, what would you not be willing to do?
What would you **not** be willing to do to achieve that