Jach's personal blog

(Largely containing a mind-dump to myselves: past, present, and future)
Current favorite quote: "Supposedly smart people are weirdly ignorant of Bayes' Rule." William B Vogt, 2010

New About Page Section

In case you never noticed, the "Jach's" link at the very top is actually my About Me page where you'll find loads of juicy personal information! I sometimes update it from time to time, pretty sporadically. I added a new section tonight that ended up a bit longer than I intended, so I figured I'd get some word-count credit for it in a post. It's about what you should label me as when talking about me behind my back! I wish I had something really hip to call myself like Carlylean, alas. You'll still have to do your research though if you're a journalist, which means this will probably do more to make me look like a freak than anything else since when do journalists do research these days.

Can you sum up your core views in a short package so I don't completely misrepresent you when reporting second-hand?

My real view is simple. I'm a transhumanist Singularitarian in the Good sense, or the Yudkowsky sense if you prefer. Anything that gets in the way of a positive Singularity is bad.

My academic view is more complicated because it's not currently stable and I joke a lot. At the core I'm still an Anarchist, but the particular flavor of Anarchy is a mix of multiple ideas with my own brain-sweat as the glue to hold the ball of mud together. I think non-violence is a good idea, I like capitalism, I like caring and sharing. If Newt Gingrich was serious about making a moon base I don't care how many poor kids' lives we have to make marginally more miserable to do it.

Basically 99.9% of the topics on my blog are "academic" topics--things I blog about because I like to write and I believe in having opinions about things. I would have more stake in them and push for them harder if they were my real beliefs, that is Final Destination Goals, but because I think the clearly exponential nature of technological progress creates a predictive Singularity in the Vinge sense, I think any Final Destination Goals are going to be hilariously wrong. If a self-proclaimed Futurist speculates without taking into account at least one of Friendly AI (please don't conflate all possible AIs with Hollywood AIs) or molecular nanotechnology capable of Grey Gooing us, I don't want to talk to them in fear of their ignorance spreading to me.

The Ancient Greeks could have predicted many aspects of our current society if they thought long enough, because we're both humans, though they'd still get a lot laughably wrong. No amount of ants could predict anything humans have done, and so I think it's silly to argue with force over what will happen when humanity can increase its collective intelligence by orders of magnitude, and ascend beyond homo sapien to become super homo saiyanpiens or something. Star Trek metaphors are useful rhetorical ammunition but I don't want the Future to much resemble Star Trek in many respects. Come on, they still die! How sucky is that!

So my academic views are merely "What I wish the world was like right now", possibly sometimes "What I think the world could do right now to make a positive Singularity more likely." Other times it's just a desire for philosophical satisfaction. Other times my views drive emotions and, being human, it may indeed look like I care a great deal about a particular issue such as the evils of enlisting to the military. (Also being human my emotions will sometimes drive my views but I try to keep those instances in check.) I'll still call soldiers evil crack-slinging sellouts, but don't take it personally, I still want them in the Future and they're relatively harmless as far as the current problems facing a positive Singularity are concerned. Even though I'm an Anarchist you'll see me supporting national health care because there's a decent chance we'll get really long life this century and the less people who die the better.

Posted on 2012-02-21 by Jach

Tags: Anarchy, government, morality, non-violence, personal, philosophy


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