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loup-vaillant comments on Could Democritus have predicted intelligence explosion? - Less Wrong

5 Post author: lukeprog 24 January 2012 08:40AM

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Comment author: loup-vaillant 24 January 2012 02:25:06PM *  5 points [-]

Nitpick about the image at facingthesingularity.com, just above the title : Great image if you don't know the story, but can convey quite the wrong ideas to those who played the game it refers to (Mass Effect). (Spoiler ahead.) The space city this image depicts is a the centre of a galactic trap given by malevolent gods. This trap presents itself as a galactic transport network, which helps the development of a galactic civilization. (By the way, nobody understand how it works.) Then it "activates" and help the bad guys wipe out this civilization. Then they wait for the next, rinse and repeat. (Don't ask what is the need of such a complicated plot for such powerful beings.)

Hopefully, those who notice this will also notice that you totally didn't mean that.

Comment author: Vladimir_Nesov 24 January 2012 07:59:40PM 1 point [-]

What's wrong with a metaphor for world-destroying tech? That's the default we should be wary about.

Comment author: loup-vaillant 25 January 2012 10:02:42AM 0 points [-]

Hmm, if the idea of a doomsday machine doesn't make you flinch from the whole Singularity concept, then OK, it may not be that bad. However, given the 19th century explorer on the foreground, looking at the city, looking forward to the future it represents, I doubt we could suppose one purpose of this image is to warn us about existential risks.

Plus, there's still the part where we use magic that (i) were given from above, and (ii) is way beyond our strength. It makes us pawns, while we'd probably like to be the Chess Masters. It is something to be wary about, but less obviously so. One could get the idea that Luke supports the idea of creating a god which, a bit like Yahweh, "kindly" dominates us all. Luke probably do support a form of Singleton, but I'd bet on something like "laws of physics 2.0" instead of something more… personified.