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Aaron5 comments on Amputation of Destiny - Less Wrong

26 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 29 December 2008 06:00PM

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Comment author: Aaron5 30 December 2008 01:11:00PM 3 points [-]


I have to question your literary interpretation of the Culture. Is Banks' intention really to show an idealized society? I think the problem of the Minds that you describe is used by Banks to show the existential futility of the Culture's activities. The Culture sans Minds would be fairly run-of-the-mill sci-fi. With all of its needs met (even thinking), it throws into question every action the Culture takes, particularly the meddlesome ones. That's the difference between Narnia and the Culture; Aslan has a wonderful plan for the childrens' lives, whereas the Culture really has nothing to do but avoid boredom. The Romantic Ideals (High Challenge, Complex Novelty) you espouse are ultimately what is being attacked by what I see as Banks' Existential ones. I think you can take the transhumanism out of the argument and just debate the ideas, since we aren't yet at the point of being infinitely intelligent, immortal, etc.