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Dale on Technofixes October 20, 2012

Posted by Summerspeaker in The Singularity, Transhumanism.
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No political problem for which some imaginary superlative futurological technofix is posed as its pseudo-solution would not be better addressed directly through actually available regulatory, educational, and public investment than through the enablement of the technofix in question — and all this on the assumption that the imaginary technofix were practically or even potentially possible at all, which in most instances of superlative futurology it is not. This is true, whether the futurologists are peddling “geo-engineering” or genetically engineered adaptation or diaspora offworld via multigeneration spaceships as technofixated solutions to environmental crises, or peddling superabundance via 3D printers or nanobotic desktop “replicators” or immersive virtual reality as technofixated solutions to poverty, or peddling “Friendly Superintelligent AI” as “solution” to the impasses of stakeholder politics in historical struggle, or peddling “soul uploading” or “medical miracles” or “cryonics” as technofixated solutions to infantile denial and fear of mortality.

Correlated to this principle is another, that no political problem for which some imaginary superlative futurological technofix is posed as its pseudo-solution would not bring that very problem with it into the implementation of the technofix itself — unsustainable practices would follow us off-world, inequity would stratify the distribution of superabundance, stakeholder struggle would not be circumvented but expressed in the code of the super-AI, the fear of death would render the usual death-dealing and death in life however long lives were prolonged — and again, as before, all this on the assumption that the imaginary technofix were practically or even potentially possible at all, which in most instances of superlative futurology it is not.

I overwhelmingly agree with the above. As far as differences go, I’d switch “actually available regulatory, educational, and public investment” to “revolution and autonomy.” I additionally perceive the possibility that new production technologies will changing material conditions and thus prospects for transformation. (It should go without saying that I reject Dale’s ageist language and insistence on accepting death.) The second paragraph is especially compelling. Proponents of friendly AI take note.

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Comments»

1. Giulio Prisco - October 20, 2012

You have a lot of patience with Dale after all his insults. Yes I have seen the Alpha Centauri thread on his blog, shaking my head in disbelief.

I don’t disagree with the passages quoted either, with caveats similar to yours. Dale is right at times, but I suspect this doesn’t really mean more than “a broken clock is right twice a day.” The guy is a clown, and a boring one.

2. Dale Carrico - October 27, 2012

Although Prisco claims not to disagree with the passages quoted here, he has in fact devoted his life to advocating the contrary of many of them. I don’t mind being called a clown by a clown, in fact I prefer it, but Summer you should think carefully about the company you keep. Robot Cultism is a reactionary discourse and subculture, and you claim to abhor reactionary politics. Think it through if you would do some good.


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