Will we lose the "magic" in the Singularity
by phil on Sunday Aug 3, 2003 8:54 PM
How will the magic be preserved when we pass thorugh the Singularity? A tremendous lot of human survival depends on magical interpretations of things... the magic of love, the magic of compassion, the magic of consicousness, the magic of free will, democracy, intelligence, good, etc. All of these things hold weights a birth, and are very difficult to unearth. i.e. try being celibate.
Anyways, the magic has been fairly well conserved by Darwinism as those that see through the magic and then lose faith in certain mechanisms probably died off or fade away. i.e. If a son woke up one day and said, "hmm, this family construct is arbitrary and unecessary, and so is life, I'm just going to walk out and do my own thing" he would eventually die.
I think the natural adaption after instincts became meme-suspectibility which allowed the mind to be flexibly controlled by those around us.
But what happens when the Singularity comes by and we all become a lot smarter than meme-enforcement. What happens when everybody becomes enlightened, but not in a happy "yes, I see the light, let's go!" kind of way but in a "man, everything is gray because there is no magic" way. Will we just have an ever-increasing rise in suicide, with 50% of people just randomly plopping off because they decide to stroll down certain thought experiments and decide "hey, there's nothing for me here, good bye."
I doubt there's anything we can do about it. We're rapidly become the densest concentration of intelligence in a self-aware system.
If people start dying randomly, I won't shed too many tears, but if we do end up in a situation where our concentrated intelligence is so vast that everybody has access to the big red button, then it could pose a problem.
I've read in a few places that one of the possible reasons we haven't encountered intelligent life is because after they become smart enough, they eventually destroy themselves. Remember, this was a real danger during the 50s Nuclear Era, but it looks like we survived the first test. Continuing on the strain of the previous post, it could be because we're just dumb enough to collude on nuclear non-proliferation OR as in certain extreme cases of the Prisoner's Dilemma, the consequences of defect-defect are so terrible that people become risk-adverse to defecting PERIOD.
It would be nice if we could prove that other alien smart civilations just got too smart that they destroyed themselves, or at least speculate that.... this would help us then figure out what to do about ourselves... <- although, continuing on the previous post, it is irrational to care about whether we survive or not, which is a product of too much smarts, which if we already have too many people who are too smart to give a shit, then we may just very well be screwed.
Is a dumb president our only hope then?