Comments on “This is the Dream Time”

Eliezer Yudkowsky12 years ago

Perhaps most dramatic will be tragedies about dreamtime advocates who could foresee and were horrified by the coming slow stable adaptive eons, and tried passionately, but unsuccessfully, to prevent them.

Yeah. I guess I don’t ultimately understand the psychology that can write that and not fight fanatically to the last breath to prevent the dark vision from coming to pass.

How awful would things have to be before you would fight to stop it? Before you would do more than sigh in resignation? If no one were ever happy or sad, if no one ever again told a story or bothered to imagine that things could have been different, would that be awful enough?

Are the people who try and change the future, people who you are not comfortable affiliating yourself with? Is it not the role” that you play in your vision of your life? Or is it really that the will to protect is so rare in a human being?

Robin Hanson12 years ago

This vision really isn’t that dark for me. It may not be as bright as the unicorns and fairies that fill dream-time visions, but within the range of what seems actually feasible, I’d call it at least 90% of the way from immediate extinction to the very best possible.

Carl Shulman12 years ago

I see a worrying pattern here. Robin thinks the hyper-Malthusian scenario is amazingly great and that efforts to globally coordinate to prevent it (and the huge deadweight losses of burning the commons, as well as vast lost opportunities for existing beings) will very probably fail. Others, such as James Hughes and Eliezer and myself, see the Malthusian competitive scenario as disastrous and also think that humans or posthumans will invest extensive efforts (including the social control tech enabled by AI/brain emulations) to avoid the associated losses in favor of a cooperative/singleton scenario, with highish likelihood of success.

It almost seems as though we are modeling the motives of future beings with the option of working to produce global coordination simply by generalizing from our own valuations of the Malthusian scenario.

quote robin hanson futurism evolution malthusianism