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A Short History of the Third Millennium
manyukhin-tower-of-sin

Fundamentally solve the “intelligence problem,” and all other problems become trivial.

The problem is that this problem is a very hard one, and our native wit is unlikely to suffice. Moreover, because problems tend to get harder, not easier, as you advance up the technological ladder (Karlin, 2015), in a “business as usual” scenario with no substantial intelligence augmentation we will effectively only have a 100-200 year “window” to effect this breakthrough before global dysgenic fertility patterns rule it out entirely for a large part of the next millennium.

To avoid a period of prolonged technological and scientific stagnation, with its attendant risks of collapse, our global “hive mind” (or “noosphere”) will at a minimum have to sustain and preferably sustainably augment its own intelligence. The end goal is to create (or become) a machine, or network of machines, that recursively augment their own intelligence – “the last invention that man need ever make” (Good, 1965).

In light of this, there are five main distinct ways in which human (or posthuman) civilization could develop in the next millennium.

matrix-art

(1) Direct Technosingularity

kurzweil-singularity-is-near The development of artificial general intelligence (AGI), which should quickly bootstrap itself into a superintelligence – defined by Nick Bostrom as “any intellect that greatly exceeds the cognitive performance of humans in virtually all domains of interest” (Bostrom, 2014). Especially if this is a “hard” takeoff, the superintelligence will also likely become a singleton, an entity with global hegemony (Bostrom, 2006).

Many experts predict AGI could appear by the middle of the 21st century (Kurzweil, 2005; Müller & Bostrom, 2016). This should quickly auto-translate into a technological singularity, henceforth “technosingularity,” whose utilitarian value for humanity will depend on whether we manage to solve the AI alignment problem (i.e., whether we manage to figure out how to persuade the robots not to kill us all).

The technosingularity will creep up on us, and then radically transform absolutely everything, including the very possibility of any further meaningful prognostication – it will be “a throwing away of all the previous rules, perhaps in the blink of an eye, an exponential runaway beyond any hope of control” (Vinge, 1993). The “direct technosingularity” scenario is likely if AGI turns out to be relatively easy, as the futurist Ray Kurzweil and DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis believe.

(2) The Age of Em

The development of Whole Brain Emulation (WBE) could accelerate the technosingularity, if it is relatively easy and is developed before AGI. As the economist Robin Hanson argues in his book The Age of Em, untold quintillions of emulated human minds, or “ems,” running trillions of times faster than biological wetware, should be able to effect a transition to true superintelligence and the technosingularity within a couple of human years (Hanson, 2016). This assumes that em civilization does not self-destruct, and that AGI does not ultimately prove to be an intractable problem. A simple Monte Carlo simulation by Anders Sandberg hints that WBE might be achieved by the 2060s (Sandberg, 2014).

deus-ex-rbs

Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

(3) Biosingularity

We still haven’t come close to exhausting our biological and biomechatronic potential for intelligence augmentation. The level of biological complexity has increased hyperbolically since the appearance of life on Earth (Markov & Korotayev, 2007), so even if both WBE and AGI turn out to be very hard, it might still be perfectly possible for human civilization to continue eking out huge further increases in aggregate cognitive power. Enough, perhaps, to kickstart the technosingularity.

There are many possible paths to a biosingularity.

The simplest one is through demographics: The tried and tested method of population growth (Korotaev & Khaltourina, 2006). As “technocornucopians” like Julian Simon argue, more people equals more potential innovators. However, only a tiny “smart fraction” can meaningfully contribute to technological progress, and global dysgenic fertility patterns imply that its share of the world population is going to go down inexorably now that the FLynn effect of environmental IQ increases is petering out across the world, especially in the high IQ nations responsible for most technological progress in the first place (Dutton, Van Der Linden, & Lynn, 2016). In the longterm “business as usual” scenario, this will result in an Idiocracy incapable of any further technological progress and at permanent risk of a Malthusian population crash should average IQ fall below the level necessary to sustain technological civilization.

As such, dysgenic fertility will have to be countered by eugenic policies or technological interventions. The former are either too mild to make a cardinal difference, or too coercive to seriously advocate. This leaves us with the technological solutions, which in turn largely fall into two bins: Genomics and biomechatronics.

The simplest route, already on the cusp of technological feasibility, is embryo selection for IQ. This could result in gains of one standard deviation per generation, and an eventual increase of as much as 300 IQ points over baseline once all IQ-affecting alleles have been discovered and optimized for (Hsu, 2014; Shulman & Bostrom, 2014). That is perhaps overoptimistic, since it assumes that the effects will remain strictly additive and will not run into diminishing returns.

Even so, a world with a thousand or a million times as many John von Neumanns running about will be more civilized, far richer, and orders of magnitude more technologically dynamic than what we have now (just compare the differences in civility, prosperity, and social cohesion between regions in the same country separated by a mere half of a standard deviation in average IQ, such as Massachussetts and West Virginia). This hyperintelligent civilization’s chances of solving the WBE and/or AGI problem will be correspondingly much higher.

The problem is that getting to the promised land will take about a dozen generations, that is, at least 200-300 years. Do we really want to wait that long? We needn’t. Once technologies such as CRISPR/Cas9 maturate, we can drastically accelerate the process and accomplish the same thing through direct gene editing. All this of course assumes that a concert of the world’s most powerful states doesn’t coordinate to vigorously clamp down on the new technologies.

Even so, we would still remain “bounded” by human biology. For instance, womb size and metabolic load are a crimper on brain size, and the specificities of our neural substrate places an ultimate ceiling even on “genetically corrected” human intellectual potential.

There are four potential ways to go beyond biology, presented below from “most realistic” to “most sci-fi”:

Neuropharmocology: Nootropics already exist, but they do not increase IQ by any significant amount and are unlikely to do so in the future (Bostrom, 2014).

Biomechatronics: The development of neural implants to augment human cognition beyond its peak biological potential. The first start-ups, based for now on treatment as opposed to enhancement, are beginning to appear, such as Kernel, where the futurist Randal Koene is the head scientist. This “cyborg” approach promises a more seamless, and likely safer, integration with ems and/or intelligent machines, whensoever they might appear – this is the reason why Elon Musk is a proponent of this approach. However, there’s a good chance that meaningful brain-machine interfaces will be very hard to implement (Bostrom, 2014).

Nanotechnology: Nanobots could potentially optimize neural pathways, or even create their own foglet-based neural nets.

Direct Biosingularity: If WBE and/or superintelligence prove to be very hard or intractable, or come with “minor” issues such as a lack of rigorous solutions to the AI alignment problem or the permanent loss of conscious experience (Johnson, 2016), then we might attempt a direct biosingularity – for instance, Nick Bostrom suggests the development of novel synthetic genes, and even more “exotic possibilities” such as vats full of complexly structured cortical tissue or “uplifted” transgenic animals, especially elephants or whales that can support very large brains (Bostrom, 2014). The terminal result of a true biosingularity could might be some kind of “ecotechnic singleton,” e.g. Stanisław Lem’s Solaris, a planet dominated by a globe-spanning sentient ocean.

Bounded by the speed of neuronal chemical reactions, it is safe to say that the biosingularity will be a much slower affair than The Age of Em or a superintelligence explosion, not to mention the technosingularity that would likely soon follow either of those two events. However, human civilization in this scenario might still eventually achieve the critical mass of cognitive power needed to solve WBE or AGI, thus setting off the chain reaction that leads to the technosingularity.

great-filter

(4) Eschaton

Nick Bostrom defined existential risk thus: “One where an adverse outcome would either annihilate Earth-originating intelligent life or permanently and drastically curtail its potential.(Bostrom, 2002)

We can divide existential risks into four main bins: Geoplanetary; Anthropic; Technological; and Philosophical.

In any given decade, a gamma ray burst or even a very big asteroid could snuff us out in our earthly cradle. However, the background risk is both constant and extremely low, so it would be cosmically bad luck for a geoplanetary Götterdämmerung to do us in just as we are about to enter the posthuman era.

There are three big sources of “anthropic” existential risk: Nuclear war, climate change, and the exhaustion of high-EROEI energy sources.

Fears of atomic annihilation are understandable, but even a full-scale thermonuclear exchange between Russia and the US is survivable, and will not result in the collapse of industrial civilization ala A Canticle for Leibowitz or the Fallout video games, let alone human extinction (Kahn, 1960; Kearny, 1979). This was true during the Cold War and it is doubly true today, when nuclear weapons stocks are much lower. To be sure, some modest percentage of the world population will die, and a majority of the capital stock in the warring nations will be destroyed, but as Herman Kahn might have said, this is a tragic but nonetheless distinguishable outcome compared to a true “existential risk.”

Much the same can be said of anthropogenic climate change. While it would probably do more harm than good, at least in the medium-term (Stager, 2011), even the worst outcomes like a clathrate collapse will most likely not translate into James Lovelock’s apocalyptic visions of “breeding pairs” desperately eking out a hardscrabble survival in the Arctic. The only truly terminal outcome would be a runaway greenhouse effect that turns Earth into Venus, but there is simply nowhere near enough carbon on our planetary surface for that to happen.

As regards global energy supplies, while the end of high-density fossil fuels might somewhat reduce living standards relative to what they would have otherwise been, there is no evidence it would cause economic decline, let alone technological regression back to the Olduvai Gorge conditions as some of the most alarmist “doomers” have claimed. We still have a lot of fat to cut! Ultimately, the material culture even of an energy-starved country like Cuba compares very positively to those of 95% of all humans who have ever lived. Besides, there are still centuries’ worth of coal reserves left on the planet, and nuclear and solar power have been exploited to only a small fraction of their potential.

By far the biggest technological risk is malevolent AGI, so much so that entire research outfits such as MIRI have sprung up to work on it. However, it is so tightly coupled to the Technosingularity scenario that I will refrain from further commentary on it here.

This leaves mostly just the “philosophical,” or logically derived, existential risks. For instance, the computer simulation we are in might end (Bostrom, 2003) – perhaps because we are not interesting enough (if we fail to reach technosingularity), or for lack of hardware to simulate an intelligence explosion (if we do). Another disquieting possibility is implied by the foreboding silence all around as – as Enrico Fermi asked, “Where is everyone?” Perhaps we are truly alone. Or perhaps alien post-singularity civilizations stay silent for a good reason.

We began to blithely broadcast our presence to the void more than a century ago, so if there is indeed a “superpredator” civilization keeping watch over the galaxy, ready to swoop down at the first sign of a potential rival (e.g. for the simulation’s limited computing resources), then our doom may have already long been written onto the stars. However, unless they have figured out how to subvert the laws of physics, their response will be bounded by the speed of light. As such, the question of whether it takes us half a century or a millenium to solve the intelligence problem – and by extension, all other problems, including space colonization – assumes the most cardinal importance!

manyukhin-tower-of-sin

Vladimir Manyukhin, Tower of Sin.

(5) The Age of Malthusian Industrialism (or, “Business as Usual”)

The 21st century turns out to be a disappointment in all respects. We do not merge with the Machine God, nor do we descend back into the Olduvai Gorge by way of the Fury Road. Instead, we get to experience the true torture of seeing the conventional, mainstream forecasts of all the boring, besuited economists, businessmen, and sundry beigeocrats pan out.

Human genetic editing is banned by government edict around the world, to “protect human dignity” in the religious countries and “prevent inequality” in the religiously progressive ones. The 1% predictably flout these regulations at will, improving their progeny while keeping the rest of the human biomass down where they believe it belongs, but the elites do not have the demographic weight to compensate for plummeting average IQs as dysgenics decisively overtakes the FLynn Effect.

We discover that Kurzweil’s cake is a lie. Moore’s Law stalls, and the current buzz over deep learning turns into a permanent AI winter. Robin Hanson dies a disappointed man, though not before cryogenically freezing himself in the hope that he would be revived as an em. But Alcor goes bankrupt in 2145, and when it is discovered that somebody had embezzled the funds set aside for just such a contingency, nobody can be found to pay to keep those weird ice mummies around. They are perfunctorily tossed into a ditch, and whatever vestigial consciousness their frozen husks might have still possessed seeps and dissolves into the dirt along with their thawing lifeblood. A supermall is build on their bones around what is now an extremely crowded location in the Phoenix megapolis.

For the old concerns about graying populations and pensions are now ancient history. Because fertility preferences, like all aspects of personality, are heritable – and thus ultracompetitive in a world where the old Malthusian constraints have been relaxed – the “breeders” have long overtaken the “rearers” as a percentage of the population, and humanity is now in the midst of an epochal baby boom that will last centuries. Just as the human population rose tenfold from 1 billion in 1800 to 10 billion by 2100, so it will rise by yet another order of magnitude in the next two or three centuries. But this demographic expansion is highly dysgenic, so global average IQ falls by a standard deviation and technology stagnates. Sometime towards the middle of the millenium, the population will approach 100 billion souls and will soar past the carrying capacity of the global industrial economy.

Then things will get pretty awful.

But as they say, every problem contains the seed of its own solution. Gnon sets to winnowing the population, culling the sickly, the stupid, and the spendthrift. As the neoreactionary philosopher Nick Land notes, waxing Lovecraftian, “There is no machinery extant, or even rigorously imaginable, that can sustain a single iota of attained value outside the forges of Hell.”

In the harsh new world of Malthusian industrialism, Idiocracy starts giving way to A Farewell to Alms, the eugenic fertility patterns that undergirded IQ gains in Early Modern Britain and paved the way to the industrial revolution. A few more centuries of the most intelligent and hard-working having more surviving grandchildren, and we will be back to where we are now today, capable of having a second stab at solving the intelligence problem but able to draw from a vastly bigger population for the task.

Assuming that a Tyranid hive fleet hadn’t gobbled up Terra in the intervening millennium…

2061su-longing-for-home

2061.su, Longing for Home

The Forking Paths of the Third Millennium

In response to criticism that he was wasting his time on an unlikely scenario, Robin Hanson pointed out that even if there was just a 1% chance of The Age of Em coming about, studying it was well worth his while considering the sheer amount of future consciences and potential suffering at stake.

Although I can imagine some readers considering some of these scenarios as less likely than others, I think it’s fair to say that all of them are at least minimally plausible, and that most people would also assign a greater than 1% likelihood to a majority of them. As such, they are legitimate objects of serious consideration.

My own probability assessment is as follows:

(1) (a) Direct Technosingularity – 25%, if Kurzweil/MIRI/DeepMind are correct, with a probability peak around 2045, and most likely to be implemented via neural networks (Lin & Tegmark, 2016).

(2) The Age of Em – <1%, since we cannot obtain functional models even of 40 year old microchips from scanning them, to say nothing of biological organisms (Jonas & Kording, 2016)

(3) (a) Biosingularity to Technosingularity – 50%, since the genomics revolution is just getting started and governments are unlikely to either want to, let alone be successful at, rigorously suppressing it. And if AGI is harder than the optimists say, and will take considerably longer than mid-century to develop, then it’s a safe bet that IQ-augmented humans will come to play a critical role in eventually developing it. I would put the probability peak for a technosingularity from a biosingularity at around 2100.

(3) (b) Direct Biosingularity – 5%, if we decide that proceeding with AGI is too risky, or that consciousness both has cardinal inherent value and is only possible with a biological substrate.

(4) Eschaton – 10%, of which: (a) Philosophical existential risks – 5%; (b) Malevolent AGI – 1%; (c) Other existential risks, primarily technological ones: 4%.

(5) The Age of Malthusian Industrialism – 10%, with about even odds on whether we manage to launch the technosingularity the second time round.

There is a huge amount of literature on four of these five scenarios. The most famous book on the technosingularity is Ray Kurzweil’s The Singularity is Near, though you could make do with Vernor Vinge’s classic article The Coming Technological Singularity. Robin Hanson’s The Age of Em is the book on its subject. Some of the components of a potential biosingularity are already within our technological horizon – Stephen Hsu is worth following on this topic, though as regards biomechatronics, for now it remains more sci-fi than science (obligatory nod to the Deus Ex video game franchise). The popular literature on existential risks of all kinds is vast, with Nick Bostrom’s Superintelligence being the definitional work on AGI risks. It is also well worth reading his many articles on philosophical existential risks.

Ironically, by far the biggest lacuna is with regards to the “business as usual” scenario. It’s as if the world’s futurist thinkers have been so consumed with the most exotic and “interesting” scenarios (e.g. superintelligence, ems, socio-economic collapse, etc.) that they have neglected to consider what will happen if we take all the standard economic and demographic projections for this century, apply our understanding of economics, psychometrics, technology, and evolutionary psychology to them, and stretch them out to their logical conclusions.

The resultant Age of Industrial Malthusianism is not only something that’s easier to imagine than many of the other scenarios, and by extension easier for modern people to connect with, but it is also something that is genuinely interesting in its own right. It is also very important to understand well. That is because it is by no means a “good scenario,” even if it is perhaps the most “natural” one, since it will eventually entail unimaginable amounts of suffering for untold billions a few centuries down the line, when the time comes to balance the Malthusian equation. We will also have to spend an extended amount of time under an elevated level of philosophical existential risk. This would be the price we will have to pay for state regulations that block the path to a biosingularity today.

Sources

Bostrom, N. (2002). Existential risks. Journal of Evolution and Technology / WTA, 9(1), 1–31.

Bostrom, N. (2003). Are We Living in a Computer Simulation? The Philosophical Quarterly, 53(211), 243–255.

Bostrom, N. (2006). What is a Singleton. Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations, 5(2), 48–54.

Bostrom, N. (2014). Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies. Oxford University Press.

Dutton, E., Van Der Linden, D., & Lynn, R. (2016). The negative Flynn Effect: A systematic literature review. Intelligence, 59, 163–169.

Good, I. J. (1965). Speculations Concerning the First Ultraintelligent Machine. In F. Alt & M. Ruminoff (Eds.), Advances in Computers, volume 6. Academic Press.

Hanson, R. (2016). The Age of Em: Work, Love, and Life when Robots Rule the Earth. Oxford University Press.

Hsu, S. D. H. (2014, August 14). On the genetic architecture of intelligence and other quantitative traits. arXiv [q-bio.GN]. Retrieved from http://arxiv.org/abs/1408.3421

Johnson, M. (2016). Principia Qualia: the executive summary. Open Theory. Retrieved from http://opentheory.net/2016/12/principia-qualia-executive-summary/

Jonas, E., & Kording, K. (2016). Could a neuroscientist understand a microprocessor? bioRxiv. Retrieved from http://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2016/05/26/055624.abstract

Kahn, H. (1960). On thermonuclear war (Vol. 141). Cambridge Univ Press.

Karlin, A. (2015). Introduction to Apollo’s Ascent. The Unz Review. Retrieved from http://www.unz.com/akarlin/intro-apollos-ascent/

Kearny, C. H. (1979). Nuclear war survival skills. NWS Research Bureau.

Korotaev, A. V., & Khaltourina, D. (2006). Introduction to Social Macrodynamics: Secular Cycles and Millennial Trends in Africa. Editorial URSS.

Kurzweil, R. (2005). The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology. Penguin.

Lin, H. W., & Tegmark, M. (2016, August 29). Why does deep and cheap learning work so well?arXiv [cond-mat.dis-nn]. Retrieved from http://arxiv.org/abs/1608.08225

Markov, A. V., & Korotayev, A. V. (2007). Phanerozoic marine biodiversity follows a hyperbolic trend. Palaeoworld, 16(4), 311–318.

Müller, V. C., & Bostrom, N. (2016). Future Progress in Artificial Intelligence: A Survey of Expert Opinion. In V. C. Müller (Ed.), Fundamental Issues of Artificial Intelligence (pp. 555–572). Springer International Publishing.

Sandberg, A. (2014). Monte Carlo model of brain emulation development. Retrieved from https://www.fhi.ox.ac.uk/reports/2014-1.pdf

Shulman, C., & Bostrom, N. (2014). Embryo Selection for Cognitive Enhancement: Curiosity or Game-changer? Global Policy, 5(1), 85–92.

Stager, C. (2011). Deep Future: The Next 100,000 Years of Life on Earth. Macmillan.

Vinge, V. (1993). The coming technological singularity: How to survive in the post-human era. In Vision 21: Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering in the Era of Cyberspace. Retrieved from https://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/faculty/vinge/misc/singularity.html

 
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  1. Sounds pretty horrible in any case, I’m glad I won’t be around for most of this.

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    • Replies: @Seraphim
    I thought that I would be the first to say that! You have been quicker. Anyhow, I concur. Who would like to live in such a world? Why would he? I feel sorry for my children and even more for my grandchildren.
    , @pyrrhus
    Based on standardized test scores, especially the elite college entrance exam the SAT, IQ in the US is already declining at least 1 point per decade, and that is exclusive of the low IQ immigrants who have been entering the US en masse...Doesn't look good.
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  2. If dysgenics is real, something the alt-right and fellow travelers consider to be the most fundamental existential threat to humanity’s future, it would make sense that “transhumanist” solutions mentioned in this post would be the appropriate solution. This has been obvious to me since this kind of talk first emerged, and should obvious to anyone with a room temperature and above IQ. Its analogous to how the mass production of the automobile became the appropriate solution to the accumulation of horse-shit in major cities in 1900.

    Yes, it continues to stun and amaze me just how much of the alt-right is so hostile to “transhumanist” style solutions such as those mentioned in this post.

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    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    Many of us Neoreactionaries are basically dualists that find meaning in boundaries in life, transhumanism threatens to remove such boundaries and in doing so, simultaneously remove what is left of meaning. There's a valid reason why transhumanism bothers us - it fundamentally creates individuals who indeed, defined only by their self-described identity.
    , @advancedatheist

    Yes, it continues to stun and amaze me just how much of the alt-right is so hostile to “transhumanist” style solutions such as those mentioned in this post.
     
    We already have a real, existing example of cognitive augmentation relative to most of the rest of humanity: White people.

    Not that we don't have plenty of room for improvement. But Alt-Right people would probably argue that we haven't even exploited white men's full potential because the social-justice ideology since the 1960's has held us down. Paul Kersey specifically argues that white Americans have had to renounce our space aspirations after the moon landings in part because we had to waste so much of the nation's wealth trying to placate and uplift the country's generally dullard black population.

  3. concerning current dysgenic trends:
    as far as I understand pure Ashkenazim jews are disappearing, since they marry out heavily in the USA and in Israel get overwhelmed by orthodox Jews of various ancestries. So, when Ashkenazim have been the most intelligent sub-group of humans in recent history, and probably of the whole human history, does´t this mean that this results in a huge loss for mankind in terms of extremely high IQ people? Might special kinds of giftedness (like John von Neumann) simply not be born in coming times?

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    • Replies: @edNels

    Might special kinds of giftedness
     
    You mean Griftiness.

    Is Von Neumann any kin to Alfred E.?
    , @Pseudonymic Handle
    The ultra-orthodox haredim, which have the biggest populations growth, are mostly Ashkenazim from Eastern Europe. About 20% of the ultra orthodox in Israel are Sephardic Haredim of Sephardic and Mizrahi descent, but they are present only in Israel.
    , @Glossy
    The number of secular full-blooded Ashkenazi Jews is declining fast, but the religious ones are breeding like the Amish.

    I don't know how the old Euro aristocracies compared to Jews. It's a pity that their endogamy largely broke down in the 19th and 20th centuries, but there are still some remnants of them. I'm sure that upper class Brits are susbstantially above 100 today. I wonder if anybody's ever tried to measure them. Same with the Parsees.
    , @U. Ranus
    Hell, no. Ashkenazic Jews are just recent euro-semitic hybrids who got their intelligence from Euros anyway; were they to successfully self-purge from Euro societies, the next subset of "elite" Euros would effortlessly slide into the vacant space.

    (Re-read The Bell Curve. It never was about Blacks. Herrnstein warned of the impending horror show of gentile White Americans de-segregating by IQ. The war on gentile male social status got underway, hoping to disrupt the underlying associative mating patterns.)
  4. Very thoughtful & reasoned outlook. Broadly speaking I find myself in agreement with most of it. Some things that stood out:

    1. Neuropharmacology. You’re skeptical that there are much more effective ‘smart drugs in our future. I think your skepticism is warranted, and one way to approach this is the “Algernon argument”: http://www.gwern.net/Drug%20heuristics.

    On the other hand, I think it could be possible that there’s low-hanging fruit based on motivation. Elsewhere I’ve noted that:

    Nick Bostrom has argued that there are hard limits on traditional pharmaceutical cognitive enhancement, since if the presence of some simple chemical would help us think better, our brains would probably already be producing it. On the other hand, there seem to be fewer a priori limits on motivational or emotional enhancement. And sure enough, the most effective “cognitive enhancers” such as adderall, modafinil, and so on seem to work by making cognitive tasks seem less unpleasant or more interesting. If we had a crisp theory of valence, this might enable particularly powerful versions of these sorts of drugs.

    http://opentheory.net/2015/09/fai_and_valence/

    2. A limited window for takeoff, before cognitive trends have us crashing hard. This is pretty sobering to consider. How does society look different if we expect future humans to be less intelligent than ourselves, and/or if we expect society as a whole to be less capable? What kind of things should we be doing now to tide civilization through future dark ages?

    3. Genetic engineering for IQ banned? – China will do it (is doing it).

    4. Transhumanism. The more I think about it, the more dangerous transhumanism seems if done by civilizations without Moloch firmly under control.

    5. Galactic superpredators: plausible & scary.

    6. Cryopreservation: poor Robin Hanson.

    7. Overall: I think you’ve hit the important scenarios, & I think your probability estimates are reasonable. If I were to add one variable to this mix, it’d be political philosophy: the future will be radically different depending on the outcome of the memetic civil war the West is currently engaged in.

    8. Business-as-usual is dystopic: yes, and I thought your conclusion was especially good:

    Ironically, by far the biggest lacuna is with regards to the “business as usual” scenario. It’s as if the world’s futurist thinkers have been so consumed with the most exotic and “interesting” scenarios (e.g. superintelligence, ems, socio-economic collapse, etc.) that they have neglected to consider what will happen if we take all the standard economic and demographic projections for this century, apply our understanding of economics, psychometrics, technology, and evolutionary psychology to them, and stretch them out to their logical conclusions.

    The resultant Age of Industrial Malthusianism is not only something that’s easier to imagine than many of the other scenarios, and by extension easier for modern people to connect with, but it is also something that is genuinely interesting in its own right. It is also very important to understand well.

    Next puzzle: if this is a fairly accurate picture of the future, what should people do? What activities & investments are currently overvalued vs undervalued, and so on?

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    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    3. Genetic engineering for IQ banned? – China will do it (is doing it).
     
    Yes, I certainly don't see a "concert" of Great Powers coordinating on a global ban of these techs as realistic either.

    Agreement between the West/Bilderbergers and the CCP are the absolute bare minimum for that to happen. But China itself certainly doesn't look interested, and frankly I doubt there will be substantial restrictions in most Western countries including the US either.

    This is pretty sobering to consider. How does society look different if we expect future humans to be less intelligent than ourselves, and/or if we expect society as a whole to be less capable? What kind of things should we be doing now to tide civilization through future dark ages?
     
    I plan to write another post specifically about the Age of Industrial Malthusianism, though more descriptive than prescriptive.

    Your suggestion reminds me of this great article by Ugo Bardi about the collapse of the Roman Empire, which touched on the pointlessness of prescription.

    The Emperor Marcus Aurelius calls upon a wise druid to advise him on how to prevent the Roman Empire's collapse:

    "Emperor, first you need to plant trees. the land needs rest. In time, trees will reform the fertile soil."
    "But, druid, if we plant trees, we won't have enough food for the people."
    "Nobody will starve if the patricians renounce to some of their luxuries!"
    "Well, Druid, I see your point but it won't be easy....."
    "And you must reduce the number of legions and abandon the walls!"
    "But, but.... Druid, if we do that, the barbarians will invade us....."
    "It is better now than later. Now you can still keep enough troops to defend the cities. Later on, it will be impossible. It is sustainable defense."
    "Sustainable?"
    "Yes, it means defense that you can afford. You need to turn the legions into city militias and..."
    "And...?"
    "You must spend less for the Imperial Bureaucracy. The Imperial taxes are too heavy! You must work together with the people, not oppress them! Plant trees, disband the army, work together!"

    Now, Emperor Marcus Aurelius seriously considers whether it is appropriate to have your head chopped off, after all. Then, since he is a good man, he sends to you back to Eburacum under heavy military escort, with strict orders that you should never come to Rome again.

    ...

    But I would like to point out to you something: let's go back to what our fictional druid was telling to Emperor Aurelius. He had this slogan "Plant trees, disband the army and work together"... Anyway, can you see what kind of world the Druid was proposing to the Emperor? Think about that for a moment: a world of walled cities defended by city militias, no central authority or a weak one, an economy based on agriculture.

    Do you see it.....? Sure, it is Middle Ages! Think about that for a moment and you'll see that you could define Middle Ages as a solution for the problems of the Roman Empire!

    So, our Druid had seen the future and was describing it to Emperor Aurelius. He had seen the solution of the problems of Empire: Middle Ages. It was where the Empire was going and where it could not avoid going.
     
    So things have a way of working out without our unsolicited input! ;)
    , @Glossy
    Nick Bostrom has argued that there are hard limits on traditional pharmaceutical cognitive enhancement, since if the presence of some simple chemical would help us think better, our brains would probably already be producing it.

    Isn't that like saying that PEDs can't possibly exist because if the presence of some simple chemicals would help us become faster and stronger, our bodies would probably already be producing them?

    We're selected for a very large number of traits, of which intelligence and muscle strength are only two, and there are many trade-offs involved.

    How does society look different if we expect future humans to be less intelligent than ourselves, and/or if we expect society as a whole to be less capable? What kind of things should we be doing now to tide civilization through future dark ages?

    We should be creating many copies of important STEM data collections on sturdy media. An example would be etching text onto stainless steel plates to be deposited throughout the world.

    About 99.9% of Greco-Roman book titles were lost during the Dark Ages. Interest in this stuff came back by the 13th century. After that it took, I'd say 3 centuries, to get back up to the Greco-Roman level. A lot of things had to be reinvented, as opposed to looked up.
  5. @Abelard Lindsey
    If dysgenics is real, something the alt-right and fellow travelers consider to be the most fundamental existential threat to humanity's future, it would make sense that "transhumanist" solutions mentioned in this post would be the appropriate solution. This has been obvious to me since this kind of talk first emerged, and should obvious to anyone with a room temperature and above IQ. Its analogous to how the mass production of the automobile became the appropriate solution to the accumulation of horse-shit in major cities in 1900.

    Yes, it continues to stun and amaze me just how much of the alt-right is so hostile to "transhumanist" style solutions such as those mentioned in this post.

    Many of us Neoreactionaries are basically dualists that find meaning in boundaries in life, transhumanism threatens to remove such boundaries and in doing so, simultaneously remove what is left of meaning. There’s a valid reason why transhumanism bothers us – it fundamentally creates individuals who indeed, defined only by their self-described identity.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Abelard Lindsey
    What is meant by dualism?

    Do you consider aging to be disease no different than any other disease? Or do you consider aging to be something special, not to be cured?

    it fundamentally creates individuals who indeed, defined only by their self-described identity.

    I consider myself to be one of these. Why am I a problem for you?
    , @Abelard Lindsey
    Do you believe that "transhumanists" and neoreactionary types can peacefully coexist in the same society? Or do you believe in the "parting of the ways" between such, with the transhumanists presumably taking up seasteading or similar options?
    , @Darin

    it fundamentally creates individuals who indeed, defined only by their self-described identity.
     
    Maybe I am missing something, but to me "alt right" and "neo reaction" looks just like another postmodernist internet subculture, like bronies or furries. On the Net, you can really indentify yourself as anything you want to be, whether pink pony or mighty medieval knight.
  6. @Mike
    Very thoughtful & reasoned outlook. Broadly speaking I find myself in agreement with most of it. Some things that stood out:

    1. Neuropharmacology. You’re skeptical that there are much more effective ‘smart drugs in our future. I think your skepticism is warranted, and one way to approach this is the “Algernon argument”: http://www.gwern.net/Drug%20heuristics.

    On the other hand, I think it could be possible that there's low-hanging fruit based on motivation. Elsewhere I've noted that:

    Nick Bostrom has argued that there are hard limits on traditional pharmaceutical cognitive enhancement, since if the presence of some simple chemical would help us think better, our brains would probably already be producing it. On the other hand, there seem to be fewer a priori limits on motivational or emotional enhancement. And sure enough, the most effective “cognitive enhancers” such as adderall, modafinil, and so on seem to work by making cognitive tasks seem less unpleasant or more interesting. If we had a crisp theory of valence, this might enable particularly powerful versions of these sorts of drugs.
     
    http://opentheory.net/2015/09/fai_and_valence/

    2. A limited window for takeoff, before cognitive trends have us crashing hard. This is pretty sobering to consider. How does society look different if we expect future humans to be less intelligent than ourselves, and/or if we expect society as a whole to be less capable? What kind of things should we be doing now to tide civilization through future dark ages?

    3. Genetic engineering for IQ banned? - China will do it (is doing it).

    4. Transhumanism. The more I think about it, the more dangerous transhumanism seems if done by civilizations without Moloch firmly under control.

    5. Galactic superpredators: plausible & scary.

    6. Cryopreservation: poor Robin Hanson.

    7. Overall: I think you've hit the important scenarios, & I think your probability estimates are reasonable. If I were to add one variable to this mix, it'd be political philosophy: the future will be radically different depending on the outcome of the memetic civil war the West is currently engaged in.

    8. Business-as-usual is dystopic: yes, and I thought your conclusion was especially good:

    Ironically, by far the biggest lacuna is with regards to the “business as usual” scenario. It’s as if the world’s futurist thinkers have been so consumed with the most exotic and “interesting” scenarios (e.g. superintelligence, ems, socio-economic collapse, etc.) that they have neglected to consider what will happen if we take all the standard economic and demographic projections for this century, apply our understanding of economics, psychometrics, technology, and evolutionary psychology to them, and stretch them out to their logical conclusions.

    The resultant Age of Industrial Malthusianism is not only something that’s easier to imagine than many of the other scenarios, and by extension easier for modern people to connect with, but it is also something that is genuinely interesting in its own right. It is also very important to understand well.
     
    Next puzzle: if this is a fairly accurate picture of the future, what should people do? What activities & investments are currently overvalued vs undervalued, and so on?

    3. Genetic engineering for IQ banned? – China will do it (is doing it).

    Yes, I certainly don’t see a “concert” of Great Powers coordinating on a global ban of these techs as realistic either.

    Agreement between the West/Bilderbergers and the CCP are the absolute bare minimum for that to happen. But China itself certainly doesn’t look interested, and frankly I doubt there will be substantial restrictions in most Western countries including the US either.

    This is pretty sobering to consider. How does society look different if we expect future humans to be less intelligent than ourselves, and/or if we expect society as a whole to be less capable? What kind of things should we be doing now to tide civilization through future dark ages?

    I plan to write another post specifically about the Age of Industrial Malthusianism, though more descriptive than prescriptive.

    Your suggestion reminds me of this great article by Ugo Bardi about the collapse of the Roman Empire, which touched on the pointlessness of prescription.

    The Emperor Marcus Aurelius calls upon a wise druid to advise him on how to prevent the Roman Empire’s collapse:

    “Emperor, first you need to plant trees. the land needs rest. In time, trees will reform the fertile soil.”
    “But, druid, if we plant trees, we won’t have enough food for the people.”
    “Nobody will starve if the patricians renounce to some of their luxuries!”
    “Well, Druid, I see your point but it won’t be easy…..”
    “And you must reduce the number of legions and abandon the walls!”
    “But, but…. Druid, if we do that, the barbarians will invade us…..”
    “It is better now than later. Now you can still keep enough troops to defend the cities. Later on, it will be impossible. It is sustainable defense.”
    “Sustainable?”
    “Yes, it means defense that you can afford. You need to turn the legions into city militias and…”
    “And…?”
    “You must spend less for the Imperial Bureaucracy. The Imperial taxes are too heavy! You must work together with the people, not oppress them! Plant trees, disband the army, work together!”

    Now, Emperor Marcus Aurelius seriously considers whether it is appropriate to have your head chopped off, after all. Then, since he is a good man, he sends to you back to Eburacum under heavy military escort, with strict orders that you should never come to Rome again.

    But I would like to point out to you something: let’s go back to what our fictional druid was telling to Emperor Aurelius. He had this slogan “Plant trees, disband the army and work together”… Anyway, can you see what kind of world the Druid was proposing to the Emperor? Think about that for a moment: a world of walled cities defended by city militias, no central authority or a weak one, an economy based on agriculture.

    Do you see it…..? Sure, it is Middle Ages! Think about that for a moment and you’ll see that you could define Middle Ages as a solution for the problems of the Roman Empire!

    So, our Druid had seen the future and was describing it to Emperor Aurelius. He had seen the solution of the problems of Empire: Middle Ages. It was where the Empire was going and where it could not avoid going.

    So things have a way of working out without our unsolicited input! ;)

    Read More
    • Agree: Dan Hayes
    • Replies: @Mike
    Hah, that's a great story about Rome.

    I agree that some cycles have such inertia that there's little to be done. "The dogs may bark, but the caravan moves on." Still, perhaps EA could benefit from a clear description of the challenges the Age of Industrial Malthusianism might bring.
  7. On “Malthusian industrialism/business as usual,” I’d say your premises are pretty weak (or at least, some elaboration would be helpful).
    Specifically, it’s not clear where the ideas of breeders/rearers and massive population growth come from (actually I noticed Jayman’s influence in the phrasing, which is a warning flag in itself).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_fertility_rate

    I’m sure you’re familiar with the idea and the data. Basically, almost every country outside Africa is either already at below replacement levels (1-2) or will be there soon (2-3).
    Even in Africa, there are already countries at ‘moderate’ levels (e.g. South Africa, which again points to falling fertility in correlation with development). The continent as a whole went from a TFR of approx. 7 between 1950 and 1980 to 4 now and is predicted to be at 2.5 in 2050.
    In conclusion, it seems like people who attain some basic standard of living just aren’t particularly interested in having children (Bangladesh is at 2.2 with a GDP PPP p.c. 0f 3.3k USD). Consequently, I don’t understand where the population explosion is supposed to come from.
    Having written all that, I just realized what you were saying (really). Selection is currently underway for those with high “fertility preference”, so future people will be very fertile? In my opinion, the hereditary component must be much smaller than the environmental one; for examples see above.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Sure, pointing out the the fact of the demographic transition is a very good argument, and it needs to be addressed.

    Before the Malthusian transition, there were huge incentives to have families - more hands for farm work; the high mortality rates for infants and children; also, the banal fact that wearing a condom made out of sheep guts presumably wasn't very enjoyable.

    However, families that had more children than they could could support suffered higher death rates for their lack of discipline. Hence, there was an equilibrium in which committed "breeders" only ever constituted a small share of the population.

    When Malthusian constraints fell away at around the time of the industrial revolution, along with the loosening of traditionalist pro-natality mores (have as many children as you can support and no more), the underpinnings of the old equilibrium crumbled away. However, since in most populations breeders are not yet a high percentage of the population - Orthodox Jewry and the Amish might be exceptions, since many of the people less committed to their values (inc. high natality) get "boiled off" with every generation - at first (i.e. the first century or so) this only had very modest effects, because there were very few "breeders" at t=0.

    Hence, cultural and social influences played much greater roles in determining fertility in First World nations during the 20th century, and at least in Africa, will probably continue to do so for the next century. In fact, one counterintuitive prediction that I would make is that Africa c.2100 will have lower TFRs than most current First World nations.

    Kolk et al., 2014 modeled this:

    Correlations in family size across generations could have a major influence on human population size in the future. Empirical studies have shown that the associations between the fertility of parents and the fertility of children are substantial and growing over time. Despite their potential long-term consequences, intergenerational fertility correlations have largely been ignored by researchers... We show that intergenerational fertility correlations will result in an increase in fertility over time.
     
    "Breeders" as a share of the population are barely different three generations in than at the start, but are rising rapidly by the 5th generation, and come to constitute the vast majority of people by the 12th generation.

    Incidentally, Germany had its fertility transition 3 generations ago, whereas France had it about 5 generations ago.

    And this map is quite famous: http://i36.tinypic.com/1679y7n.png

    Hmm...
    , @Simon in London
    "Even in Africa, there are already countries at ‘moderate’ levels (e.g. South Africa, which again points to falling fertility in correlation with development). The continent as a whole went from a TFR of approx. 7 between 1950 and 1980 to 4 now and is predicted to be at 2.5 in 2050."

    This would be great. But African fertility has consistently failed to lower in line with predictions, which is the only reason the UN has had to keep revising world population estimates upwards. The 2.5 prediction is presumably the current (UN 2015) one that gives Africa a population of 4.3 billion in 2100 in a world of 11.2 billion. If it falls from 4 now to say 3.5 in 2050 you get a very different scenario. And this says nothing about the size of African populations outside Africa.

    http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/publications/world-population-prospects-2015-revision.html

  8. @Klon
    On "Malthusian industrialism/business as usual," I'd say your premises are pretty weak (or at least, some elaboration would be helpful).
    Specifically, it's not clear where the ideas of breeders/rearers and massive population growth come from (actually I noticed Jayman's influence in the phrasing, which is a warning flag in itself).
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_fertility_rate
    I'm sure you're familiar with the idea and the data. Basically, almost every country outside Africa is either already at below replacement levels (1-2) or will be there soon (2-3).
    Even in Africa, there are already countries at 'moderate' levels (e.g. South Africa, which again points to falling fertility in correlation with development). The continent as a whole went from a TFR of approx. 7 between 1950 and 1980 to 4 now and is predicted to be at 2.5 in 2050.
    In conclusion, it seems like people who attain some basic standard of living just aren't particularly interested in having children (Bangladesh is at 2.2 with a GDP PPP p.c. 0f 3.3k USD). Consequently, I don't understand where the population explosion is supposed to come from.
    Having written all that, I just realized what you were saying (really). Selection is currently underway for those with high "fertility preference", so future people will be very fertile? In my opinion, the hereditary component must be much smaller than the environmental one; for examples see above.

    Sure, pointing out the the fact of the demographic transition is a very good argument, and it needs to be addressed.

    Before the Malthusian transition, there were huge incentives to have families – more hands for farm work; the high mortality rates for infants and children; also, the banal fact that wearing a condom made out of sheep guts presumably wasn’t very enjoyable.

    However, families that had more children than they could could support suffered higher death rates for their lack of discipline. Hence, there was an equilibrium in which committed “breeders” only ever constituted a small share of the population.

    When Malthusian constraints fell away at around the time of the industrial revolution, along with the loosening of traditionalist pro-natality mores (have as many children as you can support and no more), the underpinnings of the old equilibrium crumbled away. However, since in most populations breeders are not yet a high percentage of the population – Orthodox Jewry and the Amish might be exceptions, since many of the people less committed to their values (inc. high natality) get “boiled off” with every generation – at first (i.e. the first century or so) this only had very modest effects, because there were very few “breeders” at t=0.

    Hence, cultural and social influences played much greater roles in determining fertility in First World nations during the 20th century, and at least in Africa, will probably continue to do so for the next century. In fact, one counterintuitive prediction that I would make is that Africa c.2100 will have lower TFRs than most current First World nations.

    Kolk et al., 2014 modeled this:

    Correlations in family size across generations could have a major influence on human population size in the future. Empirical studies have shown that the associations between the fertility of parents and the fertility of children are substantial and growing over time. Despite their potential long-term consequences, intergenerational fertility correlations have largely been ignored by researchers… We show that intergenerational fertility correlations will result in an increase in fertility over time.

    “Breeders” as a share of the population are barely different three generations in than at the start, but are rising rapidly by the 5th generation, and come to constitute the vast majority of people by the 12th generation.

    Incidentally, Germany had its fertility transition 3 generations ago, whereas France had it about 5 generations ago.

    And this map is quite famous: http://i36.tinypic.com/1679y7n.png

    Hmm…

    Read More
    • Agree: Cicerone
    • Replies: @Klon
    Thanks for the reply. Obviously I got a bit carried away in my assessment of our relative familiarity with the topic (although I knew you knew about TFR, I guess I just couldn't imagine the alternative). How solid do you think this theory is? Could you explain why the trends would be dysgenic (IQ is inversely correlated with fertility inside populations)? Plus, the theory is very unkown (not mentioned in the Wikipedia article and I've never heard it discussed in HBD/altright circles), but potentially hugely important. Maybe you should write an article about it or I should try pitching it to Sailer.

    As for the rest, I think the singularity is quite plausible. Another scenario, at least in the short- and mid-term, is a total transformation of society through automation, robotics and AI eliminating most human jobs. Whether it is closer to a post-scarcity utopia or something else remains to be seen. I think this option (if it's on the utopian side, of course) might be (for many people, or at least me) preferable to whatever the singularity might mean.

    , @Glossy
    Incidentally, Germany had its fertility transition 3 generations ago, whereas France had it about 5 generations ago

    I remember looking at bits of Diderot's Encyclopedia years ago, and the article on France said that the French weren't breeding enough, that the royal government had incentives for them to have more kids, but that this wasn't working.

    France was Europe's intellectual leader then, so the anti-clerical trend started there very early. Voltaire and co., Enlightenmnt, then the Revolution.

    In the Middle Ages France had several times more people than the British Isles, much more than Germany. I think it still had more people than the Russian Empire at the time of the Napoleonic invasion! And that was the old Russian Empire, with Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Finland, the southern Caucasus.

    So the French were the first to go left and down (population-wise), and now maybe first to go right and up? They certainly have a larger far-right than most Euro countries.
    , @Cicerone
    There is already evidence in Israel and some counties in the US for that. As the share of Ultraorthodox Jews increases, fertility rates increase by a tiny bit every year, just because of this composition effect. In the US, Haredi Jews are increasingly heading for the suburbs and are creating towns close to NYC where they are on their own, as their expansion in Brooklyn is increasingly limited due to expensive housing. Rockland county, NY is an interesting example for that. In the early 1980s, the TFR in Rockland county was around 1.7, being below the American average. In the meantime however, due to the rising share of Haredi Jews, it has continuously crept up to 2.8. In just a few decades, NYC will be surrounded by many high fertility suburbs as their expansion continues.

    The interesting thing though is that these kind of breeder groups so far have only popped up in the West and nowhere else. No breeders so far in Eastern Asia, Africa, or anywhere else.

    I know that map btw. ;) Had lots of fierce debates with the guy who made it on the demographic prospects of France and my dear own country.
  9. Of course, Business as Usual will deliver assortative mating so there will be an increase of people at the top end of the distribution. Also, access by the most talented of currently outsider groups to the global culture will introduce biologically different brain/body types with different patterns of perception and creativity. The ancient seperatedness of Australian Aborigines at one end to the novel adaptions of American Indians at the other. High IQ Aborigines are unlikely to see things exactly the same way as a Chinese or a German.

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  10. @Daniel Chieh
    Many of us Neoreactionaries are basically dualists that find meaning in boundaries in life, transhumanism threatens to remove such boundaries and in doing so, simultaneously remove what is left of meaning. There's a valid reason why transhumanism bothers us - it fundamentally creates individuals who indeed, defined only by their self-described identity.

    What is meant by dualism?

    Do you consider aging to be disease no different than any other disease? Or do you consider aging to be something special, not to be cured?

    it fundamentally creates individuals who indeed, defined only by their self-described identity.

    I consider myself to be one of these. Why am I a problem for you?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    I consider myself to be one of these. Why am I a problem for you?

     

    It becomes impossible to maintain boundaries if people can simply transform on a fundamental level between sexes, ages and essentially species, for starters. The lack of stability reinforces the atomistic individual and disrupts or destroys any notion of collective order. Neoreaction relies heavily on the notion of some things being eternal, or close to it; it completely eliminates it.

    Seasteading is probably the best way, yes. For a variety of reasons, coexistence is difficult even now, since we have a tendency to peer pressure another into the absoluteness of our viewpoints - thus transgender bathroom wars.
  11. @Daniel Chieh
    Many of us Neoreactionaries are basically dualists that find meaning in boundaries in life, transhumanism threatens to remove such boundaries and in doing so, simultaneously remove what is left of meaning. There's a valid reason why transhumanism bothers us - it fundamentally creates individuals who indeed, defined only by their self-described identity.

    Do you believe that “transhumanists” and neoreactionary types can peacefully coexist in the same society? Or do you believe in the “parting of the ways” between such, with the transhumanists presumably taking up seasteading or similar options?

    Read More
  12. @Anatoly Karlin
    Sure, pointing out the the fact of the demographic transition is a very good argument, and it needs to be addressed.

    Before the Malthusian transition, there were huge incentives to have families - more hands for farm work; the high mortality rates for infants and children; also, the banal fact that wearing a condom made out of sheep guts presumably wasn't very enjoyable.

    However, families that had more children than they could could support suffered higher death rates for their lack of discipline. Hence, there was an equilibrium in which committed "breeders" only ever constituted a small share of the population.

    When Malthusian constraints fell away at around the time of the industrial revolution, along with the loosening of traditionalist pro-natality mores (have as many children as you can support and no more), the underpinnings of the old equilibrium crumbled away. However, since in most populations breeders are not yet a high percentage of the population - Orthodox Jewry and the Amish might be exceptions, since many of the people less committed to their values (inc. high natality) get "boiled off" with every generation - at first (i.e. the first century or so) this only had very modest effects, because there were very few "breeders" at t=0.

    Hence, cultural and social influences played much greater roles in determining fertility in First World nations during the 20th century, and at least in Africa, will probably continue to do so for the next century. In fact, one counterintuitive prediction that I would make is that Africa c.2100 will have lower TFRs than most current First World nations.

    Kolk et al., 2014 modeled this:

    Correlations in family size across generations could have a major influence on human population size in the future. Empirical studies have shown that the associations between the fertility of parents and the fertility of children are substantial and growing over time. Despite their potential long-term consequences, intergenerational fertility correlations have largely been ignored by researchers... We show that intergenerational fertility correlations will result in an increase in fertility over time.
     
    "Breeders" as a share of the population are barely different three generations in than at the start, but are rising rapidly by the 5th generation, and come to constitute the vast majority of people by the 12th generation.

    Incidentally, Germany had its fertility transition 3 generations ago, whereas France had it about 5 generations ago.

    And this map is quite famous: http://i36.tinypic.com/1679y7n.png

    Hmm...

    Thanks for the reply. Obviously I got a bit carried away in my assessment of our relative familiarity with the topic (although I knew you knew about TFR, I guess I just couldn’t imagine the alternative). How solid do you think this theory is? Could you explain why the trends would be dysgenic (IQ is inversely correlated with fertility inside populations)? Plus, the theory is very unkown (not mentioned in the Wikipedia article and I’ve never heard it discussed in HBD/altright circles), but potentially hugely important. Maybe you should write an article about it or I should try pitching it to Sailer.

    As for the rest, I think the singularity is quite plausible. Another scenario, at least in the short- and mid-term, is a total transformation of society through automation, robotics and AI eliminating most human jobs. Whether it is closer to a post-scarcity utopia or something else remains to be seen. I think this option (if it’s on the utopian side, of course) might be (for many people, or at least me) preferable to whatever the singularity might mean.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    How solid do you think this theory is?
     
    I think its pretty solid, in that it syncs with common sense, the heritability of personality, and is an extrapolation of observed data (rising intergenerational fertility correlations).

    I can also speculate as to why it is not very popular:

    (1) Like HBD, it is not very politically correct - as Pinker has long pointed out, society has a strong "blank slate" bias.

    (2) Whereas at least some HBD findings are relative to current issues (e.g. IQ/economic development, crime rates, etc) this is only of significant relevance to the far future, i.e. 200 years time.

    For understandable reasons people discount the far future.

    Maybe you should write an article about it or I should try pitching it to Sailer.
     
    If Sailer were to blog his thoughts about it that would indeed help bring it into the limelight since his audience is 10x that of mine.

    Could you explain why the trends would be dysgenic (IQ is inversely correlated with fertility inside populations)?
     
    Correct (at least for now): http://www.unz.com/akarlin/nor-breeding-their-best/

    This is more speculative, but I suspect the link between higher IQ and lower TFR might be intrinsic to the human condition. I recall reading about a psychological experiment in which more intelligent people (of both sexes) were relatively more amused/entertained by animal pets while duller people were relatively more amused/entertained by human children.

    Another scenario, at least in the short- and mid-term, is a total transformation of society through automation, robotics and AI eliminating most human jobs.
     
    That's certainly going to happen in the next few decades, but my post was after all about the third millennium. :)

    Incidentally, Randal Parker has speculated that automation and robots will actually augment, not dampen, fertility rates: http://www.futurepundit.com/archives/009885.html
  13. I’m not convinced that dysgenics is a real problem. At the same time, I don’t reject the premise out of hand.

    Although I have my doubts about AI and a “singularity”, the bio-engineering route (what you call the bio-singularity) is real as well as the continued automation of manufacturing and other capabilities. This is what we call a mundane singularity. In any case, it is very clear that such pro-technology approaches are the ONLY possible solution to the coming dysgenics problem. The neoreaction approach has zero chance of working at all, because it does nothing about the underlying problem.

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  14. @Abelard Lindsey
    What is meant by dualism?

    Do you consider aging to be disease no different than any other disease? Or do you consider aging to be something special, not to be cured?

    it fundamentally creates individuals who indeed, defined only by their self-described identity.

    I consider myself to be one of these. Why am I a problem for you?

    I consider myself to be one of these. Why am I a problem for you?

    It becomes impossible to maintain boundaries if people can simply transform on a fundamental level between sexes, ages and essentially species, for starters. The lack of stability reinforces the atomistic individual and disrupts or destroys any notion of collective order. Neoreaction relies heavily on the notion of some things being eternal, or close to it; it completely eliminates it.

    Seasteading is probably the best way, yes. For a variety of reasons, coexistence is difficult even now, since we have a tendency to peer pressure another into the absoluteness of our viewpoints – thus transgender bathroom wars.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Abelard Lindsey
    Do you have a problem with curing aging (e.g. radical life extension)? If so, why? Would you support making it illegal? If so, do you really think such a prohibition could be enforced? We all know that the drug war is a complete failure and a joke. A legal war against life extension would be an even bigger joke. I think you would agree with me that making and trying to enforce silly laws simply promotes disrespect for objective rule of law, something we both agree with.


    Also cryonics. I intend to enter cryo-preservation if I don't "make it" the first time around. Do you have a problem with cryonics?

  15. This is how we will escape the dysgenic decline problem:

    https://arxiv.org/abs/1612.03238

    The key point is the self-replication manufacturing that robotics and additive manufacturing will lead to can be created and sustained by small groups of self-interested individuals (libertarian transhumanist types?). Once we have this capability, certainly by mid century (2050), there will be no stopping us from going out on our own (political autonomy) regardless of what happens to the rest of the world.

    Think of it, and radical life extension, as the ultimate form of self-empowerment.

    Daniel Cheih, you said these kinds of technology threaten “meaning” for you. I can definitely tell you that self-empowerment is the source and basis of meaning for me.

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    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    I'm a little bit dubious as I work with automation as my day job and while I see progress, I've also seen the amount of problems that it keeps cropping up. Quality of service is still low for delivery, and the increasing complexity of the systems lead to surprising amounts of waste; a large amount of human effort is reinvested at the moment to assist the automation to completion when it fails to deliver the correct outputs. There are a huge number of feedback mechanisms in order to prevent errors from accumulating, but each of these feedback mechanisms is also a new layer of complexity.

    Nonetheless, perhaps in a few decades, the things will be worked out.

    Daniel Cheih, you said these kinds of technology threaten “meaning” for you. I can definitely tell you that self-empowerment is the source and basis of meaning for me.
     
    Unfortunately, not everyone is exactly the same, thus accounting for a number of conflicts in the world. Identity and sacralization is the basis of fulfillment for me, and I doubt that can change.
  16. There’s too much to object to in post and comments for me even to start. So let me just say that the probability of (5) is far over 99%.

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    • Agree: inertial
    • Replies: @Sam Shama
    Pity, I could've sworn you had converted to our side of the argument. It's only another three decades for Kurzweil Singularity and the Malthusian outcome is too horrid to contemplate
    , @MrBob
    I'm an avid Unz Review reader, but dear God, this was like reading a sci fi comic book. Go outside for Christ's sakes, get in touch with nature and family, just a little bit. You will see perfectly clearly what a meaningful and utterly satisfying human existence looks like. It's not that we haven't gotent there yet, but we've already blown past it.
  17. @Abelard Lindsey
    This is how we will escape the dysgenic decline problem:

    https://arxiv.org/abs/1612.03238

    The key point is the self-replication manufacturing that robotics and additive manufacturing will lead to can be created and sustained by small groups of self-interested individuals (libertarian transhumanist types?). Once we have this capability, certainly by mid century (2050), there will be no stopping us from going out on our own (political autonomy) regardless of what happens to the rest of the world.

    Think of it, and radical life extension, as the ultimate form of self-empowerment.

    Daniel Cheih, you said these kinds of technology threaten "meaning" for you. I can definitely tell you that self-empowerment is the source and basis of meaning for me.

    I’m a little bit dubious as I work with automation as my day job and while I see progress, I’ve also seen the amount of problems that it keeps cropping up. Quality of service is still low for delivery, and the increasing complexity of the systems lead to surprising amounts of waste; a large amount of human effort is reinvested at the moment to assist the automation to completion when it fails to deliver the correct outputs. There are a huge number of feedback mechanisms in order to prevent errors from accumulating, but each of these feedback mechanisms is also a new layer of complexity.

    Nonetheless, perhaps in a few decades, the things will be worked out.

    Daniel Cheih, you said these kinds of technology threaten “meaning” for you. I can definitely tell you that self-empowerment is the source and basis of meaning for me.

    Unfortunately, not everyone is exactly the same, thus accounting for a number of conflicts in the world. Identity and sacralization is the basis of fulfillment for me, and I doubt that can change.

    Read More
  18. @Anatoly Karlin

    3. Genetic engineering for IQ banned? – China will do it (is doing it).
     
    Yes, I certainly don't see a "concert" of Great Powers coordinating on a global ban of these techs as realistic either.

    Agreement between the West/Bilderbergers and the CCP are the absolute bare minimum for that to happen. But China itself certainly doesn't look interested, and frankly I doubt there will be substantial restrictions in most Western countries including the US either.

    This is pretty sobering to consider. How does society look different if we expect future humans to be less intelligent than ourselves, and/or if we expect society as a whole to be less capable? What kind of things should we be doing now to tide civilization through future dark ages?
     
    I plan to write another post specifically about the Age of Industrial Malthusianism, though more descriptive than prescriptive.

    Your suggestion reminds me of this great article by Ugo Bardi about the collapse of the Roman Empire, which touched on the pointlessness of prescription.

    The Emperor Marcus Aurelius calls upon a wise druid to advise him on how to prevent the Roman Empire's collapse:

    "Emperor, first you need to plant trees. the land needs rest. In time, trees will reform the fertile soil."
    "But, druid, if we plant trees, we won't have enough food for the people."
    "Nobody will starve if the patricians renounce to some of their luxuries!"
    "Well, Druid, I see your point but it won't be easy....."
    "And you must reduce the number of legions and abandon the walls!"
    "But, but.... Druid, if we do that, the barbarians will invade us....."
    "It is better now than later. Now you can still keep enough troops to defend the cities. Later on, it will be impossible. It is sustainable defense."
    "Sustainable?"
    "Yes, it means defense that you can afford. You need to turn the legions into city militias and..."
    "And...?"
    "You must spend less for the Imperial Bureaucracy. The Imperial taxes are too heavy! You must work together with the people, not oppress them! Plant trees, disband the army, work together!"

    Now, Emperor Marcus Aurelius seriously considers whether it is appropriate to have your head chopped off, after all. Then, since he is a good man, he sends to you back to Eburacum under heavy military escort, with strict orders that you should never come to Rome again.

    ...

    But I would like to point out to you something: let's go back to what our fictional druid was telling to Emperor Aurelius. He had this slogan "Plant trees, disband the army and work together"... Anyway, can you see what kind of world the Druid was proposing to the Emperor? Think about that for a moment: a world of walled cities defended by city militias, no central authority or a weak one, an economy based on agriculture.

    Do you see it.....? Sure, it is Middle Ages! Think about that for a moment and you'll see that you could define Middle Ages as a solution for the problems of the Roman Empire!

    So, our Druid had seen the future and was describing it to Emperor Aurelius. He had seen the solution of the problems of Empire: Middle Ages. It was where the Empire was going and where it could not avoid going.
     
    So things have a way of working out without our unsolicited input! ;)

    Hah, that’s a great story about Rome.

    I agree that some cycles have such inertia that there’s little to be done. “The dogs may bark, but the caravan moves on.” Still, perhaps EA could benefit from a clear description of the challenges the Age of Industrial Malthusianism might bring.

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  19. @Daniel Chieh

    I consider myself to be one of these. Why am I a problem for you?

     

    It becomes impossible to maintain boundaries if people can simply transform on a fundamental level between sexes, ages and essentially species, for starters. The lack of stability reinforces the atomistic individual and disrupts or destroys any notion of collective order. Neoreaction relies heavily on the notion of some things being eternal, or close to it; it completely eliminates it.

    Seasteading is probably the best way, yes. For a variety of reasons, coexistence is difficult even now, since we have a tendency to peer pressure another into the absoluteness of our viewpoints - thus transgender bathroom wars.

    Do you have a problem with curing aging (e.g. radical life extension)? If so, why? Would you support making it illegal? If so, do you really think such a prohibition could be enforced? We all know that the drug war is a complete failure and a joke. A legal war against life extension would be an even bigger joke. I think you would agree with me that making and trying to enforce silly laws simply promotes disrespect for objective rule of law, something we both agree with.

    Also cryonics. I intend to enter cryo-preservation if I don’t “make it” the first time around. Do you have a problem with cryonics?

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  20. Seasteading is probably the best way, yes. For a variety of reasons, coexistence is difficult even now, since we have a tendency to peer pressure another into the absoluteness of our viewpoints – thus transgender bathroom wars.

    How about where transhumanists and neoreaction types decide to live in separate areas of the same cities. Do you think this would work? Or say in different regions of the country. I think the Western U.S. (both the west coast as well as the sun belt) would be open to transhumanism, as well as say the east coast.

    In any case, I think the development of effective anti-aging medicine is as inevitable as the development of electricity, cars, jet airplanes, and laptop computers. I also think crypo-preservation (think of it as medical time travel, an ambulance ride into the future) will also slowly grow in popularity.

    Aging and death will be something we will read about on history blogs. Why do you have a problem with this scenario?

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    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    I'm also skeptical of anti-aging coming soon, but I'm not intrinsically opposed to it as I believe it will probably not be enforceable. So as long as there is freedom of association, a lot of things are possible; as noted, the main problem is that freedom of association isn't a value that is defended much these days.

    Right now, though, even if we can regenerate somatic non-neural cells, neurons are pretty limited. There's neurogenesis but that's actually pretty limited to a few specific areas so you will still have mental degradation with age. Even if you conquer those issues, cancer cell metastasis risks will increase with age.

    I doubt aging is going to be a solved problem anytime soon.
  21. BTW, can anyone tell me what “dualism” is?

    I see several definitions on the net. So, the concept is not clear to me.

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    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    Sorry to double-post. This is what I'm going by.

    https://meaningness.com/monism-dualism-recursion
  22. @Abelard Lindsey
    Seasteading is probably the best way, yes. For a variety of reasons, coexistence is difficult even now, since we have a tendency to peer pressure another into the absoluteness of our viewpoints – thus transgender bathroom wars.

    How about where transhumanists and neoreaction types decide to live in separate areas of the same cities. Do you think this would work? Or say in different regions of the country. I think the Western U.S. (both the west coast as well as the sun belt) would be open to transhumanism, as well as say the east coast.

    In any case, I think the development of effective anti-aging medicine is as inevitable as the development of electricity, cars, jet airplanes, and laptop computers. I also think crypo-preservation (think of it as medical time travel, an ambulance ride into the future) will also slowly grow in popularity.

    Aging and death will be something we will read about on history blogs. Why do you have a problem with this scenario?

    I’m also skeptical of anti-aging coming soon, but I’m not intrinsically opposed to it as I believe it will probably not be enforceable. So as long as there is freedom of association, a lot of things are possible; as noted, the main problem is that freedom of association isn’t a value that is defended much these days.

    Right now, though, even if we can regenerate somatic non-neural cells, neurons are pretty limited. There’s neurogenesis but that’s actually pretty limited to a few specific areas so you will still have mental degradation with age. Even if you conquer those issues, cancer cell metastasis risks will increase with age.

    I doubt aging is going to be a solved problem anytime soon.

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  23. @Abelard Lindsey
    BTW, can anyone tell me what "dualism" is?

    I see several definitions on the net. So, the concept is not clear to me.

    Sorry to double-post. This is what I’m going by.

    https://meaningness.com/monism-dualism-recursion

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  24. @Erik Sieven
    concerning current dysgenic trends:
    as far as I understand pure Ashkenazim jews are disappearing, since they marry out heavily in the USA and in Israel get overwhelmed by orthodox Jews of various ancestries. So, when Ashkenazim have been the most intelligent sub-group of humans in recent history, and probably of the whole human history, does´t this mean that this results in a huge loss for mankind in terms of extremely high IQ people? Might special kinds of giftedness (like John von Neumann) simply not be born in coming times?

    Might special kinds of giftedness

    You mean Griftiness.

    Is Von Neumann any kin to Alfred E.?

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  25. Personally, I think you’re being far optimistic than we have any justification to be, I would have put business at usual at (conservatively) over 50%. Whether development in these areas is rapidly progressing or not doesn’t change the fact our world is governed by hedonists and imbeciles. I don’t see how many of these other scenarios would play out with the African population bomb, rising terrorism and increasing environmental devastation.
    Your old writings at Akarlin.com seemed far more in this vein, may I venture that some personal success may have had something to do with your change in outlook?

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Of course not.

    Back then I strongly overweighed the impact of energy issues and modestly overweighed the impact of AGW.

    I continue to observe, learn, and calibrate.
  26. Serious question. Is there no room for situation 6?

    The biosingularity/technosingularity options all prove to be either impossible or are prevented by a determined coalition of governments. However, the same elites that make this decision get a serious drop of race realism: third world aid is quadrupled, but it is all spent on birth control, most of which is not optional. Much of Africa is simple walled off as a giant human zoo in which blacks are allowed to revert back to their pre-colonial forms of civilization, essentially oblivious to the world around them and with only vague mythologized memories of the industrial era. Intermediate civilizations like that of Islam are kept under lock and key by threat of (or actual) nuclear annihilation. The non-assimilable among the NAM minorities in the western world are deported, The west then just kind of keeps on going like now with growth levels of 3% p.a. for a few centuries, but pursuing sensible reactionary policies that maximize human welfare and cultural output. Then we all get eaten by space lizards.

    Or are you saying that, since wealthy elites under such a scenario will continue to experiment with AI and gene modification in private, that this will inevitably result in bio/technosingularity anyway, but perhaps a but slower?

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    Much of Africa is simple walled off as a giant human zoo in which blacks...
     
    I think that's unrealistic. You'd have to shift Western populations like 2 S.D. to the authoritarian right for that to become politically feasible!

    ... The west then just kind of keeps on going like now with growth levels of 3% p.a. for a few centuries, but pursuing sensible reactionary policies that maximize human welfare and cultural output.
     
    I don't know if 3%/annum growth is sustainable even if average IQ (somehow*) remains constant.

    Productivity is largely a function of technology, and technological progress is getting harder, not easier, because the problems we have to solve to keep going forwards are becoming more and more difficult.

    https://twitter.com/landryst/status/810130993508216832

    The fertility boom should still happen anyway, though if productivity/carrying capacity also grows fast enough like you posit, there's a good chance the Malthusian adjustment can be avoided.

    *After all, even though NRx loves it, even Nick Land admits Singapore is an "IQ shredder."
  27. @Yevardian
    Personally, I think you're being far optimistic than we have any justification to be, I would have put business at usual at (conservatively) over 50%. Whether development in these areas is rapidly progressing or not doesn't change the fact our world is governed by hedonists and imbeciles. I don't see how many of these other scenarios would play out with the African population bomb, rising terrorism and increasing environmental devastation.
    Your old writings at Akarlin.com seemed far more in this vein, may I venture that some personal success may have had something to do with your change in outlook?

    Of course not.

    Back then I strongly overweighed the impact of energy issues and modestly overweighed the impact of AGW.

    I continue to observe, learn, and calibrate.

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  28. @Klon
    Thanks for the reply. Obviously I got a bit carried away in my assessment of our relative familiarity with the topic (although I knew you knew about TFR, I guess I just couldn't imagine the alternative). How solid do you think this theory is? Could you explain why the trends would be dysgenic (IQ is inversely correlated with fertility inside populations)? Plus, the theory is very unkown (not mentioned in the Wikipedia article and I've never heard it discussed in HBD/altright circles), but potentially hugely important. Maybe you should write an article about it or I should try pitching it to Sailer.

    As for the rest, I think the singularity is quite plausible. Another scenario, at least in the short- and mid-term, is a total transformation of society through automation, robotics and AI eliminating most human jobs. Whether it is closer to a post-scarcity utopia or something else remains to be seen. I think this option (if it's on the utopian side, of course) might be (for many people, or at least me) preferable to whatever the singularity might mean.

    How solid do you think this theory is?

    I think its pretty solid, in that it syncs with common sense, the heritability of personality, and is an extrapolation of observed data (rising intergenerational fertility correlations).

    I can also speculate as to why it is not very popular:

    (1) Like HBD, it is not very politically correct – as Pinker has long pointed out, society has a strong “blank slate” bias.

    (2) Whereas at least some HBD findings are relative to current issues (e.g. IQ/economic development, crime rates, etc) this is only of significant relevance to the far future, i.e. 200 years time.

    For understandable reasons people discount the far future.

    Maybe you should write an article about it or I should try pitching it to Sailer.

    If Sailer were to blog his thoughts about it that would indeed help bring it into the limelight since his audience is 10x that of mine.

    Could you explain why the trends would be dysgenic (IQ is inversely correlated with fertility inside populations)?

    Correct (at least for now): http://www.unz.com/akarlin/nor-breeding-their-best/

    This is more speculative, but I suspect the link between higher IQ and lower TFR might be intrinsic to the human condition. I recall reading about a psychological experiment in which more intelligent people (of both sexes) were relatively more amused/entertained by animal pets while duller people were relatively more amused/entertained by human children.

    Another scenario, at least in the short- and mid-term, is a total transformation of society through automation, robotics and AI eliminating most human jobs.

    That’s certainly going to happen in the next few decades, but my post was after all about the third millennium. :)

    Incidentally, Randal Parker has speculated that automation and robots will actually augment, not dampen, fertility rates: http://www.futurepundit.com/archives/009885.html

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    • Replies: @Cicerone
    As I have worked quite a bit with the religiosity and fertility question, to me it appears sound, but also from another viewpoint that only applies to modern and liberal conditions. While industrialization has removed the motivation to have kids because they can be workers and has initiated the demographic transition and fertility decline, the stuff that happened in the 1960s and understandably is viewed very negatively here, has removed or at leats decrease the motivation to have kids because of general ideas in society on how families look like. In today's societies where this standard is questioned more and more, the only motivation that is left to have kids is because of personal reasons. This means that of course only the breeders are left to have many children. Kind of fascinating how the left basically created its own demographic demise.

    I disagree though with the negative link between IQ and fertility to be intrinsic. Research has already shown that more educated people on average intend and want to have more children than less educated people. The problem is that they also face more constraints and are more aware of those constraints of course. Policy can however remove these obstacles. Fertility among native Danes and Belgians e.g. is slightly eugenic. I'd even go as far as assuming that the more intelligent of the breeder group will have a higher reproductive success.
  29. @Gabriel M
    Serious question. Is there no room for situation 6?

    The biosingularity/technosingularity options all prove to be either impossible or are prevented by a determined coalition of governments. However, the same elites that make this decision get a serious drop of race realism: third world aid is quadrupled, but it is all spent on birth control, most of which is not optional. Much of Africa is simple walled off as a giant human zoo in which blacks are allowed to revert back to their pre-colonial forms of civilization, essentially oblivious to the world around them and with only vague mythologized memories of the industrial era. Intermediate civilizations like that of Islam are kept under lock and key by threat of (or actual) nuclear annihilation. The non-assimilable among the NAM minorities in the western world are deported, The west then just kind of keeps on going like now with growth levels of 3% p.a. for a few centuries, but pursuing sensible reactionary policies that maximize human welfare and cultural output. Then we all get eaten by space lizards.


    Or are you saying that, since wealthy elites under such a scenario will continue to experiment with AI and gene modification in private, that this will inevitably result in bio/technosingularity anyway, but perhaps a but slower?

    Much of Africa is simple walled off as a giant human zoo in which blacks…

    I think that’s unrealistic. You’d have to shift Western populations like 2 S.D. to the authoritarian right for that to become politically feasible!

    … The west then just kind of keeps on going like now with growth levels of 3% p.a. for a few centuries, but pursuing sensible reactionary policies that maximize human welfare and cultural output.

    I don’t know if 3%/annum growth is sustainable even if average IQ (somehow*) remains constant.

    Productivity is largely a function of technology, and technological progress is getting harder, not easier, because the problems we have to solve to keep going forwards are becoming more and more difficult.

    The fertility boom should still happen anyway, though if productivity/carrying capacity also grows fast enough like you posit, there’s a good chance the Malthusian adjustment can be avoided.

    *After all, even though NRx loves it, even Nick Land admits Singapore is an “IQ shredder.”

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    • Replies: @Johann Ricke

    After all, even though NRx loves it, even Nick Land admits Singapore is an “IQ shredder.
     
    Obviously the solution is to legalize polyamory. Not so much to encourage higher-status (and presumably higher IQ) people to reproduce, as to limit the reproduction of the lowest status (and presumably lowest IQ) people. Hypergamy means some people would prefer to stay single than to marry down. High status individuals not concerned about marrying down will acquire more than one contractual life partner, and average IQ should jump.
    , @Sunbeam
    It is really early where I am, so I guess you are lucky that I won't write one of the long posts you secretly dread from your readers.

    But your Moore's Law graph really doesn't factor in the possibility of a disruptive advance in ... chip fabrication? Computer Architecture.

    Chips now are a 2-D affair. If you add that 3rd dimension you can keep that circuits per volume of space thing going a long time (though heat and the fabrication process for 3-D circuits might be insoluble for "us" as we exist now).

    Then there is the paradigm of MAYBE going with a different form of computational model. I'm sure you have heard of memristors.

    Anyway all that (and more I'm not tuned in to) might come to pass, or might not. It could just be the typical thing that journalists write about because some tech guy has bright eyes about it and it sounds interesting.

    Then there is the issue of Quantum Computation. Again, it might just be smoke, but it sure seems like they are getting some movement on that.

    In which case your Moore's Law graph goes vertical (as nearly as we can tell).

    Anyway what the heck is that graph you posted anyway? The usual one I see is something like "computing power on a chip doubles every two years."

    What did you post, some kind of law of diminishing returns for researchers thing? The fact that the easy street in miniaturization ran its course and going forward is hard now?

    Not going to do a good job explaining a thought right now, but I think it seems reasonable that 2000 researchers worldwide working on batteries or superstring theory or whatever, is 95% or 99% as productive as 8000. Seems like something to speculate on.
    , @Gabriel M

    I think that’s unrealistic. You’d have to shift Western populations like 2 S.D. to the authoritarian right for that to become politically feasible!
     
    What number would you stick on the shift in political culture between Japan 1940 and Japan 1950?

    I should add that zoo was a bad choice of words, I meant something more like a nature reservation, but for people.


    Productivity is largely a function of technology, and technological progress is getting harder, not easier, because the problems we have to solve to keep going forwards are becoming more and more difficult.
     
    I don't really agree (at least not for all meanings of the term "largely"), but let's keep my scenario, but with growth rates of, say 0.1%. If population growth is placed under control then it shouldn't be a problem, we're pretty well off as it is. High growth rates are only *necessary* under current socio-economic conditions to make the public finances add up. A well-run government could peacefully preside over a zero-growth economy.

    I don't think this scenario is very likely, but it does seem to me that it would be the least objectionable to most people, once you can get past the racism thing.

    , @iffen
    You’d have to shift Western populations like 2 S.D. to the authoritarian right for that to become politically feasible!

    For those of us who are left-shifted, can you explain the connection between IQ and the authoritarian right?
  30. @German_reader
    Sounds pretty horrible in any case, I'm glad I won't be around for most of this.

    I thought that I would be the first to say that! You have been quicker. Anyhow, I concur. Who would like to live in such a world? Why would he? I feel sorry for my children and even more for my grandchildren.

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  31. While I certainly don’t share Karlin’s techo-values and find most of his desired outcomes hideous and grotesque, and indeed resting on bizarrely faulty assumptions, still, putting all that aside for a moment I think the most intelligent analysis of the intersection of technology and the future of humanity to be that of John Gray’s – assuming the techno-value people are correct, and we are all flawed products of a senseless evolution, then any future technological scenario will reflect our flawed nature and be just as purposeless and bizarre as human history has been until now as seen from this perspective.

    In other words, from within this non-spiritual techno perspective, there is zero chance humanity will be able to “take charge” of its future – rather, technology, as a human creation, will simply reflect the flawed nature of human passions and disorders. There is no way we can “rationally direct” any future technological scenario – it will simply be a reflection of our own disorders and flawed, senseless, and purposeless, human nature (from within that perspective).

    I always found techno-optimists and the fantasists of human control to be curiously irrational – the premises of their view of life, that we are machines and products of purposeless evolution, defeat their desired outcomes, which is that creatures such as we are can control our future rather than be controlled by it.

    Oh well, dreamers will be dreamers.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    I read John Gray's False Dawn about a dozen years ago.

    I can scarcely think of a more overrated, less well-researched "serious" work, and I was a lot further to the left back then.

    ... Karlin’s techo-values
     
    What are my "techo-values"? I post very little about my values in general. This post isn't about values but an exploration of what some people will think happen in the future.
  32. @Anatoly Karlin

    Much of Africa is simple walled off as a giant human zoo in which blacks...
     
    I think that's unrealistic. You'd have to shift Western populations like 2 S.D. to the authoritarian right for that to become politically feasible!

    ... The west then just kind of keeps on going like now with growth levels of 3% p.a. for a few centuries, but pursuing sensible reactionary policies that maximize human welfare and cultural output.
     
    I don't know if 3%/annum growth is sustainable even if average IQ (somehow*) remains constant.

    Productivity is largely a function of technology, and technological progress is getting harder, not easier, because the problems we have to solve to keep going forwards are becoming more and more difficult.

    https://twitter.com/landryst/status/810130993508216832

    The fertility boom should still happen anyway, though if productivity/carrying capacity also grows fast enough like you posit, there's a good chance the Malthusian adjustment can be avoided.

    *After all, even though NRx loves it, even Nick Land admits Singapore is an "IQ shredder."

    After all, even though NRx loves it, even Nick Land admits Singapore is an “IQ shredder.

    Obviously the solution is to legalize polyamory. Not so much to encourage higher-status (and presumably higher IQ) people to reproduce, as to limit the reproduction of the lowest status (and presumably lowest IQ) people. Hypergamy means some people would prefer to stay single than to marry down. High status individuals not concerned about marrying down will acquire more than one contractual life partner, and average IQ should jump.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    Obviously the solution is to legalize polyamory... and average IQ should jump.
     
    Not sure it worked out that way for the Africans.
  33. You seemed to miss the obvious 6th alternative, that human civilization (and humans themselves) could end. This could happen through the well known threats such as nuclear war by state actors, or this could happen because of the lone madman concocting some deadly doomsday in his garage. In the past building a nuclear bomb by yourself was not feasible, however if technological advances move so rapidly then designing your own custom super virus or other WMD by yourself could become possible, if such things become possible then the end is absolutely inevitable, there are sufficient amount of lunatics in the world that would want to do this.

    This could also explain the Fermi Paradox (yes I know it is not a real paradox), once the technological progress advances past a certain point the destructive power to destroy everyone by the actions by an individual are reached. That is also why things like Star Trek worlds are just not possible, if you can fly a ship faster than light, then all it would take to destroy earth is to fly a small shuttle right into it,

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    • Replies: @Yevardian
    Of course. I don't get where Akarlin gets his optimism from, I'm not sure to what extent he's retracted his earlier opinions, but I can't think of a single encouraging future trend. Even the 'good' scenarios listed are nightmare fuel.
    , @Anatoly Karlin

    You seemed to miss the obvious 6th alternative, that human civilization (and humans themselves) could end.
     
    Erm... the entire fourth section.
  34. @neutral
    You seemed to miss the obvious 6th alternative, that human civilization (and humans themselves) could end. This could happen through the well known threats such as nuclear war by state actors, or this could happen because of the lone madman concocting some deadly doomsday in his garage. In the past building a nuclear bomb by yourself was not feasible, however if technological advances move so rapidly then designing your own custom super virus or other WMD by yourself could become possible, if such things become possible then the end is absolutely inevitable, there are sufficient amount of lunatics in the world that would want to do this.

    This could also explain the Fermi Paradox (yes I know it is not a real paradox), once the technological progress advances past a certain point the destructive power to destroy everyone by the actions by an individual are reached. That is also why things like Star Trek worlds are just not possible, if you can fly a ship faster than light, then all it would take to destroy earth is to fly a small shuttle right into it,

    Of course. I don’t get where Akarlin gets his optimism from, I’m not sure to what extent he’s retracted his earlier opinions, but I can’t think of a single encouraging future trend. Even the ‘good’ scenarios listed are nightmare fuel.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    Even the ‘good’ scenarios listed are nightmare fuel.
     
    Well one man's dream is another man's nightmare.

    For instance, from my perspective a completely linear continuation of today would be reasonably good but decidedly suboptimal, since I would die sometime this century and thus not have time to do many of the things I want to do.

    But really what's so nightmarish about most of these scenarios?

    Re-1. We can't say in principle whether the Technosingularity will be "good" or "bad," let alone "nightmarish," but it will most certainly be interesting.

    Re-2. Aspects of The Age of Em are nightmarish to current day sensibilities, in particular their very casual attitude to individual death, but as Robin Hanson points out you can't judge the realities of one period by the moral standards of another. Our agricultural and hunter-gatherer forebears would also find much to be horrified about with our industrial civilization.

    Re-3. Biosingularity. Frankly most of it sounds awesome to me.

    Re-4. Existential risks. Okay, this is pretty nightmarish.

    Re-5. The Age of Malthusian Industrialism. Pretty glum, at least a few centuries down the line, but I wouldn't quite call it nightmarish. After all 90% of the humans who ever lived, did so under Malthusian conditions, and some significant portion of those suffered through outright dieoffs. Even lives of quiet desperation can be worth living.

    So that's really 1/5 scenarios that are actually nightmarish.
  35. Even so, a world with a thousand or a million times as many John von Neumanns running about will be more civilized

    Until the day they ask “Why are we keeping the muggles around, so many of them”?

    (5) The Age of Malthusian Industrialism (or, “Business as Usual”)

    I do not see this scenario as consistent and credible. Why would the World Controllers ( this is what the uplifted and genetically engineered 1% would be) let the Epsilons and Deltas breed uncontrollably? There is no use of them, everything they can do can be done by robots even today.

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  36. @Daniel Chieh
    Many of us Neoreactionaries are basically dualists that find meaning in boundaries in life, transhumanism threatens to remove such boundaries and in doing so, simultaneously remove what is left of meaning. There's a valid reason why transhumanism bothers us - it fundamentally creates individuals who indeed, defined only by their self-described identity.

    it fundamentally creates individuals who indeed, defined only by their self-described identity.

    Maybe I am missing something, but to me “alt right” and “neo reaction” looks just like another postmodernist internet subculture, like bronies or furries. On the Net, you can really indentify yourself as anything you want to be, whether pink pony or mighty medieval knight.

    Read More
    • Replies: @1rw
    Alt-Right is about race politics. It sees politics through the lense of racial (White) identity and its IRL actions are informed by such. It also has intellectual leaders and the occasional political candidate.

    As such it is very different from bronies. Anyone can choose to be into a children's cartoon. The Alt-Right is based on something an individual cannot choose or change - race, sex, ethnos.
  37. @Anatoly Karlin

    Much of Africa is simple walled off as a giant human zoo in which blacks...
     
    I think that's unrealistic. You'd have to shift Western populations like 2 S.D. to the authoritarian right for that to become politically feasible!

    ... The west then just kind of keeps on going like now with growth levels of 3% p.a. for a few centuries, but pursuing sensible reactionary policies that maximize human welfare and cultural output.
     
    I don't know if 3%/annum growth is sustainable even if average IQ (somehow*) remains constant.

    Productivity is largely a function of technology, and technological progress is getting harder, not easier, because the problems we have to solve to keep going forwards are becoming more and more difficult.

    https://twitter.com/landryst/status/810130993508216832

    The fertility boom should still happen anyway, though if productivity/carrying capacity also grows fast enough like you posit, there's a good chance the Malthusian adjustment can be avoided.

    *After all, even though NRx loves it, even Nick Land admits Singapore is an "IQ shredder."

    It is really early where I am, so I guess you are lucky that I won’t write one of the long posts you secretly dread from your readers.

    But your Moore’s Law graph really doesn’t factor in the possibility of a disruptive advance in … chip fabrication? Computer Architecture.

    Chips now are a 2-D affair. If you add that 3rd dimension you can keep that circuits per volume of space thing going a long time (though heat and the fabrication process for 3-D circuits might be insoluble for “us” as we exist now).

    Then there is the paradigm of MAYBE going with a different form of computational model. I’m sure you have heard of memristors.

    Anyway all that (and more I’m not tuned in to) might come to pass, or might not. It could just be the typical thing that journalists write about because some tech guy has bright eyes about it and it sounds interesting.

    Then there is the issue of Quantum Computation. Again, it might just be smoke, but it sure seems like they are getting some movement on that.

    In which case your Moore’s Law graph goes vertical (as nearly as we can tell).

    Anyway what the heck is that graph you posted anyway? The usual one I see is something like “computing power on a chip doubles every two years.”

    What did you post, some kind of law of diminishing returns for researchers thing? The fact that the easy street in miniaturization ran its course and going forward is hard now?

    Not going to do a good job explaining a thought right now, but I think it seems reasonable that 2000 researchers worldwide working on batteries or superstring theory or whatever, is 95% or 99% as productive as 8000. Seems like something to speculate on.

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  38. An interesting and very useful summary, thanks.

    In light of this, there are five main distinct ways in which human (or posthuman) civilization could develop in the next millennium.
    ……
    My own probability assessment is as follows:

    Without questioning the relative probabilities, surely what this is missing is a default possibility, which is not (5) but rather: “something else, presently unimaginable for all practicable purposes”.

    Consider the difficulty a pre-industrial culture would have imagining the actual solution to the energy production trap in these kinds of terms. I mean, yes some of the clues were there, in the existence of engines of various kinds, but the idea that these could potentially transform human society to the extent that occurred requires understanding of all sorts of other ideas that would just have been totally outside any possible extrapolation. Even if some blue sky thinkers might have imagined a world of ease where machines did everyone’s work, it would not have been anything like what transpired. Consider the outlandishness of most early science fiction, to our eyes (science fiction notoriously dates incredibly quickly).

    Arguably, the probability of the unimaginable is not meaningfully capable of estimation, and assigning a probability to it amounts to giving an opinion as to the scope of the human grasp of the world. Optimists might put it at zero, pessimists at 90%. It is merely applying a guess at the confidence with which such a range of possible futures should be held to be exhaustive. As such, it does factor into arguments you make about how seriously individual possibilities should be taken for planning purposes, and ought therefore to be mentioned even if only to dismiss it as incalculable. In effect, the probabilities you put forward should be regarded as upper bounds, if they are used other than as relative likelihoods.

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  39. @AaronB
    While I certainly don't share Karlin's techo-values and find most of his desired outcomes hideous and grotesque, and indeed resting on bizarrely faulty assumptions, still, putting all that aside for a moment I think the most intelligent analysis of the intersection of technology and the future of humanity to be that of John Gray's - assuming the techno-value people are correct, and we are all flawed products of a senseless evolution, then any future technological scenario will reflect our flawed nature and be just as purposeless and bizarre as human history has been until now as seen from this perspective.

    In other words, from within this non-spiritual techno perspective, there is zero chance humanity will be able to "take charge" of its future - rather, technology, as a human creation, will simply reflect the flawed nature of human passions and disorders. There is no way we can "rationally direct" any future technological scenario - it will simply be a reflection of our own disorders and flawed, senseless, and purposeless, human nature (from within that perspective).

    I always found techno-optimists and the fantasists of human control to be curiously irrational - the premises of their view of life, that we are machines and products of purposeless evolution, defeat their desired outcomes, which is that creatures such as we are can control our future rather than be controlled by it.

    Oh well, dreamers will be dreamers.

    I read John Gray’s False Dawn about a dozen years ago.

    I can scarcely think of a more overrated, less well-researched “serious” work, and I was a lot further to the left back then.

    … Karlin’s techo-values

    What are my “techo-values”? I post very little about my values in general. This post isn’t about values but an exploration of what some people will think happen in the future.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    I post very little about my values in general.

    Inference.
    , @AaronB
    I'm not surprised you dislike Gray. He is basically antagonistic to the kind of simplistic one dimensional thinking popular among people heavily involved in STEM and the entire culture it has spawned, but I regard him as one of only a handful of modern writers worth reading - ironically, because he isn't really a modern writer at all. Rather, he applies ancient insights to modern conditions - the only intelligent thing to do, as "progress" is bunk. Still, False Dawn was not one of his best - his later works are better.

    You mis-characterize your post as values-neutral and merely descriptive - embedded in your post are a whole host of assumptions and throw away comments that point to preferences, perhaps unconsciously so. It is clear you believe unending technological progress is highly desirable, that the kind of techno-civilization we have going today is good and should be expanded indefinitely, that endless growth as a way of life should indeed be the human goal, that humans should strive for control and mastery rather than learn to live in harmony with cosmic forces, and you seem to look upon the transhuman merging of human and machine favorably, not to say with eagerness - well, pretty much the standard techno-romanticism of the modern STEM culture. Perhaps all this is simply the air you breathe, but it leaps out at me as obviously a very values-laden point of view.

    If I am wrong I do apologize, of course.
  40. @Johann Ricke

    After all, even though NRx loves it, even Nick Land admits Singapore is an “IQ shredder.
     
    Obviously the solution is to legalize polyamory. Not so much to encourage higher-status (and presumably higher IQ) people to reproduce, as to limit the reproduction of the lowest status (and presumably lowest IQ) people. Hypergamy means some people would prefer to stay single than to marry down. High status individuals not concerned about marrying down will acquire more than one contractual life partner, and average IQ should jump.

    Obviously the solution is to legalize polyamory… and average IQ should jump.

    Not sure it worked out that way for the Africans.

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    • Replies: @Johann Ricke

    Not sure it worked out that way for the Africans.
     
    Until the mid-20th century, polygamy was legal in East Asia. Whatever the impact on IQ levels for East Asians, they consistently appear at the top end of IQ rankings.
  41. @neutral
    You seemed to miss the obvious 6th alternative, that human civilization (and humans themselves) could end. This could happen through the well known threats such as nuclear war by state actors, or this could happen because of the lone madman concocting some deadly doomsday in his garage. In the past building a nuclear bomb by yourself was not feasible, however if technological advances move so rapidly then designing your own custom super virus or other WMD by yourself could become possible, if such things become possible then the end is absolutely inevitable, there are sufficient amount of lunatics in the world that would want to do this.

    This could also explain the Fermi Paradox (yes I know it is not a real paradox), once the technological progress advances past a certain point the destructive power to destroy everyone by the actions by an individual are reached. That is also why things like Star Trek worlds are just not possible, if you can fly a ship faster than light, then all it would take to destroy earth is to fly a small shuttle right into it,

    You seemed to miss the obvious 6th alternative, that human civilization (and humans themselves) could end.

    Erm… the entire fourth section.

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  42. @Yevardian
    Of course. I don't get where Akarlin gets his optimism from, I'm not sure to what extent he's retracted his earlier opinions, but I can't think of a single encouraging future trend. Even the 'good' scenarios listed are nightmare fuel.

    Even the ‘good’ scenarios listed are nightmare fuel.

    Well one man’s dream is another man’s nightmare.

    For instance, from my perspective a completely linear continuation of today would be reasonably good but decidedly suboptimal, since I would die sometime this century and thus not have time to do many of the things I want to do.

    But really what’s so nightmarish about most of these scenarios?

    Re-1. We can’t say in principle whether the Technosingularity will be “good” or “bad,” let alone “nightmarish,” but it will most certainly be interesting.

    Re-2. Aspects of The Age of Em are nightmarish to current day sensibilities, in particular their very casual attitude to individual death, but as Robin Hanson points out you can’t judge the realities of one period by the moral standards of another. Our agricultural and hunter-gatherer forebears would also find much to be horrified about with our industrial civilization.

    Re-3. Biosingularity. Frankly most of it sounds awesome to me.

    Re-4. Existential risks. Okay, this is pretty nightmarish.

    Re-5. The Age of Malthusian Industrialism. Pretty glum, at least a few centuries down the line, but I wouldn’t quite call it nightmarish. After all 90% of the humans who ever lived, did so under Malthusian conditions, and some significant portion of those suffered through outright dieoffs. Even lives of quiet desperation can be worth living.

    So that’s really 1/5 scenarios that are actually nightmarish.

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  43. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Dear Mr. Karlin,

    I disagree with many of your specific ideas, but overall, your post is the kind of thing I want to see more of.

    Personally, I think you need to take another look at the People’s Republic of China, and their approach to eugenics.

    The PRC might be the leading eugenic organization of the 21st century.

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  44. Did I miss it, or did you leave out the possibility of some catastrophic engineered virus that kills almost everyone?

    A question about (5) (this stuff is far outside my normal area of interest, so forgive my amateurishness here):

    Why do you assume that the population will continue to increase, when the global pattern pretty much everywhere outside of Africa is for fertility rates to decline – places such as Iran now have below-replacement fertility, and those with above-replacement rate are dropping (Mexico down to 2.2 from 6.7; India was down to 2.5 in 2012, from about 6 in 1960).

    It seems the most likely scenario will be another generation or two of Third World growth and First World Decline followed by across-the-board population decline, everywhere but in sub-Saharan Africa. I’m not sure how the latter situation will be managed but I doubt that the result will be a mass African emigration to Europe, China, Australia, the Americas, etc.

    As for factors other than population – in the absence of genetic augmentation, I’d speculate ongoing cognitive decline, with cognition becoming more visual and less verbally oriented, and with the world becoming less intellectually demanding due to increasingly sophisticated technological crutches. I doubt it will get as far as Idiocracy but in the West will probably decline to and settle at the level of a modern IQ score of 90 or so.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    Did I miss it, or did you leave out the possibility of some catastrophic engineered virus that kills almost everyone?
     
    This would in general be under "technological existential risks."

    I think the probability of that is low - making such a virus would be extremely hard. It is not in the virus' interests to kill its hosts, so even if lethality is initially very high, as with some strains of ebola, it tends to go way down over time.

    Note that even if it were to kill a billion people, it would still not constitute a true existential risk.

    A question about (5) (this stuff is far outside my normal area of interest, so forgive my amateurishness here):
     
    A fair critique but please see my responses to Klon, where I address those same points.
  45. @Anatoly Karlin

    Much of Africa is simple walled off as a giant human zoo in which blacks...
     
    I think that's unrealistic. You'd have to shift Western populations like 2 S.D. to the authoritarian right for that to become politically feasible!

    ... The west then just kind of keeps on going like now with growth levels of 3% p.a. for a few centuries, but pursuing sensible reactionary policies that maximize human welfare and cultural output.
     
    I don't know if 3%/annum growth is sustainable even if average IQ (somehow*) remains constant.

    Productivity is largely a function of technology, and technological progress is getting harder, not easier, because the problems we have to solve to keep going forwards are becoming more and more difficult.

    https://twitter.com/landryst/status/810130993508216832

    The fertility boom should still happen anyway, though if productivity/carrying capacity also grows fast enough like you posit, there's a good chance the Malthusian adjustment can be avoided.

    *After all, even though NRx loves it, even Nick Land admits Singapore is an "IQ shredder."

    I think that’s unrealistic. You’d have to shift Western populations like 2 S.D. to the authoritarian right for that to become politically feasible!

    What number would you stick on the shift in political culture between Japan 1940 and Japan 1950?

    I should add that zoo was a bad choice of words, I meant something more like a nature reservation, but for people.

    Productivity is largely a function of technology, and technological progress is getting harder, not easier, because the problems we have to solve to keep going forwards are becoming more and more difficult.

    I don’t really agree (at least not for all meanings of the term “largely”), but let’s keep my scenario, but with growth rates of, say 0.1%. If population growth is placed under control then it shouldn’t be a problem, we’re pretty well off as it is. High growth rates are only *necessary* under current socio-economic conditions to make the public finances add up. A well-run government could peacefully preside over a zero-growth economy.

    I don’t think this scenario is very likely, but it does seem to me that it would be the least objectionable to most people, once you can get past the racism thing.

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  46. @Anatoly Karlin

    Much of Africa is simple walled off as a giant human zoo in which blacks...
     
    I think that's unrealistic. You'd have to shift Western populations like 2 S.D. to the authoritarian right for that to become politically feasible!

    ... The west then just kind of keeps on going like now with growth levels of 3% p.a. for a few centuries, but pursuing sensible reactionary policies that maximize human welfare and cultural output.
     
    I don't know if 3%/annum growth is sustainable even if average IQ (somehow*) remains constant.

    Productivity is largely a function of technology, and technological progress is getting harder, not easier, because the problems we have to solve to keep going forwards are becoming more and more difficult.

    https://twitter.com/landryst/status/810130993508216832

    The fertility boom should still happen anyway, though if productivity/carrying capacity also grows fast enough like you posit, there's a good chance the Malthusian adjustment can be avoided.

    *After all, even though NRx loves it, even Nick Land admits Singapore is an "IQ shredder."

    You’d have to shift Western populations like 2 S.D. to the authoritarian right for that to become politically feasible!

    For those of us who are left-shifted, can you explain the connection between IQ and the authoritarian right?

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  47. @Anatoly Karlin
    I read John Gray's False Dawn about a dozen years ago.

    I can scarcely think of a more overrated, less well-researched "serious" work, and I was a lot further to the left back then.

    ... Karlin’s techo-values
     
    What are my "techo-values"? I post very little about my values in general. This post isn't about values but an exploration of what some people will think happen in the future.

    I post very little about my values in general.

    Inference.

    Read More
  48. @AP
    Did I miss it, or did you leave out the possibility of some catastrophic engineered virus that kills almost everyone?

    A question about (5) (this stuff is far outside my normal area of interest, so forgive my amateurishness here):

    Why do you assume that the population will continue to increase, when the global pattern pretty much everywhere outside of Africa is for fertility rates to decline - places such as Iran now have below-replacement fertility, and those with above-replacement rate are dropping (Mexico down to 2.2 from 6.7; India was down to 2.5 in 2012, from about 6 in 1960).

    It seems the most likely scenario will be another generation or two of Third World growth and First World Decline followed by across-the-board population decline, everywhere but in sub-Saharan Africa. I'm not sure how the latter situation will be managed but I doubt that the result will be a mass African emigration to Europe, China, Australia, the Americas, etc.

    As for factors other than population - in the absence of genetic augmentation, I'd speculate ongoing cognitive decline, with cognition becoming more visual and less verbally oriented, and with the world becoming less intellectually demanding due to increasingly sophisticated technological crutches. I doubt it will get as far as Idiocracy but in the West will probably decline to and settle at the level of a modern IQ score of 90 or so.

    Did I miss it, or did you leave out the possibility of some catastrophic engineered virus that kills almost everyone?

    This would in general be under “technological existential risks.”

    I think the probability of that is low – making such a virus would be extremely hard. It is not in the virus’ interests to kill its hosts, so even if lethality is initially very high, as with some strains of ebola, it tends to go way down over time.

    Note that even if it were to kill a billion people, it would still not constitute a true existential risk.

    A question about (5) (this stuff is far outside my normal area of interest, so forgive my amateurishness here):

    A fair critique but please see my responses to Klon, where I address those same points.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    I think the probability of that is low – making such a virus would be extremely hard. It is not in the virus’ interests to kill its hosts, so even if lethality is initially very high, as with some strains of ebola, it tends to go way down over time....Note that even if it were to kill a billion people, it would still not constitute a true existential risk.
     
    I'm thinking creating a virus with a 99%+ kill rate (something like in the 12 monkeys movie) that spreads as easily as a common cold and does so more quickly than the development of immunity or creation of vaccines. I recall reading somewhere that some such things had been created, then destroyed (or prused, and then abandoned). This sort of virus would probably not kill everyone, but might reduce humanity to the dozens of millions, or maybe even less, scattered on remote islands, quarantined until everyone else dies off.

    please see my responses to Klon, where I address those same points.
     
    This makes sense, but you are being too pessimistic here - indeed, this is probably an optimistic scenario. The idea is that in the West, as non-breeders disappear, those whose families have more children become ever higher percentage of society, so that eventually fertility rate and population rise. So when the Catholic traditionalists become a majority in France, France's population will rebound; likewise for Siberian ethnic Russians in Russia, Mormons, Amish, hardcore Christians among American whites, etc. In this case, according to Kolk et al, there are two possibilities:

    1. The "breeders" take over and the population eventually skyrockets. America is full of Mormons, Amish, and traditional Christians with 3-8 kids per family in perpetuity.

    2. The "breeders" will become a large enough % to sustain the population but due to attrition (countries will maintain different subgroups with different lifestyles) to lower-breeding groups by some breeders' kids the population will stabilize once the equilibrium is achieved.

    In the case of the first possibility, does this mean eventual unsustainable growth? I'm not so sure. These high-fertility groups in the West tend to live in relatively sparsely populated areas (Utah, rural areas, Siberia), where having lots of kids doesn't change one's lifestyle and environment too much. There is still plenty of room for more people in those places. The idea of eventual massive overpopulation rests on the assumption that high-breeding Westerners such as Mormons, traditional Christians, etc. would tolerate cramped surroundings resembling rural India or Bangladesh in their packed humanity. I strongly suspect this would not be the case. So in the first scenario, I would expect stabilization, several centuries from now. At that time, places such as the USA might have a billion people, Russia 2 billion or so, Canada a billion (assuming warmer climate for the latter two countries). There would never be a global population of 100 billion people.

  49. @Anatoly Karlin
    I read John Gray's False Dawn about a dozen years ago.

    I can scarcely think of a more overrated, less well-researched "serious" work, and I was a lot further to the left back then.

    ... Karlin’s techo-values
     
    What are my "techo-values"? I post very little about my values in general. This post isn't about values but an exploration of what some people will think happen in the future.

    I’m not surprised you dislike Gray. He is basically antagonistic to the kind of simplistic one dimensional thinking popular among people heavily involved in STEM and the entire culture it has spawned, but I regard him as one of only a handful of modern writers worth reading – ironically, because he isn’t really a modern writer at all. Rather, he applies ancient insights to modern conditions – the only intelligent thing to do, as “progress” is bunk. Still, False Dawn was not one of his best – his later works are better.

    You mis-characterize your post as values-neutral and merely descriptive – embedded in your post are a whole host of assumptions and throw away comments that point to preferences, perhaps unconsciously so. It is clear you believe unending technological progress is highly desirable, that the kind of techno-civilization we have going today is good and should be expanded indefinitely, that endless growth as a way of life should indeed be the human goal, that humans should strive for control and mastery rather than learn to live in harmony with cosmic forces, and you seem to look upon the transhuman merging of human and machine favorably, not to say with eagerness – well, pretty much the standard techno-romanticism of the modern STEM culture. Perhaps all this is simply the air you breathe, but it leaps out at me as obviously a very values-laden point of view.

    If I am wrong I do apologize, of course.

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    • Agree: utu
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    Rather, he applies ancient insights to modern conditions...
     
    Taleb does it much better, with humor and attention to actual facts and statistics.

    It is clear you believe unending technological progress is highly desirable...
     
    Yes I am lazy and do appreciate having to do less for more.

    ... that endless growth as a way of life should indeed be the human goal
     
    I am not a proponent of "endless growth."

    ... that humans should strive for control and mastery rather than learn to live in harmony with cosmic forces
     
    wtf are these "cosmic forces" anyway? Will freely admit to disliking this sort of obscurantism.
  50. Thanks very much for your fine essay. I have only two points.
    The first is minor. CRISPr type technologies are not transforming in and of themselves. One has to know how the editable bits of the genetic code combine to build a good brain, and that is far off. Other than very risky experiments, I don’t think it will be a game changer until a lot more is known about subtle interaction effects at the neuronal level.
    Second point: is prediction possible? Tetlock has shown that accurate predictor persons are few, and actual predictions are usually only testable on small scale, specific and prompt events, mostly with a 12 month predictive frame. Outside those parameters, things get hazy. Business as usual is, in my view, 99% likely. Stuff changes, but not much changes. Cars are far more intelligent than ever before, and that is great, but nothing much has changed because they are still cars. Changes which look big to us often leave things much the same. Will artificial intelligence change things? Probably less than the internet has already done. Wiki is the greatest educator there has ever been. This is the best time for finding things out there has ever been. Candidly, I have difficulty making predictions 36 months out, other than that things will be mostly the same, and only a bit different.

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    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Thanks for the note of caution wrt CRISPR. I am under the impression Razib Khan (and Charles Murray, though he's that way via Razib) are more optimistic, but it's definitely something I'll have to learn more about myself.

    I make yearly predictions myself (e.g. for 2017). It is of course very rare that very much changes in technology over the course of just one year.

    I think many technologies sort of creep up on you and then explode very suddenly, much like exponential growth is barely noticeable when the initial quantity is small but becomes all encompassing later on. That said, I am more pessimistic re-AI than the experts in this sphere, amongst whom the median projected date for HLMI (human level machine intelligence) is around 2050.
  51. @AaronB
    I'm not surprised you dislike Gray. He is basically antagonistic to the kind of simplistic one dimensional thinking popular among people heavily involved in STEM and the entire culture it has spawned, but I regard him as one of only a handful of modern writers worth reading - ironically, because he isn't really a modern writer at all. Rather, he applies ancient insights to modern conditions - the only intelligent thing to do, as "progress" is bunk. Still, False Dawn was not one of his best - his later works are better.

    You mis-characterize your post as values-neutral and merely descriptive - embedded in your post are a whole host of assumptions and throw away comments that point to preferences, perhaps unconsciously so. It is clear you believe unending technological progress is highly desirable, that the kind of techno-civilization we have going today is good and should be expanded indefinitely, that endless growth as a way of life should indeed be the human goal, that humans should strive for control and mastery rather than learn to live in harmony with cosmic forces, and you seem to look upon the transhuman merging of human and machine favorably, not to say with eagerness - well, pretty much the standard techno-romanticism of the modern STEM culture. Perhaps all this is simply the air you breathe, but it leaps out at me as obviously a very values-laden point of view.

    If I am wrong I do apologize, of course.

    Rather, he applies ancient insights to modern conditions…

    Taleb does it much better, with humor and attention to actual facts and statistics.

    It is clear you believe unending technological progress is highly desirable…

    Yes I am lazy and do appreciate having to do less for more.

    … that endless growth as a way of life should indeed be the human goal

    I am not a proponent of “endless growth.”

    … that humans should strive for control and mastery rather than learn to live in harmony with cosmic forces

    wtf are these “cosmic forces” anyway? Will freely admit to disliking this sort of obscurantism.

    Read More
    • Replies: @edNels
    Pretty interesting article, lots of things to consider, as we enter this new environment of technological over reach.

    I want to refer to the movie that I think correctly showed the likely results of man's or Krell's... Best laid Plans, in the '50's: Forbidden Planet:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forbidden_Planet

    To your above phrase:

    wtf are these “cosmic forces” anyway? Will freely admit to disliking this sort of obscurantism.
     
    I disagree, if that is permissible from the peanut gallery of modest IQ land, that cosmic forces are mere bothersome obscurant stuff, because, what you are doing really is overly rational, entirely over optimistic dreaming. AND, the comment you made somewhere above about virus' having any self interest in not killing off the infected host, isn't viable.

    Virus is part of a system of ecology, it does what it does and can make things wither and die, as the bigger system moves on, Virus can linger for long time in cells, only comes out some time when the right conditions warrant that. Self interest of virus is complete misnomer Antoly. THey like fungi are all over all the time, no possibility of a problem with their own survival.

    And I think virus if not Bacteria will be coming soon.

    Oh, and how will robots replace consumers is another stickler. As well as, the AI that ever gets really self motivated etc. well that will prove the theme of Forbidden Planet, everybody senses it Instinctively!
    , @AaronB
    Taleb is good, and offers very similar fare to Gray - he's more palatable to the STEM set, because he is good with numbers and stats. He's aware of this, and has joked about it amusingly. Taleb is friends with Gray and also considers him one of the few modern writers worth reading, btw.

    ....It is clear you believe unending technological progress is highly desirable…

    Yes I am lazy and do appreciate having to do less for more.

    "Convenience" hardly strikes me as one of life's noblest goals, although I am glad you admit this is finally at the bottom of so many techno-utopias. I once told a techno-utopian I knew that the upshot of all this magnificent technology was really just "convenience", and he freaked out. Of course, nothing wrong with convenience, but surely life offers finer and more interesting pleasures - heck, as I get older I find I even derive more pleasure from candlelight, however this sins against convenience. George Orwell as of a similar mind.

    Techno-utopia - the pursuit of convenience! It's a good slogan.

    … that humans should strive for control and mastery rather than learn to live in harmony with cosmic forces

    wtf are these “cosmic forces” anyway? Will freely admit to disliking this sort of obscurantism.

    Forget about cosmis forces, then, if that bothers you. Why this insatiable drive to master nature? Why not just live and enjoy ourselves in some sort of relaxed harmony. We have dentistry, we have antibiotics, we have anasthetics, what more do we need? Because of course you have some kind of inner itch and restlessness, some hole, that you think more power will fill. But it won't, alas, and you will be just as restless and dissatisfied.

    , @utu
    “Can you please stop arguing in your TED Talk voice!”

    http://www.newyorker.com/cartoons/a20018

    I am just trying to help AaronB (#49)
  52. Perhaps all this is simply the air you breathe, but it leaps out at me as obviously a very values-laden point of view.

    He’s smart enough to see that as political animals we are screwed up with only a snowball’s chance of keeping it in the road over the longer term.

    Techno-civilization has the same appeal as any other utopia, it just appeals to a different group, the STEM oriented.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey iffen,

    I agree here - and just like other groups - their 'utopia' is hell for those that uh...lack faith. Most future visions in movies or literature are quite dystopic (actually, many religious narrations of the 'end times' are also quite so). I can't think of a single one I'd like to live in.

    The more I think about it, the more it seems like a new Pharoanic order; Blade Runner and Judge Dredd look interesting on film, but does anyone actually want to live there?

    So I guess, pick your dystopia - here's a suggestion (and one I think may have far more basis in the reality of how the majority of humans will act if our current place at the top of the totem pole s seriously challenged):
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butlerian_Jihad

    Peace.
  53. @James Thompson
    Thanks very much for your fine essay. I have only two points.
    The first is minor. CRISPr type technologies are not transforming in and of themselves. One has to know how the editable bits of the genetic code combine to build a good brain, and that is far off. Other than very risky experiments, I don't think it will be a game changer until a lot more is known about subtle interaction effects at the neuronal level.
    Second point: is prediction possible? Tetlock has shown that accurate predictor persons are few, and actual predictions are usually only testable on small scale, specific and prompt events, mostly with a 12 month predictive frame. Outside those parameters, things get hazy. Business as usual is, in my view, 99% likely. Stuff changes, but not much changes. Cars are far more intelligent than ever before, and that is great, but nothing much has changed because they are still cars. Changes which look big to us often leave things much the same. Will artificial intelligence change things? Probably less than the internet has already done. Wiki is the greatest educator there has ever been. This is the best time for finding things out there has ever been. Candidly, I have difficulty making predictions 36 months out, other than that things will be mostly the same, and only a bit different.

    Thanks for the note of caution wrt CRISPR. I am under the impression Razib Khan (and Charles Murray, though he’s that way via Razib) are more optimistic, but it’s definitely something I’ll have to learn more about myself.

    I make yearly predictions myself (e.g. for 2017). It is of course very rare that very much changes in technology over the course of just one year.

    I think many technologies sort of creep up on you and then explode very suddenly, much like exponential growth is barely noticeable when the initial quantity is small but becomes all encompassing later on. That said, I am more pessimistic re-AI than the experts in this sphere, amongst whom the median projected date for HLMI (human level machine intelligence) is around 2050.

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  54. Excellent overview of issues, though I’d adjust percentages considerably. e.g. Biotech revolution began 1990′s (in part utilizing earlier computer revolution), biosingularity 30 pct 2040-2060 AD. Computers are adjuncts facilitating organisms evolved to do politics (though mismatch between tribal environment of evolutionary adaptation and modern environments.) So useful to think in terms of ~political singularity~. (Democracy is an info-proc ~political~ system.) nGram for political singularity, curiously and by the way, shows a sort of nice 60 year cycle. https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=political+singularity&year_start=1800&year_end=2010&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Cpolitical%20singularity%3B%2Cc0 ..

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  55. It’s fun making predictions on technologies that are yet to develop but sorry, it’s a fools errand. It is impossible to guess. Did anybody come close to predicting where the industrial revolution would lead us? Nope. Did anybody come close to predicting a hundred years ahead in where technology would lead us? Nope. No one knows and you don’t have a clue.

    My advice in predicting the future is to limit yourself to trends that have started and project where they will continue.

    That’s it.

    Your grandiose speculations are worthless. KISS- Keep It Simple Stupid is the only way to have a chance of being right in predictions of the future. Stop pursuing one tenth of one tenth of one tenth possibilities, it isn’t going to happen.

    Genetics will continue it’s spectacular development. It is going to happen. Sooner or later there will be an understanding of why some individuals are born with the genes that will give them an IQ of 140 while others are born with a IQ that will give them an IQ of 100. It is going to happen.

    After that as Steve Hsu has logically predicted there will be a big market for prospective parents who desire to have ten fertilized eggs measured for IQ and only the brightest one brought to term.

    After that, who know where things will lead. Further speculation is pointless.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    Nice euphemism, "brought to term." A plainer, more honest description would be "Not killed."
  56. @Darin

    it fundamentally creates individuals who indeed, defined only by their self-described identity.
     
    Maybe I am missing something, but to me "alt right" and "neo reaction" looks just like another postmodernist internet subculture, like bronies or furries. On the Net, you can really indentify yourself as anything you want to be, whether pink pony or mighty medieval knight.

    Alt-Right is about race politics. It sees politics through the lense of racial (White) identity and its IRL actions are informed by such. It also has intellectual leaders and the occasional political candidate.

    As such it is very different from bronies. Anyone can choose to be into a children’s cartoon. The Alt-Right is based on something an individual cannot choose or change – race, sex, ethnos.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    Well, I'll say that the Alt-Right also has a set of beliefs that's marginally organized, including racial considerations as you mentioned. So its not all-inclusive anymore than someone who hates My Little Pony can consider himself a brony; there are at least some beliefs that are common with those who adopt the title.

    I call myself a Neoreactionary, though, which has a significantly tighter philosophy with Nick Land and all.
  57. It is clear you believe unending technological progress is highly desirable, that the kind of techno-civilization we have going today is good and should be expanded indefinitely, that endless growth as a way of life should indeed be the human goal, that humans should strive for control and mastery rather than learn to live in harmony with cosmic forces, and you seem to look upon the transhuman merging of human and machine favorably, not to say with eagerness – well, pretty much the standard techno-romanticism of the modern STEM culture.

    Yeah, some of us really are into this. It certainly beats the hell out of some 1850′s agrarian lifestyle or even what we have today. Some of us have aspirations. We should not have to give up aspirations simply because others can’t handle it.

    Ultimately technology and growth are about freedom and opportunity, and I value freedom and opportunity more than any other values. Think of the old saying: When opportunity knocks, don’t knock the opportunity.

    I prefer control and mastery over “living in harmony” with that which has the potential to screw me over. I don’t like being screwed over.

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  58. @Erik Sieven
    concerning current dysgenic trends:
    as far as I understand pure Ashkenazim jews are disappearing, since they marry out heavily in the USA and in Israel get overwhelmed by orthodox Jews of various ancestries. So, when Ashkenazim have been the most intelligent sub-group of humans in recent history, and probably of the whole human history, does´t this mean that this results in a huge loss for mankind in terms of extremely high IQ people? Might special kinds of giftedness (like John von Neumann) simply not be born in coming times?

    The ultra-orthodox haredim, which have the biggest populations growth, are mostly Ashkenazim from Eastern Europe. About 20% of the ultra orthodox in Israel are Sephardic Haredim of Sephardic and Mizrahi descent, but they are present only in Israel.

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  59. @German_reader
    Sounds pretty horrible in any case, I'm glad I won't be around for most of this.

    Based on standardized test scores, especially the elite college entrance exam the SAT, IQ in the US is already declining at least 1 point per decade, and that is exclusive of the low IQ immigrants who have been entering the US en masse…Doesn’t look good.

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  60. “Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind” is the chief commandment from the Orange Catholic Bible,
    Thinking machines are dangerous. We need a Bene Gesserit breeding program to bring the Kwisatz Haderach, the one-man biosingularity. And we need mentats. And spice, lots of spice.

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  61. @Anatoly Karlin

    Did I miss it, or did you leave out the possibility of some catastrophic engineered virus that kills almost everyone?
     
    This would in general be under "technological existential risks."

    I think the probability of that is low - making such a virus would be extremely hard. It is not in the virus' interests to kill its hosts, so even if lethality is initially very high, as with some strains of ebola, it tends to go way down over time.

    Note that even if it were to kill a billion people, it would still not constitute a true existential risk.

    A question about (5) (this stuff is far outside my normal area of interest, so forgive my amateurishness here):
     
    A fair critique but please see my responses to Klon, where I address those same points.

    I think the probability of that is low – making such a virus would be extremely hard. It is not in the virus’ interests to kill its hosts, so even if lethality is initially very high, as with some strains of ebola, it tends to go way down over time….Note that even if it were to kill a billion people, it would still not constitute a true existential risk.

    I’m thinking creating a virus with a 99%+ kill rate (something like in the 12 monkeys movie) that spreads as easily as a common cold and does so more quickly than the development of immunity or creation of vaccines. I recall reading somewhere that some such things had been created, then destroyed (or prused, and then abandoned). This sort of virus would probably not kill everyone, but might reduce humanity to the dozens of millions, or maybe even less, scattered on remote islands, quarantined until everyone else dies off.

    please see my responses to Klon, where I address those same points.

    This makes sense, but you are being too pessimistic here – indeed, this is probably an optimistic scenario. The idea is that in the West, as non-breeders disappear, those whose families have more children become ever higher percentage of society, so that eventually fertility rate and population rise. So when the Catholic traditionalists become a majority in France, France’s population will rebound; likewise for Siberian ethnic Russians in Russia, Mormons, Amish, hardcore Christians among American whites, etc. In this case, according to Kolk et al, there are two possibilities:

    1. The “breeders” take over and the population eventually skyrockets. America is full of Mormons, Amish, and traditional Christians with 3-8 kids per family in perpetuity.

    2. The “breeders” will become a large enough % to sustain the population but due to attrition (countries will maintain different subgroups with different lifestyles) to lower-breeding groups by some breeders’ kids the population will stabilize once the equilibrium is achieved.

    In the case of the first possibility, does this mean eventual unsustainable growth? I’m not so sure. These high-fertility groups in the West tend to live in relatively sparsely populated areas (Utah, rural areas, Siberia), where having lots of kids doesn’t change one’s lifestyle and environment too much. There is still plenty of room for more people in those places. The idea of eventual massive overpopulation rests on the assumption that high-breeding Westerners such as Mormons, traditional Christians, etc. would tolerate cramped surroundings resembling rural India or Bangladesh in their packed humanity. I strongly suspect this would not be the case. So in the first scenario, I would expect stabilization, several centuries from now. At that time, places such as the USA might have a billion people, Russia 2 billion or so, Canada a billion (assuming warmer climate for the latter two countries). There would never be a global population of 100 billion people.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    I doubt (2) will actually happen. It is contingent on new low-fertility lifestyles repeatedly becoming available ("continuous introduction of novel cultural traits allows for the possibility of sustained low fertility", on the assumption that "the cultural changes associated with the fertility transition are not singular historical events, but rather the beginning of a rapid and ongoing increase in cultural diversity"). But since we assume that technological progress stalls, presumably social innovation of this sort slows down to a crawl as well.

    I suspect the "SJW's" of 2300 will have much higher TFRs than not only the SJWs of today, but also perhaps even than the Mormons of today (~= 3.0), since pro-natality genes are ultracompetitive and will gradually spread to all subgroups.

    The idea of eventual massive overpopulation rests on the assumption that high-breeding Westerners such as Mormons, traditional Christians, etc. would tolerate cramped surroundings resembling rural India or Bangladesh in their packed humanity. I strongly suspect this would not be the case.
     
    But surely the "breeders" who can tolerate cramped surroundings will outbreed those who can't? :)

    Anyway, you would still be able to offload excess children to orphanages, etc. Although over time as the welfare state crumbles mortality in those orphanages will rise, they will start adopting drastic and "inhumane" measures (compulsory sterilization?), etc. But that will be the beginning of the Malthusian checks on overpopulation.

    100 billion is my estimate of the maximum carrying capacity of the modern industrial economy at near subsistence per capita levels. I will justify that figure in my post about the Age of Malthusian Industrialism.
    , @Cicerone

    In the case of the first possibility, does this mean eventual unsustainable growth? I’m not so sure. These high-fertility groups in the West tend to live in relatively sparsely populated areas (Utah, rural areas, Siberia), where having lots of kids doesn’t change one’s lifestyle and environment too much. There is still plenty of room for more people in those places. The idea of eventual massive overpopulation rests on the assumption that high-breeding Westerners such as Mormons, traditional Christians, etc. would tolerate cramped surroundings resembling rural India or Bangladesh in their packed humanity. I strongly suspect this would not be the case. So in the first scenario, I would expect stabilization, several centuries from now. At that time, places such as the USA might have a billion people, Russia 2 billion or so, Canada a billion (assuming warmer climate for the latter two countries). There would never be a global population of 100 billion people.
     
    Utah is actually fairly densely populated if you discount deserts and mountains. Most of Utahns live in the Wasatch front, a valley that is already half built up. Haredi Jews have 7 children per woman even though they live in densely populated Israel and the dense BosWash corridor.
  62. Probabilistically, given enough time a given monad makes an error, and probabilistically given enough time it is a fatal mistake.
    This makes for a good crystal ball if you make one society – a social monad. Probabilistically – it pretty much doesn’t matter what explanation is provided – by shear probability, it will err, and eventually, fatally err.
    The surest way to avoid this outcome is to prevent the creation of a single monad. This allows well functioning monads to stay healthy and improperly functioning monads to naturally select.

    One might imagine that this should go a long way to explain the psychologies of the elites at the head of the largest monads. Aware of the probabilistic inevitability of fatal errors inherent in their monad – the surest way to erase (hopefully) or postpone (more likely) the manifestation of the errors is to bind with other monads.

    That suits the needs of the elite of the largest monads, but it doesn’t bode well for the rank and file of healthy monads less in need of the whole than of the freedom to operate autonomously.

    From a whole-human-race standpoint – the POV of the rank and file preserves the race, while the POV of the elite of the largest monads leads to perdition. Probabilistically.

    Simplest short-term implementation : constitutional reform for much, stronger federalism. 7-15 regions (like 13 post colonial states), rather than 50 weak states – will result in much better outcomes.

    Truly: that should be the only political issue: more federalism, for more regional autonomy.

    Anything else is a Faustian bargain.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    7-15 regions (like 13 post colonial states), rather than 50 weak states – will result in much better outcomes

    Population exchanges, anyone?
  63. Its interesting that many of you don’t seem to like economic growth or technological innovation, but seem to like continued population growth. It seems to me that continued population growth requires increased economic growth in order to provide career opportunity and upward mobility for the increased population which, in turn, fuels technological innovation. Technological innovation is needed in order to feed everyone and to provide them with increased standard of living and decent medical care. Population growth without the latter two is a recipe for a Malthusian population crash.

    This doesn’t even get into the quality of life issue, like being able to go on beach holiday in the Caribbean or go backpacking or skiing in the Rocky mountains. Imagine how crowded these places will be if the U.S. alone has a billion people.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    I can only speak for myself, but I'm very much against further population growth and would like to see more technological advance...cold fusion and radical life extension would be a dream come true. Still, I found much in Anatoly's predictions depressing. "The age of em"...I'm not sure I understand what this is about, but does this mean people would eventually upload their conscience into some virtual reality machine??? That sounds like a nightmare. Same for a lot of the human-machine interaction stuff. And while I'm interested in the idea of genetically raising IQs and bring the human species to perfection, doesn't this mean older generations (e.g. myself) will eventually be "obsolete"?
  64. First, this AGI should be able to reproduce itself without help of Humans.
    Second, in much nearer future, it will be possible to connect AGI to the human brain and leave the final decision making with the human brain.
    More urgent task is to organise all humans in one harmonious society where the interest of every human being will be properly protected. Last 30 years we are moving in opposite direction. Financial inequality is really awful and still growing.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    More urgent task is to organise all humans in one harmonious society

    If you are going to dream, don't mess around with the little stuff.
  65. @1rw
    Alt-Right is about race politics. It sees politics through the lense of racial (White) identity and its IRL actions are informed by such. It also has intellectual leaders and the occasional political candidate.

    As such it is very different from bronies. Anyone can choose to be into a children's cartoon. The Alt-Right is based on something an individual cannot choose or change - race, sex, ethnos.

    Well, I’ll say that the Alt-Right also has a set of beliefs that’s marginally organized, including racial considerations as you mentioned. So its not all-inclusive anymore than someone who hates My Little Pony can consider himself a brony; there are at least some beliefs that are common with those who adopt the title.

    I call myself a Neoreactionary, though, which has a significantly tighter philosophy with Nick Land and all.

    Read More
  66. @Mikhailovich
    First, this AGI should be able to reproduce itself without help of Humans.
    Second, in much nearer future, it will be possible to connect AGI to the human brain and leave the final decision making with the human brain.
    More urgent task is to organise all humans in one harmonious society where the interest of every human being will be properly protected. Last 30 years we are moving in opposite direction. Financial inequality is really awful and still growing.

    More urgent task is to organise all humans in one harmonious society

    If you are going to dream, don’t mess around with the little stuff.

    Read More
  67. @SimplePseudonymicHandle
    Probabilistically, given enough time a given monad makes an error, and probabilistically given enough time it is a fatal mistake.
    This makes for a good crystal ball if you make one society - a social monad. Probabilistically - it pretty much doesn't matter what explanation is provided - by shear probability, it will err, and eventually, fatally err.
    The surest way to avoid this outcome is to prevent the creation of a single monad. This allows well functioning monads to stay healthy and improperly functioning monads to naturally select.

    One might imagine that this should go a long way to explain the psychologies of the elites at the head of the largest monads. Aware of the probabilistic inevitability of fatal errors inherent in their monad - the surest way to erase (hopefully) or postpone (more likely) the manifestation of the errors is to bind with other monads.

    That suits the needs of the elite of the largest monads, but it doesn't bode well for the rank and file of healthy monads less in need of the whole than of the freedom to operate autonomously.

    From a whole-human-race standpoint - the POV of the rank and file preserves the race, while the POV of the elite of the largest monads leads to perdition. Probabilistically.

    Simplest short-term implementation : constitutional reform for much, stronger federalism. 7-15 regions (like 13 post colonial states), rather than 50 weak states - will result in much better outcomes.

    Truly: that should be the only political issue: more federalism, for more regional autonomy.

    Anything else is a Faustian bargain.

    7-15 regions (like 13 post colonial states), rather than 50 weak states – will result in much better outcomes

    Population exchanges, anyone?

    Read More
    • Replies: @SimplePseudonymicHandle
    I'm not sure your angle on the question.
    But I'd suggest that more robust federalism is probably the most optimal means of positive population exchanges which is to say: population exchanges made on the terms of well functioning regions.
    The Faustian Bargain has - a , lot - of sway.

    "Sure ... you can have a (long) shot at controlling immigration for the entire federal body. Just stay organized into your 50 weak states".
    "Sure ... you can have a (long) shot at more restrictive abortion laws. Just stay organized into your 50 weak states".
    "Sure ... you can have a (infinitesimal) shot at marriage laws that respect local or ethnic or religious custom. Just stay organized into your 50 weak states".
    "Sure ... you can (snicker, snicker), try and resist the advance of PC. Just stay organized into your 50 weak states".

    "One ring to rule them all".

    And yet - we just can't talk conservatives down from the pursuit of this ring. Odd thing, that.

  68. @AP

    I think the probability of that is low – making such a virus would be extremely hard. It is not in the virus’ interests to kill its hosts, so even if lethality is initially very high, as with some strains of ebola, it tends to go way down over time....Note that even if it were to kill a billion people, it would still not constitute a true existential risk.
     
    I'm thinking creating a virus with a 99%+ kill rate (something like in the 12 monkeys movie) that spreads as easily as a common cold and does so more quickly than the development of immunity or creation of vaccines. I recall reading somewhere that some such things had been created, then destroyed (or prused, and then abandoned). This sort of virus would probably not kill everyone, but might reduce humanity to the dozens of millions, or maybe even less, scattered on remote islands, quarantined until everyone else dies off.

    please see my responses to Klon, where I address those same points.
     
    This makes sense, but you are being too pessimistic here - indeed, this is probably an optimistic scenario. The idea is that in the West, as non-breeders disappear, those whose families have more children become ever higher percentage of society, so that eventually fertility rate and population rise. So when the Catholic traditionalists become a majority in France, France's population will rebound; likewise for Siberian ethnic Russians in Russia, Mormons, Amish, hardcore Christians among American whites, etc. In this case, according to Kolk et al, there are two possibilities:

    1. The "breeders" take over and the population eventually skyrockets. America is full of Mormons, Amish, and traditional Christians with 3-8 kids per family in perpetuity.

    2. The "breeders" will become a large enough % to sustain the population but due to attrition (countries will maintain different subgroups with different lifestyles) to lower-breeding groups by some breeders' kids the population will stabilize once the equilibrium is achieved.

    In the case of the first possibility, does this mean eventual unsustainable growth? I'm not so sure. These high-fertility groups in the West tend to live in relatively sparsely populated areas (Utah, rural areas, Siberia), where having lots of kids doesn't change one's lifestyle and environment too much. There is still plenty of room for more people in those places. The idea of eventual massive overpopulation rests on the assumption that high-breeding Westerners such as Mormons, traditional Christians, etc. would tolerate cramped surroundings resembling rural India or Bangladesh in their packed humanity. I strongly suspect this would not be the case. So in the first scenario, I would expect stabilization, several centuries from now. At that time, places such as the USA might have a billion people, Russia 2 billion or so, Canada a billion (assuming warmer climate for the latter two countries). There would never be a global population of 100 billion people.

    I doubt (2) will actually happen. It is contingent on new low-fertility lifestyles repeatedly becoming available (“continuous introduction of novel cultural traits allows for the possibility of sustained low fertility”, on the assumption that “the cultural changes associated with the fertility transition are not singular historical events, but rather the beginning of a rapid and ongoing increase in cultural diversity”). But since we assume that technological progress stalls, presumably social innovation of this sort slows down to a crawl as well.

    I suspect the “SJW’s” of 2300 will have much higher TFRs than not only the SJWs of today, but also perhaps even than the Mormons of today (~= 3.0), since pro-natality genes are ultracompetitive and will gradually spread to all subgroups.

    The idea of eventual massive overpopulation rests on the assumption that high-breeding Westerners such as Mormons, traditional Christians, etc. would tolerate cramped surroundings resembling rural India or Bangladesh in their packed humanity. I strongly suspect this would not be the case.

    But surely the “breeders” who can tolerate cramped surroundings will outbreed those who can’t? :)

    Anyway, you would still be able to offload excess children to orphanages, etc. Although over time as the welfare state crumbles mortality in those orphanages will rise, they will start adopting drastic and “inhumane” measures (compulsory sterilization?), etc. But that will be the beginning of the Malthusian checks on overpopulation.

    100 billion is my estimate of the maximum carrying capacity of the modern industrial economy at near subsistence per capita levels. I will justify that figure in my post about the Age of Malthusian Industrialism.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    I doubt (2) will actually happen. It is contingent on new low-fertility lifestyles repeatedly becoming available (“continuous introduction of novel cultural traits allows for the possibility of sustained low fertility”, on the assumption that “the cultural changes associated with the fertility transition are not singular historical events, but rather the beginning of a rapid and ongoing increase in cultural diversity”). But since we assume that technological progress stalls, presumably social innovation of this sort slows down to a crawl as well.
     
    Well, old ones can easily be recycled - there will be a "market" for hedonistic hippies (or ravers, or whatever) every other generation, for instance.

    I suspect the “SJW’s” of 2300 will have much higher TFRs than not only the SJWs of today, but also perhaps even than the Mormons of today (~= 3.0), since pro-natality genes are ultracompetitive and will gradually spread to all subgroups
     
    Hmm.. so here is a point of disagreement. I don't think that the choice of having many or few children is genetically determined in that way, within nations. It is mostly cultural. A Mexican of 1960 (when Mexicans had about 6.5 kids per family) is not genetically different from a modern one (2.2 kids per family). There was no mutation between then and now. There was no mutation when Quebec's traditionally extreme birth rate collapsed in the 1960's - it was the secular "Quiet Revolution." I really doubt that the Amish have a genetic combination calling for large families that other Germans from their ancestral region lack. It's about cultural differences.

    Sub-groups whose cultures value large families will increase in size relative to the general culture (i.e., traditional Catholics in France, Mormons in the USA) and when these groups eventually achieve large populations there will be demographic stability and growth in the country as a whole. But this does not seem to be driven by genes; a trait such as being nurturing may have a genetic component but it doesn't have to be expressed through parenthood. A nurturer raised in a Mormon community will have lots of kids; a nurturer raised in Manhattan will have one kid and a few cats whom she dotes on.

    Do you know if someone has done twin studies, to see if fertility rates of twins raised in different circumstances are similar (does a twin raised in a liberal secular household have similar numbers of children as those brought up in religious households with many children)?


    But surely the “breeders” who can tolerate cramped surroundings will outbreed those who can’t
     
    In this case, however, we are discussing a truly minute percentage of people - so small that it would probably take millenia not centuries for them to achieve population dominance. And who knows if their neighbors would tolerate this...
  69. @iffen
    7-15 regions (like 13 post colonial states), rather than 50 weak states – will result in much better outcomes

    Population exchanges, anyone?

    I’m not sure your angle on the question.
    But I’d suggest that more robust federalism is probably the most optimal means of positive population exchanges which is to say: population exchanges made on the terms of well functioning regions.
    The Faustian Bargain has – a , lot – of sway.

    “Sure … you can have a (long) shot at controlling immigration for the entire federal body. Just stay organized into your 50 weak states”.
    “Sure … you can have a (long) shot at more restrictive abortion laws. Just stay organized into your 50 weak states”.
    “Sure … you can have a (infinitesimal) shot at marriage laws that respect local or ethnic or religious custom. Just stay organized into your 50 weak states”.
    “Sure … you can (snicker, snicker), try and resist the advance of PC. Just stay organized into your 50 weak states”.

    “One ring to rule them all”.

    And yet – we just can’t talk conservatives down from the pursuit of this ring. Odd thing, that.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    I’m not sure your angle on the question.

    My angle is that unless you have population exchange, forced or voluntary, having 7 little USAs would be no different from having one big USA.
  70. @iffen
    Perhaps all this is simply the air you breathe, but it leaps out at me as obviously a very values-laden point of view.

    He's smart enough to see that as political animals we are screwed up with only a snowball's chance of keeping it in the road over the longer term.

    Techno-civilization has the same appeal as any other utopia, it just appeals to a different group, the STEM oriented.

    Hey iffen,

    I agree here – and just like other groups – their ‘utopia’ is hell for those that uh…lack faith. Most future visions in movies or literature are quite dystopic (actually, many religious narrations of the ‘end times’ are also quite so). I can’t think of a single one I’d like to live in.

    The more I think about it, the more it seems like a new Pharoanic order; Blade Runner and Judge Dredd look interesting on film, but does anyone actually want to live there?

    So I guess, pick your dystopia – here’s a suggestion (and one I think may have far more basis in the reality of how the majority of humans will act if our current place at the top of the totem pole s seriously challenged):

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butlerian_Jihad

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    The problem (the cure?) with AI becoming an extension of humanity is that they will not be able to create the emotions, the metaphysical, the spiritual (some sci-fi deals with this), which, as some of us know, is the elephant.
  71. @SimplePseudonymicHandle
    I'm not sure your angle on the question.
    But I'd suggest that more robust federalism is probably the most optimal means of positive population exchanges which is to say: population exchanges made on the terms of well functioning regions.
    The Faustian Bargain has - a , lot - of sway.

    "Sure ... you can have a (long) shot at controlling immigration for the entire federal body. Just stay organized into your 50 weak states".
    "Sure ... you can have a (long) shot at more restrictive abortion laws. Just stay organized into your 50 weak states".
    "Sure ... you can have a (infinitesimal) shot at marriage laws that respect local or ethnic or religious custom. Just stay organized into your 50 weak states".
    "Sure ... you can (snicker, snicker), try and resist the advance of PC. Just stay organized into your 50 weak states".

    "One ring to rule them all".

    And yet - we just can't talk conservatives down from the pursuit of this ring. Odd thing, that.

    I’m not sure your angle on the question.

    My angle is that unless you have population exchange, forced or voluntary, having 7 little USAs would be no different from having one big USA.

    Read More
    • Replies: @SimplePseudonymicHandle
    Well, one feature of American federalism has almost always been effectively unrestricted movement between states for citizens of the whole.
    So : you didn't get to change the law or customs in Georgia if you were from Connecticut, though you were free to move there if you liked it, or to move away if you found yourself transplanted there and didn't like it, or to exercise your modicum of influence on the locality and longsuffer if that suited you. And vice versa.

    Robust federalism is to the political-economy what trading in options is to publicly traded companies: it quickens the punishment on those making poor decisions or performing badly and quickly reinforces those making good decisions and performing well.

    Doesn't work so well though when there are fifty little bears and one Leviathan.

  72. @iffen
    I’m not sure your angle on the question.

    My angle is that unless you have population exchange, forced or voluntary, having 7 little USAs would be no different from having one big USA.

    Well, one feature of American federalism has almost always been effectively unrestricted movement between states for citizens of the whole.
    So : you didn’t get to change the law or customs in Georgia if you were from Connecticut, though you were free to move there if you liked it, or to move away if you found yourself transplanted there and didn’t like it, or to exercise your modicum of influence on the locality and longsuffer if that suited you. And vice versa.

    Robust federalism is to the political-economy what trading in options is to publicly traded companies: it quickens the punishment on those making poor decisions or performing badly and quickly reinforces those making good decisions and performing well.

    Doesn’t work so well though when there are fifty little bears and one Leviathan.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    Since the constitutional convention of 1787 met under the auspices of the Confederation, and did away with the Confederation, we could flip it and have a convention that would re-establish some sort of confederation.
  73. @Talha
    Hey iffen,

    I agree here - and just like other groups - their 'utopia' is hell for those that uh...lack faith. Most future visions in movies or literature are quite dystopic (actually, many religious narrations of the 'end times' are also quite so). I can't think of a single one I'd like to live in.

    The more I think about it, the more it seems like a new Pharoanic order; Blade Runner and Judge Dredd look interesting on film, but does anyone actually want to live there?

    So I guess, pick your dystopia - here's a suggestion (and one I think may have far more basis in the reality of how the majority of humans will act if our current place at the top of the totem pole s seriously challenged):
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butlerian_Jihad

    Peace.

    The problem (the cure?) with AI becoming an extension of humanity is that they will not be able to create the emotions, the metaphysical, the spiritual (some sci-fi deals with this), which, as some of us know, is the elephant.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    Regular chip-assisted injections of oxytocin for all. You love Big Agender Sibling, of course you do. You have always loved Big Agender Sibling. After all, xis brought you Utopia and freedom from any identity. You have total freedom now to be equally meaningless in blank happiness as another other agender chip in this society.

    The great struggle is over. There is no need for violence. There is no need for suffering. There is no desire, and no victory, either.

    There's a reason why I find any such idea of a future, as another commentator said, grotesque and disgusting.

    , @Talha
    Hey iffen,

    Look...full disclosure...coming from my background - this ____ scares the hell out of me!

    Seconding what Daniel Chieh said, I cannot understand how someone would find meaning in such an existence thus I cannot understand why anyone would exert their effort in wanting to make it a reality...but that's just me.

    It reminds me a bit of that scene in 'Inception' where there are all those people in that underground area that are simply administered shots to keep them sleeping and lost in their dreams.

    Peace.
  74. @iffen
    The problem (the cure?) with AI becoming an extension of humanity is that they will not be able to create the emotions, the metaphysical, the spiritual (some sci-fi deals with this), which, as some of us know, is the elephant.

    Regular chip-assisted injections of oxytocin for all. You love Big Agender Sibling, of course you do. You have always loved Big Agender Sibling. After all, xis brought you Utopia and freedom from any identity. You have total freedom now to be equally meaningless in blank happiness as another other agender chip in this society.

    The great struggle is over. There is no need for violence. There is no need for suffering. There is no desire, and no victory, either.

    There’s a reason why I find any such idea of a future, as another commentator said, grotesque and disgusting.

    Read More
  75. And … robust federalism is relevant to potential threats from AGI because :

    Well: Hollywood example – BSG (TRS).

    It was the un-networked modules / monads that survived. We can’t stop the advancement of science. We can’t stop the hive-mind qualities of the social-human, barely more evolved than chimpanzees but capable of language, with half possessing IQs less than 100.

    We can prevent the creation of a single network, single monad, and through the preservation of many, keep a few that resist overtake, naturally select for higher intelligence and lower hive mindishness, and which act as models for the others who naturally select for themselves by following the examples of their betters.

    It’s a rickety old solution to a new problem. Not obsolete. Not yet.

    Read More
  76. now that the FLynn effect of environmental IQ increases is petering out across the world

    Is there any certainty that the FLynn Effect has petered out for smart ethnic groups, or has the IQ of smart countries stopped growing entirely because of immigration of less smart groups?

    Even so, a world with a thousand or a million times as many John von Neumanns running about will be more civilized, far richer

    Very smart people tend to be fractious, disagreeable, conflict-prone, so I don’t know about “more civilized”. I would guess that agreeableness peaks roughly in the 115 – 125 range, and is lower on either side of it.

    All this of course assumes that a concert of the world’s most powerful states doesn’t coordinate to vigorously clamp down on the new technologies.

    Another reason to fight against political singularity aka the end of history aka “Western” “liberal” world order. The people fighting to preserve Russian, Chinese, North Korean, Iranian sovereignty could indirectly facilitate the kind of future that reminds one of theists’ ideas of salvation, redemption of mankind and heaven, complete with immortality.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen

    Very smart people tend to be fractious, disagreeable, conflict-prone, so I don’t know about “more civilized”. I would guess that agreeableness peaks roughly in the 115 – 125 range, and is lower on either side of it.
     
    Why are they more civilized?

    Could it be because they are smart enough to see the personal consequences of not being more civilized? In which case we might see a different profile if they are freed from social controls, some psychos are "smart."

    I have no way to prove it, but the "smart fraction" has lost most of the noblesse oblige that it once had (in a not overwhelming portion when it had it).

  77. @iffen
    The problem (the cure?) with AI becoming an extension of humanity is that they will not be able to create the emotions, the metaphysical, the spiritual (some sci-fi deals with this), which, as some of us know, is the elephant.

    Hey iffen,

    Look…full disclosure…coming from my background – this ____ scares the hell out of me!

    Seconding what Daniel Chieh said, I cannot understand how someone would find meaning in such an existence thus I cannot understand why anyone would exert their effort in wanting to make it a reality…but that’s just me.

    It reminds me a bit of that scene in ‘Inception’ where there are all those people in that underground area that are simply administered shots to keep them sleeping and lost in their dreams.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    this ____ scares the hell out of me!

    http://klipd.com/watch/butch-cassidy-and-the-sundance-kid/the-fall-will-probably-kill-you-cliff-jump-scene
    , @mtn cur
    Hi Talha!

    I think I think, therefore, I think I am. We need to avoid over thinking this stuff, that we do think makes our thoughts of no consequence to stampeding pet shop gerbils with poison fangs.
  78. @SimplePseudonymicHandle
    Well, one feature of American federalism has almost always been effectively unrestricted movement between states for citizens of the whole.
    So : you didn't get to change the law or customs in Georgia if you were from Connecticut, though you were free to move there if you liked it, or to move away if you found yourself transplanted there and didn't like it, or to exercise your modicum of influence on the locality and longsuffer if that suited you. And vice versa.

    Robust federalism is to the political-economy what trading in options is to publicly traded companies: it quickens the punishment on those making poor decisions or performing badly and quickly reinforces those making good decisions and performing well.

    Doesn't work so well though when there are fifty little bears and one Leviathan.

    Since the constitutional convention of 1787 met under the auspices of the Confederation, and did away with the Confederation, we could flip it and have a convention that would re-establish some sort of confederation.

    Read More
    • Replies: @SimplePseudonymicHandle
    I don't think that's off base - the key is how it is angled.

    Two cents of angling correction suggestions for those who've tried in the past and failed are:

    first penny: note that companies do this - all , the, time - federate in response to dynamic business conditions, then reorganize and confederate due to dynamic business conditions - then, genius!, federate again in response to dynamic business conditions.

    It is ebb and flow. It need be nothing more. The Constitution was designed to be editable, for a reason.

    second penny: nip one in the bud by reaching out to African Americans.
    Admit that the state of things in 1961 was unacceptable, and the more robust federalism of 1961 had to take some hits to drag things forward. But ... qua: federate / confederate / federate again ... things are now, once again, unacceptable ... for all of us. So let's those-of-us-of-good-will-and-sound-mind, join hands, and for all of our sakes, confed-er-ate, a little.

    African Americans in Georgia seem to be the happiest, most successful African Americans in the US. That seems worth noticing, and strategizing around, and making a very big deal out of.

  79. @Erik Sieven
    concerning current dysgenic trends:
    as far as I understand pure Ashkenazim jews are disappearing, since they marry out heavily in the USA and in Israel get overwhelmed by orthodox Jews of various ancestries. So, when Ashkenazim have been the most intelligent sub-group of humans in recent history, and probably of the whole human history, does´t this mean that this results in a huge loss for mankind in terms of extremely high IQ people? Might special kinds of giftedness (like John von Neumann) simply not be born in coming times?

    The number of secular full-blooded Ashkenazi Jews is declining fast, but the religious ones are breeding like the Amish.

    I don’t know how the old Euro aristocracies compared to Jews. It’s a pity that their endogamy largely broke down in the 19th and 20th centuries, but there are still some remnants of them. I’m sure that upper class Brits are susbstantially above 100 today. I wonder if anybody’s ever tried to measure them. Same with the Parsees.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    I don’t know how the old Euro aristocracies compared to Jews. It’s a pity that their endogamy largely broke down in the 19th and 20th centuries, but there are still some remnants of them. I’m sure that upper class Brits are susbstantially above 100 today.
     
    This book addresses some of this:

    http://press.princeton.edu/titles/10181.html

    People with aristocratic surnames are significantly over-represented in high-IQ professions.
  80. @Glossy
    now that the FLynn effect of environmental IQ increases is petering out across the world

    Is there any certainty that the FLynn Effect has petered out for smart ethnic groups, or has the IQ of smart countries stopped growing entirely because of immigration of less smart groups?

    Even so, a world with a thousand or a million times as many John von Neumanns running about will be more civilized, far richer

    Very smart people tend to be fractious, disagreeable, conflict-prone, so I don't know about "more civilized". I would guess that agreeableness peaks roughly in the 115 - 125 range, and is lower on either side of it.

    All this of course assumes that a concert of the world’s most powerful states doesn’t coordinate to vigorously clamp down on the new technologies.

    Another reason to fight against political singularity aka the end of history aka "Western" "liberal" world order. The people fighting to preserve Russian, Chinese, North Korean, Iranian sovereignty could indirectly facilitate the kind of future that reminds one of theists' ideas of salvation, redemption of mankind and heaven, complete with immortality.

    Very smart people tend to be fractious, disagreeable, conflict-prone, so I don’t know about “more civilized”. I would guess that agreeableness peaks roughly in the 115 – 125 range, and is lower on either side of it.

    Why are they more civilized?

    Could it be because they are smart enough to see the personal consequences of not being more civilized? In which case we might see a different profile if they are freed from social controls, some psychos are “smart.”

    I have no way to prove it, but the “smart fraction” has lost most of the noblesse oblige that it once had (in a not overwhelming portion when it had it).

    Read More
  81. @iffen
    Since the constitutional convention of 1787 met under the auspices of the Confederation, and did away with the Confederation, we could flip it and have a convention that would re-establish some sort of confederation.

    I don’t think that’s off base – the key is how it is angled.

    Two cents of angling correction suggestions for those who’ve tried in the past and failed are:

    first penny: note that companies do this – all , the, time – federate in response to dynamic business conditions, then reorganize and confederate due to dynamic business conditions – then, genius!, federate again in response to dynamic business conditions.

    It is ebb and flow. It need be nothing more. The Constitution was designed to be editable, for a reason.

    second penny: nip one in the bud by reaching out to African Americans.
    Admit that the state of things in 1961 was unacceptable, and the more robust federalism of 1961 had to take some hits to drag things forward. But … qua: federate / confederate / federate again … things are now, once again, unacceptable … for all of us. So let’s those-of-us-of-good-will-and-sound-mind, join hands, and for all of our sakes, confed-er-ate, a little.

    African Americans in Georgia seem to be the happiest, most successful African Americans in the US. That seems worth noticing, and strategizing around, and making a very big deal out of.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    You would really need to think it all the way through. You could end up with Silicon Valleys and Bostons here and there with little Haitis, West Virginias and Detroits here and there.
  82. @Anatoly Karlin

    Rather, he applies ancient insights to modern conditions...
     
    Taleb does it much better, with humor and attention to actual facts and statistics.

    It is clear you believe unending technological progress is highly desirable...
     
    Yes I am lazy and do appreciate having to do less for more.

    ... that endless growth as a way of life should indeed be the human goal
     
    I am not a proponent of "endless growth."

    ... that humans should strive for control and mastery rather than learn to live in harmony with cosmic forces
     
    wtf are these "cosmic forces" anyway? Will freely admit to disliking this sort of obscurantism.

    Pretty interesting article, lots of things to consider, as we enter this new environment of technological over reach.

    I want to refer to the movie that I think correctly showed the likely results of man’s or Krell’s… Best laid Plans, in the ’50′s: Forbidden Planet:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forbidden_Planet

    To your above phrase:

    wtf are these “cosmic forces” anyway? Will freely admit to disliking this sort of obscurantism.

    I disagree, if that is permissible from the peanut gallery of modest IQ land, that cosmic forces are mere bothersome obscurant stuff, because, what you are doing really is overly rational, entirely over optimistic dreaming. AND, the comment you made somewhere above about virus’ having any self interest in not killing off the infected host, isn’t viable.

    Virus is part of a system of ecology, it does what it does and can make things wither and die, as the bigger system moves on, Virus can linger for long time in cells, only comes out some time when the right conditions warrant that. Self interest of virus is complete misnomer Antoly. THey like fungi are all over all the time, no possibility of a problem with their own survival.

    And I think virus if not Bacteria will be coming soon.

    Oh, and how will robots replace consumers is another stickler. As well as, the AI that ever gets really self motivated etc. well that will prove the theme of Forbidden Planet, everybody senses it Instinctively!

    Read More
  83. @SimplePseudonymicHandle
    I don't think that's off base - the key is how it is angled.

    Two cents of angling correction suggestions for those who've tried in the past and failed are:

    first penny: note that companies do this - all , the, time - federate in response to dynamic business conditions, then reorganize and confederate due to dynamic business conditions - then, genius!, federate again in response to dynamic business conditions.

    It is ebb and flow. It need be nothing more. The Constitution was designed to be editable, for a reason.

    second penny: nip one in the bud by reaching out to African Americans.
    Admit that the state of things in 1961 was unacceptable, and the more robust federalism of 1961 had to take some hits to drag things forward. But ... qua: federate / confederate / federate again ... things are now, once again, unacceptable ... for all of us. So let's those-of-us-of-good-will-and-sound-mind, join hands, and for all of our sakes, confed-er-ate, a little.

    African Americans in Georgia seem to be the happiest, most successful African Americans in the US. That seems worth noticing, and strategizing around, and making a very big deal out of.

    You would really need to think it all the way through. You could end up with Silicon Valleys and Bostons here and there with little Haitis, West Virginias and Detroits here and there.

    Read More
    • Replies: @SimplePseudonymicHandle

    You could end up with Silicon Valleys and Bostons here and there with little Haitis and Detroits here and there.
     
    Isn't that what we have and what we're headed to?
    Isn't the issue the inability to contain it, where if we could: it would die on the vine?

    And as to Silicon Valleys ... arguably a key factor at issue underlying much of the discussion that animates a place like Unz is:

    People, political or financially elite people, often; in certain places - seem to have written some socio-economic/political checks they can't cash, and are effecting a sort of political/financial engineering, to get other people to underwrite those checks.

    Tie off those branches and the outsized magnets of places like Silicon Valley will get weak and their draw on high quality labor will give way to more culturally promising regions.

  84. @iffen
    You would really need to think it all the way through. You could end up with Silicon Valleys and Bostons here and there with little Haitis, West Virginias and Detroits here and there.

    You could end up with Silicon Valleys and Bostons here and there with little Haitis and Detroits here and there.

    Isn’t that what we have and what we’re headed to?
    Isn’t the issue the inability to contain it, where if we could: it would die on the vine?

    And as to Silicon Valleys … arguably a key factor at issue underlying much of the discussion that animates a place like Unz is:

    People, political or financially elite people, often; in certain places – seem to have written some socio-economic/political checks they can’t cash, and are effecting a sort of political/financial engineering, to get other people to underwrite those checks.

    Tie off those branches and the outsized magnets of places like Silicon Valley will get weak and their draw on high quality labor will give way to more culturally promising regions.

    Read More
  85. @Mike
    Very thoughtful & reasoned outlook. Broadly speaking I find myself in agreement with most of it. Some things that stood out:

    1. Neuropharmacology. You’re skeptical that there are much more effective ‘smart drugs in our future. I think your skepticism is warranted, and one way to approach this is the “Algernon argument”: http://www.gwern.net/Drug%20heuristics.

    On the other hand, I think it could be possible that there's low-hanging fruit based on motivation. Elsewhere I've noted that:

    Nick Bostrom has argued that there are hard limits on traditional pharmaceutical cognitive enhancement, since if the presence of some simple chemical would help us think better, our brains would probably already be producing it. On the other hand, there seem to be fewer a priori limits on motivational or emotional enhancement. And sure enough, the most effective “cognitive enhancers” such as adderall, modafinil, and so on seem to work by making cognitive tasks seem less unpleasant or more interesting. If we had a crisp theory of valence, this might enable particularly powerful versions of these sorts of drugs.
     
    http://opentheory.net/2015/09/fai_and_valence/

    2. A limited window for takeoff, before cognitive trends have us crashing hard. This is pretty sobering to consider. How does society look different if we expect future humans to be less intelligent than ourselves, and/or if we expect society as a whole to be less capable? What kind of things should we be doing now to tide civilization through future dark ages?

    3. Genetic engineering for IQ banned? - China will do it (is doing it).

    4. Transhumanism. The more I think about it, the more dangerous transhumanism seems if done by civilizations without Moloch firmly under control.

    5. Galactic superpredators: plausible & scary.

    6. Cryopreservation: poor Robin Hanson.

    7. Overall: I think you've hit the important scenarios, & I think your probability estimates are reasonable. If I were to add one variable to this mix, it'd be political philosophy: the future will be radically different depending on the outcome of the memetic civil war the West is currently engaged in.

    8. Business-as-usual is dystopic: yes, and I thought your conclusion was especially good:

    Ironically, by far the biggest lacuna is with regards to the “business as usual” scenario. It’s as if the world’s futurist thinkers have been so consumed with the most exotic and “interesting” scenarios (e.g. superintelligence, ems, socio-economic collapse, etc.) that they have neglected to consider what will happen if we take all the standard economic and demographic projections for this century, apply our understanding of economics, psychometrics, technology, and evolutionary psychology to them, and stretch them out to their logical conclusions.

    The resultant Age of Industrial Malthusianism is not only something that’s easier to imagine than many of the other scenarios, and by extension easier for modern people to connect with, but it is also something that is genuinely interesting in its own right. It is also very important to understand well.
     
    Next puzzle: if this is a fairly accurate picture of the future, what should people do? What activities & investments are currently overvalued vs undervalued, and so on?

    Nick Bostrom has argued that there are hard limits on traditional pharmaceutical cognitive enhancement, since if the presence of some simple chemical would help us think better, our brains would probably already be producing it.

    Isn’t that like saying that PEDs can’t possibly exist because if the presence of some simple chemicals would help us become faster and stronger, our bodies would probably already be producing them?

    We’re selected for a very large number of traits, of which intelligence and muscle strength are only two, and there are many trade-offs involved.

    How does society look different if we expect future humans to be less intelligent than ourselves, and/or if we expect society as a whole to be less capable? What kind of things should we be doing now to tide civilization through future dark ages?

    We should be creating many copies of important STEM data collections on sturdy media. An example would be etching text onto stainless steel plates to be deposited throughout the world.

    About 99.9% of Greco-Roman book titles were lost during the Dark Ages. Interest in this stuff came back by the 13th century. After that it took, I’d say 3 centuries, to get back up to the Greco-Roman level. A lot of things had to be reinvented, as opposed to looked up.

    Read More
  86. @Talha
    Hey iffen,

    Look...full disclosure...coming from my background - this ____ scares the hell out of me!

    Seconding what Daniel Chieh said, I cannot understand how someone would find meaning in such an existence thus I cannot understand why anyone would exert their effort in wanting to make it a reality...but that's just me.

    It reminds me a bit of that scene in 'Inception' where there are all those people in that underground area that are simply administered shots to keep them sleeping and lost in their dreams.

    Peace.
    Read More
    • Replies: @SimplePseudonymicHandle
    ... and @Talha
    , ... @Daniel Chieh

    I think an effective metaphor is:

    The lab rat with access to the button that titrates unlimited squirts of sugar water. The rat becomes fat. Eventually it becomes so fat that it can't move to another part of its container to relieve itself. Eventually it is awash in its own filth - but hedonically acomatized it splashes more and more sugar water onto itself.

    This is a good example of what is meant by "indecent", and why decency matters. It's useful as an illustration in a society where hedonism is so accessible to so many.

    I find in my own experience that once we cross the hurdle of understanding (i.e.: "so if I can feed myself goodfeelz endlessly, what's wrong with that?") there end up being two barriers:

    1) People who understand, but don't care. This has subgroups of those who are consciously nihilist and simply don't care, versus those who are consciously weak and prepared to surrender to indecency. They've drunk too much sugar water.

    2) Elites who are incompetent, or simply not powerful enough to do anything about it. It isn't that they are deliberately engineering the downfall - it is that the downfall is like a Platonic degeneracy and we either have elites who weren't expected to understand this as a condition of holding their elite office, and the ways of avoiding it while there's still time - or even if they do, they aren't empowered to stop it, so ... "open the gates of cannabis access babe we are medicating our way out!!!"

    While it is often talked about and fretted over - I have personally encountered no actual physical evidence of a conscious cabal looking to purposely bring about the outcome though.

  87. @Anatoly Karlin

    Obviously the solution is to legalize polyamory... and average IQ should jump.
     
    Not sure it worked out that way for the Africans.

    Not sure it worked out that way for the Africans.

    Until the mid-20th century, polygamy was legal in East Asia. Whatever the impact on IQ levels for East Asians, they consistently appear at the top end of IQ rankings.

    Read More
  88. @iffen
    this ____ scares the hell out of me!

    http://klipd.com/watch/butch-cassidy-and-the-sundance-kid/the-fall-will-probably-kill-you-cliff-jump-scene

    … and
    , …

    I think an effective metaphor is:

    The lab rat with access to the button that titrates unlimited squirts of sugar water. The rat becomes fat. Eventually it becomes so fat that it can’t move to another part of its container to relieve itself. Eventually it is awash in its own filth – but hedonically acomatized it splashes more and more sugar water onto itself.

    This is a good example of what is meant by “indecent”, and why decency matters. It’s useful as an illustration in a society where hedonism is so accessible to so many.

    I find in my own experience that once we cross the hurdle of understanding (i.e.: “so if I can feed myself goodfeelz endlessly, what’s wrong with that?”) there end up being two barriers:

    1) People who understand, but don’t care. This has subgroups of those who are consciously nihilist and simply don’t care, versus those who are consciously weak and prepared to surrender to indecency. They’ve drunk too much sugar water.

    2) Elites who are incompetent, or simply not powerful enough to do anything about it. It isn’t that they are deliberately engineering the downfall – it is that the downfall is like a Platonic degeneracy and we either have elites who weren’t expected to understand this as a condition of holding their elite office, and the ways of avoiding it while there’s still time – or even if they do, they aren’t empowered to stop it, so … “open the gates of cannabis access babe we are medicating our way out!!!”

    While it is often talked about and fretted over – I have personally encountered no actual physical evidence of a conscious cabal looking to purposely bring about the outcome though.

    Read More
    • Replies: @SimplePseudonymicHandle
    ...post on the lab was also addressed to Talha and Daniel Chieh.

    Apparently I haven't figured out proper use of " @ "
    , @iffen
    where hedonism is so accessible to so many.

    Yes, there are plenty of examples where access by the many seems to have screwed up things. I can't help but notice that nobody thought that it was much of a problem until the proles came along and crowded in.

    , @Daniel Chieh

    While it is often talked about and fretted over – I have personally encountered no actual physical evidence of a conscious cabal looking to purposely bring about the outcome though.
     
    I don't believe there is one, and I certainly don't think you need one. I believe impersonal forces are enough to be entropic - I mean, in John B. Calhoun's famous Rat Heaven experiment, he was not trying to develop a behavior sink which eventually led to the extinction of the animals. It just happens.

    I have no doubt that we're actively forming society as a behavioral sink now. The easier life becomes too, the less we'll be challenged to acquire and utilize complex behavior. It has vastly contributed to the atomistic individuality, for starters, by giving us the significant appearance that we don't need anyone else.

    Instead, a chronically short-term nature and general weakness to hedonism are all that is needed. I'm of the belief that humanity has long since lost control of the forces of technology; our culture is now formed to accommodate the impersonal deities of the next new thing, rather than the next new thing being developed to serve any specific human goals of ours. Any more specific than, perhaps, what most excites the instant gratification circuit and hits the "Buy!" button.

  89. @SimplePseudonymicHandle
    ... and @Talha
    , ... @Daniel Chieh

    I think an effective metaphor is:

    The lab rat with access to the button that titrates unlimited squirts of sugar water. The rat becomes fat. Eventually it becomes so fat that it can't move to another part of its container to relieve itself. Eventually it is awash in its own filth - but hedonically acomatized it splashes more and more sugar water onto itself.

    This is a good example of what is meant by "indecent", and why decency matters. It's useful as an illustration in a society where hedonism is so accessible to so many.

    I find in my own experience that once we cross the hurdle of understanding (i.e.: "so if I can feed myself goodfeelz endlessly, what's wrong with that?") there end up being two barriers:

    1) People who understand, but don't care. This has subgroups of those who are consciously nihilist and simply don't care, versus those who are consciously weak and prepared to surrender to indecency. They've drunk too much sugar water.

    2) Elites who are incompetent, or simply not powerful enough to do anything about it. It isn't that they are deliberately engineering the downfall - it is that the downfall is like a Platonic degeneracy and we either have elites who weren't expected to understand this as a condition of holding their elite office, and the ways of avoiding it while there's still time - or even if they do, they aren't empowered to stop it, so ... "open the gates of cannabis access babe we are medicating our way out!!!"

    While it is often talked about and fretted over - I have personally encountered no actual physical evidence of a conscious cabal looking to purposely bring about the outcome though.

    …post on the lab was also addressed to Talha and Daniel Chieh.

    Apparently I haven’t figured out proper use of ” @ “

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey SPH,

    On the hedonism...I came across a wonderful quote (it has a few variations):
    "How many people dig their own graves with their teeth!"

    To me, it seems paradoxical on the surface, but many of the people who have what most would desire; fame, money, stuff, etc. often seem to be people whose reliance on psychiatric medication (or opiods) is what keeps them operating on a normal plane. It seems depression lurks just below the surface of cloud 9 - I cannot imagine that throwing AI or some kind of machine interface would be able to remove that tendency. And if it does, is that person truly 'human' any longer?

    A lot of this anticipation (from some people) for the 'singularity' seems to be saddled with a pseudo-religious narrative; human progress toward perfection, a life of eternal bliss, a need for transcending the material and temporal nature of man, and escaping the grave - always, a way to escape that.

    Peace.
  90. @SimplePseudonymicHandle
    ... and @Talha
    , ... @Daniel Chieh

    I think an effective metaphor is:

    The lab rat with access to the button that titrates unlimited squirts of sugar water. The rat becomes fat. Eventually it becomes so fat that it can't move to another part of its container to relieve itself. Eventually it is awash in its own filth - but hedonically acomatized it splashes more and more sugar water onto itself.

    This is a good example of what is meant by "indecent", and why decency matters. It's useful as an illustration in a society where hedonism is so accessible to so many.

    I find in my own experience that once we cross the hurdle of understanding (i.e.: "so if I can feed myself goodfeelz endlessly, what's wrong with that?") there end up being two barriers:

    1) People who understand, but don't care. This has subgroups of those who are consciously nihilist and simply don't care, versus those who are consciously weak and prepared to surrender to indecency. They've drunk too much sugar water.

    2) Elites who are incompetent, or simply not powerful enough to do anything about it. It isn't that they are deliberately engineering the downfall - it is that the downfall is like a Platonic degeneracy and we either have elites who weren't expected to understand this as a condition of holding their elite office, and the ways of avoiding it while there's still time - or even if they do, they aren't empowered to stop it, so ... "open the gates of cannabis access babe we are medicating our way out!!!"

    While it is often talked about and fretted over - I have personally encountered no actual physical evidence of a conscious cabal looking to purposely bring about the outcome though.

    where hedonism is so accessible to so many.

    Yes, there are plenty of examples where access by the many seems to have screwed up things. I can’t help but notice that nobody thought that it was much of a problem until the proles came along and crowded in.

    Read More
    • Replies: @SimplePseudonymicHandle

    I can’t help but notice that nobody thought that it was much of a problem until the proles came along and crowded in.
     
    Well, probably true - and I mean that sincerely - it probably, is, true.

    But it's also true they didn't like the proles before the proles crowded in, and they didn't like the proles before they got in the proles business. Yankees and Redsox. Blues and Greens. People just isn't gonna like, because that's what people do.

    Talha,

    I cannot imagine that throwing AI or some kind of machine interface would be able to remove that tendency.
     
    I agree. For purposes of the OP it will almost surely come to pass that we'll augment ourselves with solid-state or bio-state devices not unlike we augment ourselves with the gym, vitamins, stimulants and steroids ... which will forestall the coming of the evil AGI - at least if we are taking bets, that's my bet.

    But - to your narrow point - making ourselves stronger/smarter doesn't deal with the philosophical problem. We've got more to gain tackling that with the first 3 schools of Athens.

    Daniel Chieh,

    I have no doubt that we’re actively forming society as a behavioral sink now
     
    I agree. Although ditto of my note to Talha - I see a lot of promise in addressing that sink with the first 3 schools. In each case though it requires the ascent of the individual. Save for the ascent, there's no saving it.
    , @Daniel Chieh
    Well, its probably a simple case where increasing the number of vectors of negative behavior causes it to become more explicit. If the elite engage in deviant behavior, it is considered a lesser because it is by definition a minority behavior and therefore against the norm. Once deviant behavior becomes the norm, however, then the only expectation is for the next most deviant behavior become popular, and normed.

    Consider something as simple as obesity. If only the elites were obese, it provides a safe form of bashing them and their overall excess consumption is not all that terrible. However, if the norm is obese, not only does it create a need for "fat-acceptance" but the actual stress on the system to provide calories as well as to assist with obesity-related illnesses is much higher.
  91. @Abelard Lindsey
    Its interesting that many of you don't seem to like economic growth or technological innovation, but seem to like continued population growth. It seems to me that continued population growth requires increased economic growth in order to provide career opportunity and upward mobility for the increased population which, in turn, fuels technological innovation. Technological innovation is needed in order to feed everyone and to provide them with increased standard of living and decent medical care. Population growth without the latter two is a recipe for a Malthusian population crash.

    This doesn't even get into the quality of life issue, like being able to go on beach holiday in the Caribbean or go backpacking or skiing in the Rocky mountains. Imagine how crowded these places will be if the U.S. alone has a billion people.

    I can only speak for myself, but I’m very much against further population growth and would like to see more technological advance…cold fusion and radical life extension would be a dream come true. Still, I found much in Anatoly’s predictions depressing. “The age of em”…I’m not sure I understand what this is about, but does this mean people would eventually upload their conscience into some virtual reality machine??? That sounds like a nightmare. Same for a lot of the human-machine interaction stuff. And while I’m interested in the idea of genetically raising IQs and bring the human species to perfection, doesn’t this mean older generations (e.g. myself) will eventually be “obsolete”?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey GR,

    doesn’t this mean older generations (e.g. myself) will eventually be “obsolete”
     
    Yup, happens to all of us that have an expiration date; when humanity (including your closest relatives) is dumping dirt on your cold, lifeless body - they have officially declared you "obsolete".

    But, one thing, while you are still around - you have experience and wisdom from your years of life; and, as far as I'm concerned - wisdom never goes out of fashion.

    Peace and may you live a great many more years.
    , @Abelard Lindsey
    I work in automation and robotics. But other than industrial automation, I don't may much attention to the AI or EM hype because I think it unlikely. I've looked at the deep learning algorithms, which is the basis of the AI hype, enough to realize it is a genuine breakthrough in programming. It will give us decent machine vision and motion control and definitely improve robotics (and make stuff like self-driving cars possible). But it will not lead to machine sentience, let alone any kind of singularity. I find the uploading scenarios to be equally unlikely. This is probably the reason why I do not find "transhumanism" frightening. The frightening scenarios are simply unlikely.

    What is real is developments in bio-engineering (SENS, CRISPR, synthetic biology). I really do expect a cure for aging sometime within this century. I also expect increased automation and additive manufacturing to be disruptive. The other thing I expect is Gen IV nuclear power as well as commercial fusion power (there are 8 fusion power start-ups in North America). So the whole run out of energy and go back to the land rubbish is never going to happen. The future will definitely be technological, if not AI driven singularity. And its a good future because it is human. It might not fit the definition of the religious luddite concept of human, but it is human in that people will continue to exist as recognizable descrite biological entities (based on synthetic biology) although they will be free from the unreasonable tyranny of the aging process and a pre-set healthy life span. So human aspirations will be greater than today.

    I would call my scenario a bio-singularity or a mundane singularity and I think its a good one.

    You read all kinds of non-sense on "what is human" on various luddite blogs. My definition of human is more basic. As long as I can run and jump and have a good time, as long as I can hoist a pint of beer and share a good laugh in a pub, I am human. This is the best definition of human I can come up with, and I challenge anyone to argue it.
    , @Darin

    “The age of em”…I’m not sure I understand what this is about, but does this mean people would eventually upload their conscience into some virtual reality machine???
     
    Mind uploading is normal, garden variety transhumanism.

    "Ems" are copies of human brains, that will be in the future according to Hanson produced by the trillions and used as slave labor. It would be horrible if it wasn't so absurd - as absurd as making mechanical horses for riding. Whe we understand brain enough to regularly copy it, we could build something much better from first principles.

    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/jun/15/the-age-of-em-work-love-and-life-when-robots-rule-the-earth-robin-hanson-review
  92. @SimplePseudonymicHandle
    ...post on the lab was also addressed to Talha and Daniel Chieh.

    Apparently I haven't figured out proper use of " @ "

    Hey SPH,

    On the hedonism…I came across a wonderful quote (it has a few variations):
    “How many people dig their own graves with their teeth!”

    To me, it seems paradoxical on the surface, but many of the people who have what most would desire; fame, money, stuff, etc. often seem to be people whose reliance on psychiatric medication (or opiods) is what keeps them operating on a normal plane. It seems depression lurks just below the surface of cloud 9 – I cannot imagine that throwing AI or some kind of machine interface would be able to remove that tendency. And if it does, is that person truly ‘human’ any longer?

    A lot of this anticipation (from some people) for the ‘singularity’ seems to be saddled with a pseudo-religious narrative; human progress toward perfection, a life of eternal bliss, a need for transcending the material and temporal nature of man, and escaping the grave – always, a way to escape that.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    I cannot recommend this book enough:
    https://www.amazon.com/Technopoly-Surrender-Technology-Neil-Postman/dp/0679745408

    Very short read and extremely relevant to this topic.

    Robots are a tool, not a goal.
  93. @SimplePseudonymicHandle
    ... and @Talha
    , ... @Daniel Chieh

    I think an effective metaphor is:

    The lab rat with access to the button that titrates unlimited squirts of sugar water. The rat becomes fat. Eventually it becomes so fat that it can't move to another part of its container to relieve itself. Eventually it is awash in its own filth - but hedonically acomatized it splashes more and more sugar water onto itself.

    This is a good example of what is meant by "indecent", and why decency matters. It's useful as an illustration in a society where hedonism is so accessible to so many.

    I find in my own experience that once we cross the hurdle of understanding (i.e.: "so if I can feed myself goodfeelz endlessly, what's wrong with that?") there end up being two barriers:

    1) People who understand, but don't care. This has subgroups of those who are consciously nihilist and simply don't care, versus those who are consciously weak and prepared to surrender to indecency. They've drunk too much sugar water.

    2) Elites who are incompetent, or simply not powerful enough to do anything about it. It isn't that they are deliberately engineering the downfall - it is that the downfall is like a Platonic degeneracy and we either have elites who weren't expected to understand this as a condition of holding their elite office, and the ways of avoiding it while there's still time - or even if they do, they aren't empowered to stop it, so ... "open the gates of cannabis access babe we are medicating our way out!!!"

    While it is often talked about and fretted over - I have personally encountered no actual physical evidence of a conscious cabal looking to purposely bring about the outcome though.

    While it is often talked about and fretted over – I have personally encountered no actual physical evidence of a conscious cabal looking to purposely bring about the outcome though.

    I don’t believe there is one, and I certainly don’t think you need one. I believe impersonal forces are enough to be entropic – I mean, in John B. Calhoun’s famous Rat Heaven experiment, he was not trying to develop a behavior sink which eventually led to the extinction of the animals. It just happens.

    I have no doubt that we’re actively forming society as a behavioral sink now. The easier life becomes too, the less we’ll be challenged to acquire and utilize complex behavior. It has vastly contributed to the atomistic individuality, for starters, by giving us the significant appearance that we don’t need anyone else.

    Instead, a chronically short-term nature and general weakness to hedonism are all that is needed. I’m of the belief that humanity has long since lost control of the forces of technology; our culture is now formed to accommodate the impersonal deities of the next new thing, rather than the next new thing being developed to serve any specific human goals of ours. Any more specific than, perhaps, what most excites the instant gratification circuit and hits the “Buy!” button.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    It has vastly contributed to the atomistic individuality, for starters, by giving us the significant appearance that we don’t need anyone else.

    Humanity was created by the group.

    Individuality was created by the group.

    Individuality will kill humanity and the group.
  94. @German_reader
    I can only speak for myself, but I'm very much against further population growth and would like to see more technological advance...cold fusion and radical life extension would be a dream come true. Still, I found much in Anatoly's predictions depressing. "The age of em"...I'm not sure I understand what this is about, but does this mean people would eventually upload their conscience into some virtual reality machine??? That sounds like a nightmare. Same for a lot of the human-machine interaction stuff. And while I'm interested in the idea of genetically raising IQs and bring the human species to perfection, doesn't this mean older generations (e.g. myself) will eventually be "obsolete"?

    Hey GR,

    doesn’t this mean older generations (e.g. myself) will eventually be “obsolete”

    Yup, happens to all of us that have an expiration date; when humanity (including your closest relatives) is dumping dirt on your cold, lifeless body – they have officially declared you “obsolete”.

    But, one thing, while you are still around – you have experience and wisdom from your years of life; and, as far as I’m concerned – wisdom never goes out of fashion.

    Peace and may you live a great many more years.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    You're of course right that eventually we all become "obsolete", decrepit etc., that's the way of all flesh (unfortunately imo)...but I'm seriously wondering what might happen if a younger generation has a much higher average IQ (like about 160) than the older one. I don't think that would exactly be conducive to societal stability or inter-generational respect.
    Thanks for your good wishes, peace and long life to you as well.
  95. @Talha
    Hey SPH,

    On the hedonism...I came across a wonderful quote (it has a few variations):
    "How many people dig their own graves with their teeth!"

    To me, it seems paradoxical on the surface, but many of the people who have what most would desire; fame, money, stuff, etc. often seem to be people whose reliance on psychiatric medication (or opiods) is what keeps them operating on a normal plane. It seems depression lurks just below the surface of cloud 9 - I cannot imagine that throwing AI or some kind of machine interface would be able to remove that tendency. And if it does, is that person truly 'human' any longer?

    A lot of this anticipation (from some people) for the 'singularity' seems to be saddled with a pseudo-religious narrative; human progress toward perfection, a life of eternal bliss, a need for transcending the material and temporal nature of man, and escaping the grave - always, a way to escape that.

    Peace.

    I cannot recommend this book enough:

    https://www.amazon.com/Technopoly-Surrender-Technology-Neil-Postman/dp/0679745408

    Very short read and extremely relevant to this topic.

    Robots are a tool, not a goal.

    Read More
  96. @Anatoly Karlin
    Sure, pointing out the the fact of the demographic transition is a very good argument, and it needs to be addressed.

    Before the Malthusian transition, there were huge incentives to have families - more hands for farm work; the high mortality rates for infants and children; also, the banal fact that wearing a condom made out of sheep guts presumably wasn't very enjoyable.

    However, families that had more children than they could could support suffered higher death rates for their lack of discipline. Hence, there was an equilibrium in which committed "breeders" only ever constituted a small share of the population.

    When Malthusian constraints fell away at around the time of the industrial revolution, along with the loosening of traditionalist pro-natality mores (have as many children as you can support and no more), the underpinnings of the old equilibrium crumbled away. However, since in most populations breeders are not yet a high percentage of the population - Orthodox Jewry and the Amish might be exceptions, since many of the people less committed to their values (inc. high natality) get "boiled off" with every generation - at first (i.e. the first century or so) this only had very modest effects, because there were very few "breeders" at t=0.

    Hence, cultural and social influences played much greater roles in determining fertility in First World nations during the 20th century, and at least in Africa, will probably continue to do so for the next century. In fact, one counterintuitive prediction that I would make is that Africa c.2100 will have lower TFRs than most current First World nations.

    Kolk et al., 2014 modeled this:

    Correlations in family size across generations could have a major influence on human population size in the future. Empirical studies have shown that the associations between the fertility of parents and the fertility of children are substantial and growing over time. Despite their potential long-term consequences, intergenerational fertility correlations have largely been ignored by researchers... We show that intergenerational fertility correlations will result in an increase in fertility over time.
     
    "Breeders" as a share of the population are barely different three generations in than at the start, but are rising rapidly by the 5th generation, and come to constitute the vast majority of people by the 12th generation.

    Incidentally, Germany had its fertility transition 3 generations ago, whereas France had it about 5 generations ago.

    And this map is quite famous: http://i36.tinypic.com/1679y7n.png

    Hmm...

    Incidentally, Germany had its fertility transition 3 generations ago, whereas France had it about 5 generations ago

    I remember looking at bits of Diderot’s Encyclopedia years ago, and the article on France said that the French weren’t breeding enough, that the royal government had incentives for them to have more kids, but that this wasn’t working.

    France was Europe’s intellectual leader then, so the anti-clerical trend started there very early. Voltaire and co., Enlightenmnt, then the Revolution.

    In the Middle Ages France had several times more people than the British Isles, much more than Germany. I think it still had more people than the Russian Empire at the time of the Napoleonic invasion! And that was the old Russian Empire, with Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Finland, the southern Caucasus.

    So the French were the first to go left and down (population-wise), and now maybe first to go right and up? They certainly have a larger far-right than most Euro countries.

    Read More
  97. @Daniel Chieh

    While it is often talked about and fretted over – I have personally encountered no actual physical evidence of a conscious cabal looking to purposely bring about the outcome though.
     
    I don't believe there is one, and I certainly don't think you need one. I believe impersonal forces are enough to be entropic - I mean, in John B. Calhoun's famous Rat Heaven experiment, he was not trying to develop a behavior sink which eventually led to the extinction of the animals. It just happens.

    I have no doubt that we're actively forming society as a behavioral sink now. The easier life becomes too, the less we'll be challenged to acquire and utilize complex behavior. It has vastly contributed to the atomistic individuality, for starters, by giving us the significant appearance that we don't need anyone else.

    Instead, a chronically short-term nature and general weakness to hedonism are all that is needed. I'm of the belief that humanity has long since lost control of the forces of technology; our culture is now formed to accommodate the impersonal deities of the next new thing, rather than the next new thing being developed to serve any specific human goals of ours. Any more specific than, perhaps, what most excites the instant gratification circuit and hits the "Buy!" button.

    It has vastly contributed to the atomistic individuality, for starters, by giving us the significant appearance that we don’t need anyone else.

    Humanity was created by the group.

    Individuality was created by the group.

    Individuality will kill humanity and the group.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Darin

    Humanity was created by the group.

    Individuality was created by the group.
     
    Spoken like true communist ;-)

    As for connection of hedonism and individualism, the most individualist people that exist, the extreme outlier of 1% with SPD, are the least hedonistic of all ( if you wish to count schizoids as people)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schizoid_personality_disorder
  98. @iffen
    where hedonism is so accessible to so many.

    Yes, there are plenty of examples where access by the many seems to have screwed up things. I can't help but notice that nobody thought that it was much of a problem until the proles came along and crowded in.

    I can’t help but notice that nobody thought that it was much of a problem until the proles came along and crowded in.

    Well, probably true – and I mean that sincerely – it probably, is, true.

    But it’s also true they didn’t like the proles before the proles crowded in, and they didn’t like the proles before they got in the proles business. Yankees and Redsox. Blues and Greens. People just isn’t gonna like, because that’s what people do.

    Talha,

    I cannot imagine that throwing AI or some kind of machine interface would be able to remove that tendency.

    I agree. For purposes of the OP it will almost surely come to pass that we’ll augment ourselves with solid-state or bio-state devices not unlike we augment ourselves with the gym, vitamins, stimulants and steroids … which will forestall the coming of the evil AGI – at least if we are taking bets, that’s my bet.

    But – to your narrow point – making ourselves stronger/smarter doesn’t deal with the philosophical problem. We’ve got more to gain tackling that with the first 3 schools of Athens.

    Daniel Chieh,

    I have no doubt that we’re actively forming society as a behavioral sink now

    I agree. Although ditto of my note to Talha – I see a lot of promise in addressing that sink with the first 3 schools. In each case though it requires the ascent of the individual. Save for the ascent, there’s no saving it.

    Read More
  99. @German_reader
    I can only speak for myself, but I'm very much against further population growth and would like to see more technological advance...cold fusion and radical life extension would be a dream come true. Still, I found much in Anatoly's predictions depressing. "The age of em"...I'm not sure I understand what this is about, but does this mean people would eventually upload their conscience into some virtual reality machine??? That sounds like a nightmare. Same for a lot of the human-machine interaction stuff. And while I'm interested in the idea of genetically raising IQs and bring the human species to perfection, doesn't this mean older generations (e.g. myself) will eventually be "obsolete"?

    I work in automation and robotics. But other than industrial automation, I don’t may much attention to the AI or EM hype because I think it unlikely. I’ve looked at the deep learning algorithms, which is the basis of the AI hype, enough to realize it is a genuine breakthrough in programming. It will give us decent machine vision and motion control and definitely improve robotics (and make stuff like self-driving cars possible). But it will not lead to machine sentience, let alone any kind of singularity. I find the uploading scenarios to be equally unlikely. This is probably the reason why I do not find “transhumanism” frightening. The frightening scenarios are simply unlikely.

    What is real is developments in bio-engineering (SENS, CRISPR, synthetic biology). I really do expect a cure for aging sometime within this century. I also expect increased automation and additive manufacturing to be disruptive. The other thing I expect is Gen IV nuclear power as well as commercial fusion power (there are 8 fusion power start-ups in North America). So the whole run out of energy and go back to the land rubbish is never going to happen. The future will definitely be technological, if not AI driven singularity. And its a good future because it is human. It might not fit the definition of the religious luddite concept of human, but it is human in that people will continue to exist as recognizable descrite biological entities (based on synthetic biology) although they will be free from the unreasonable tyranny of the aging process and a pre-set healthy life span. So human aspirations will be greater than today.

    I would call my scenario a bio-singularity or a mundane singularity and I think its a good one.

    You read all kinds of non-sense on “what is human” on various luddite blogs. My definition of human is more basic. As long as I can run and jump and have a good time, as long as I can hoist a pint of beer and share a good laugh in a pub, I am human. This is the best definition of human I can come up with, and I challenge anyone to argue it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey AL,

    Good points. It's been years since I took AI class at UCLA so I'm sure it has come a long way from the late 90's but I have a difficult time seeing it bridge the gap between 'smart machine' and 'human'. Although some would simply argue we are simply smart machines.

    the unreasonable tyranny of the aging process and a pre-set healthy life span. So human aspirations will be greater than today
     
    Possibly...but it may well be that the inescapability of the aging process is itself essential to the calibration of human aspirations.

    Imagine the ability to procrastinate...forever.

    Peace.
    , @Daniel Chieh

    As long as I can run and jump and have a good time, as long as I can hoist a pint of beer and share a good laugh in a pub, I am human.
     
    But can you? Who will be there to interact with you? And in some ways, what is the distinction between you and a rat that can run and squeak and sip some sugar water?

    For me, it would not be very fulfilling at all.

    I disagree that human aspirations would be greater. I also work in technology and from what I can tell, it mostly motivates what Kaczynski calls "substitute" activities or often, some form of dependence behavior such as drugs to avoid existential misery.

    , @German_reader
    "It might not fit the definition of the religious luddite concept of human, but it is human in that people will continue to exist as recognizable descrite biological entities (based on synthetic biology) although they will be free from the unreasonable tyranny of the aging process and a pre-set healthy life span."

    That's actually a prospect I would find attractive as well, radical life extension is something I'd regard as desirable (life is short and there's so much to learn). Of course if it ever became possible, it might create new problems as well (e.g. does everyone get it or only a select few "deserving" of it?), but so does every advance.
    Regarding automation, I've read some fairly negative assessments of what it could mean (e.g. this http://nationalinterest.org/print/feature/when-the-robots-rise-16830 ), so I think there has to be some political will to manage a transition for the benefit of all of society. The potential is exciting though. As long as change doesn't lead to our species becoming something totally else, I can get behind it, it's just some of the more extreme transhumanist stuff that seems thoroughly misguided to me.
    , @Daniel Chieh
    Incidentally, I'm curious about what you think of what I believe is the most likely mid-term outcome.

    At present, we probably have enough data on almost every individual inside a first world country to be able to build a reasonable profile for them. Once cashless systems are implemented, then our consumption will definitely assist in self-categorization.

    One of my degrees was in marketing and it always surprised me to realize how much you could manipulate the audience; with enough information on the "market" now, governments or anyone with access to such data could potentially create highly effectively, targeted persuasion methods to increase compliance.

    While "automated persuasion" won't work on everyone, this greatly concerns me and I think will be an adverse impact on human freedom overall. I do see this as possible, and it requires no greater technology than what we already possess.

    From a political perspective, its also useful as a method of controlling public opinion - there's already some trends toward classifying conservative thought as a mental illness, for example. In theory, a more peaceful society could be built by "treating" those disruptive elements of their "hateful attitudes."

  100. If, as most scientists suggest, the universe has contains myriad planets with the potential for sustained intelligent life and/or technology above our level, they/it are either far fewer than calculations suggest, hiding from us, or (and most likely) long since dead a la the Krell self extermination by singularity in Forbidden Planet.

    We are probably not unique heretofore. Hence, any civilization that reaches beyond our current level in search of a higher form of existence goes to its doom. In my opinion, unless there is mass global war or a moratorium on new technology, the history of the next millennium will be very short indeed; the odds of human/artificial intelligence surviving for another century must be concomitantly long.

    Read More
  101. @Talha
    Hey GR,

    doesn’t this mean older generations (e.g. myself) will eventually be “obsolete”
     
    Yup, happens to all of us that have an expiration date; when humanity (including your closest relatives) is dumping dirt on your cold, lifeless body - they have officially declared you "obsolete".

    But, one thing, while you are still around - you have experience and wisdom from your years of life; and, as far as I'm concerned - wisdom never goes out of fashion.

    Peace and may you live a great many more years.

    You’re of course right that eventually we all become “obsolete”, decrepit etc., that’s the way of all flesh (unfortunately imo)…but I’m seriously wondering what might happen if a younger generation has a much higher average IQ (like about 160) than the older one. I don’t think that would exactly be conducive to societal stability or inter-generational respect.
    Thanks for your good wishes, peace and long life to you as well.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey GR,

    C'mon, getting turned into Solyent Green can't be too bad. ;)

    Peace.
    , @AP

    I’m seriously wondering what might happen if a younger generation has a much higher average IQ (like about 160) than the older one. I don’t think that would exactly be conducive to societal stability or inter-generational respect.
     
    When this younger generation is still young (and therefore earnest, radical and extreme, as youth often are) they will be capable of incredible damage.
  102. @5371
    There's too much to object to in post and comments for me even to start. So let me just say that the probability of (5) is far over 99%.

    Pity, I could’ve sworn you had converted to our side of the argument. It’s only another three decades for Kurzweil Singularity and the Malthusian outcome is too horrid to contemplate

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  103. @iffen
    where hedonism is so accessible to so many.

    Yes, there are plenty of examples where access by the many seems to have screwed up things. I can't help but notice that nobody thought that it was much of a problem until the proles came along and crowded in.

    Well, its probably a simple case where increasing the number of vectors of negative behavior causes it to become more explicit. If the elite engage in deviant behavior, it is considered a lesser because it is by definition a minority behavior and therefore against the norm. Once deviant behavior becomes the norm, however, then the only expectation is for the next most deviant behavior become popular, and normed.

    Consider something as simple as obesity. If only the elites were obese, it provides a safe form of bashing them and their overall excess consumption is not all that terrible. However, if the norm is obese, not only does it create a need for “fat-acceptance” but the actual stress on the system to provide calories as well as to assist with obesity-related illnesses is much higher.

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  104. @iffen
    It has vastly contributed to the atomistic individuality, for starters, by giving us the significant appearance that we don’t need anyone else.

    Humanity was created by the group.

    Individuality was created by the group.

    Individuality will kill humanity and the group.

    Humanity was created by the group.

    Individuality was created by the group.

    Spoken like true communist ;-)

    As for connection of hedonism and individualism, the most individualist people that exist, the extreme outlier of 1% with SPD, are the least hedonistic of all ( if you wish to count schizoids as people)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schizoid_personality_disorder

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    Thanks for the lower case c. Was it by accident or can you see it?
    , @iffen
    The 'secret schizoid'[edit]

    Many fundamentally schizoid individuals display an engaging, interactive personality that contradicts the observable characteristic emphasized by the DSM-IV and ICD-10 definitions of the schizoid personality.[15]:pp. 25–27 Klein classifies these individuals as "secret schizoids", who present themselves as socially available, interested, engaged and involved in interacting yet remain emotionally withdrawn and sequestered within the safety of the internal world.

    I had never heard of this. Do you know if this is real or is it just some psycho-babble? Notice the use of the word many.

  105. @German_reader
    I can only speak for myself, but I'm very much against further population growth and would like to see more technological advance...cold fusion and radical life extension would be a dream come true. Still, I found much in Anatoly's predictions depressing. "The age of em"...I'm not sure I understand what this is about, but does this mean people would eventually upload their conscience into some virtual reality machine??? That sounds like a nightmare. Same for a lot of the human-machine interaction stuff. And while I'm interested in the idea of genetically raising IQs and bring the human species to perfection, doesn't this mean older generations (e.g. myself) will eventually be "obsolete"?

    “The age of em”…I’m not sure I understand what this is about, but does this mean people would eventually upload their conscience into some virtual reality machine???

    Mind uploading is normal, garden variety transhumanism.

    “Ems” are copies of human brains, that will be in the future according to Hanson produced by the trillions and used as slave labor. It would be horrible if it wasn’t so absurd – as absurd as making mechanical horses for riding. Whe we understand brain enough to regularly copy it, we could build something much better from first principles.

    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/jun/15/the-age-of-em-work-love-and-life-when-robots-rule-the-earth-robin-hanson-review

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    Well, there is a faint chance that we are unable to replicate a certain biological process with mechanical methods, or at least cannot do so efficiently. I've linked some research from 2014, its interesting if nothing else.


    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140116085105.htm
    , @German_reader
    Thanks, sounds like a bizarre concept (but then Anatoly seems to regard it as extremely unlikely as well).
  106. @Abelard Lindsey
    I work in automation and robotics. But other than industrial automation, I don't may much attention to the AI or EM hype because I think it unlikely. I've looked at the deep learning algorithms, which is the basis of the AI hype, enough to realize it is a genuine breakthrough in programming. It will give us decent machine vision and motion control and definitely improve robotics (and make stuff like self-driving cars possible). But it will not lead to machine sentience, let alone any kind of singularity. I find the uploading scenarios to be equally unlikely. This is probably the reason why I do not find "transhumanism" frightening. The frightening scenarios are simply unlikely.

    What is real is developments in bio-engineering (SENS, CRISPR, synthetic biology). I really do expect a cure for aging sometime within this century. I also expect increased automation and additive manufacturing to be disruptive. The other thing I expect is Gen IV nuclear power as well as commercial fusion power (there are 8 fusion power start-ups in North America). So the whole run out of energy and go back to the land rubbish is never going to happen. The future will definitely be technological, if not AI driven singularity. And its a good future because it is human. It might not fit the definition of the religious luddite concept of human, but it is human in that people will continue to exist as recognizable descrite biological entities (based on synthetic biology) although they will be free from the unreasonable tyranny of the aging process and a pre-set healthy life span. So human aspirations will be greater than today.

    I would call my scenario a bio-singularity or a mundane singularity and I think its a good one.

    You read all kinds of non-sense on "what is human" on various luddite blogs. My definition of human is more basic. As long as I can run and jump and have a good time, as long as I can hoist a pint of beer and share a good laugh in a pub, I am human. This is the best definition of human I can come up with, and I challenge anyone to argue it.

    Hey AL,

    Good points. It’s been years since I took AI class at UCLA so I’m sure it has come a long way from the late 90′s but I have a difficult time seeing it bridge the gap between ‘smart machine’ and ‘human’. Although some would simply argue we are simply smart machines.

    the unreasonable tyranny of the aging process and a pre-set healthy life span. So human aspirations will be greater than today

    Possibly…but it may well be that the inescapability of the aging process is itself essential to the calibration of human aspirations.

    Imagine the ability to procrastinate…forever.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Abelard Lindsey

    Possibly…but it may well be that the inescapability of the aging process is itself essential to the calibration of human aspirations.

    Imagine the ability to procrastinate…forever.
     
    This is true, but utterly irrelevant in the discussion of radical life extension. Does the fact that there are people who currently do drugs and make nothing of themselves in any way prevent me from, say, doing a technology start-up? No, of course not. This, of course, brings me to my larger point about hedonism.

    Certain conservatives and alt-right people fret and obsess over the supposed dangers of excesive hedonism. I think this fear is a non-sense. It is true that a society of abundance results in lots of people doing nothing more than hedonism with their lives. But such a society also has lots of people engaging in productive accomplishments as well. The fact that there are people who do nothing more than drugs and sex does not prevent the Silicon Vallay types from doing new start-ups, or keep artists from making new music. The people who want to accomplish the great feats of life are going to be driven to do so, regardless of the actions of those who do not share such aspirations. As long as the rest of humanity does not engage in any kind of political/religious trop to inhibit the accomplishments of the productive, the hedonism of the non-productive is totally irrelevant to our long-term future. This is why hedonism is a non-issue.
  107. @German_reader
    You're of course right that eventually we all become "obsolete", decrepit etc., that's the way of all flesh (unfortunately imo)...but I'm seriously wondering what might happen if a younger generation has a much higher average IQ (like about 160) than the older one. I don't think that would exactly be conducive to societal stability or inter-generational respect.
    Thanks for your good wishes, peace and long life to you as well.

    Hey GR,

    C’mon, getting turned into Solyent Green can’t be too bad. ;)

    Peace.

    Read More
  108. @Abelard Lindsey
    I work in automation and robotics. But other than industrial automation, I don't may much attention to the AI or EM hype because I think it unlikely. I've looked at the deep learning algorithms, which is the basis of the AI hype, enough to realize it is a genuine breakthrough in programming. It will give us decent machine vision and motion control and definitely improve robotics (and make stuff like self-driving cars possible). But it will not lead to machine sentience, let alone any kind of singularity. I find the uploading scenarios to be equally unlikely. This is probably the reason why I do not find "transhumanism" frightening. The frightening scenarios are simply unlikely.

    What is real is developments in bio-engineering (SENS, CRISPR, synthetic biology). I really do expect a cure for aging sometime within this century. I also expect increased automation and additive manufacturing to be disruptive. The other thing I expect is Gen IV nuclear power as well as commercial fusion power (there are 8 fusion power start-ups in North America). So the whole run out of energy and go back to the land rubbish is never going to happen. The future will definitely be technological, if not AI driven singularity. And its a good future because it is human. It might not fit the definition of the religious luddite concept of human, but it is human in that people will continue to exist as recognizable descrite biological entities (based on synthetic biology) although they will be free from the unreasonable tyranny of the aging process and a pre-set healthy life span. So human aspirations will be greater than today.

    I would call my scenario a bio-singularity or a mundane singularity and I think its a good one.

    You read all kinds of non-sense on "what is human" on various luddite blogs. My definition of human is more basic. As long as I can run and jump and have a good time, as long as I can hoist a pint of beer and share a good laugh in a pub, I am human. This is the best definition of human I can come up with, and I challenge anyone to argue it.

    As long as I can run and jump and have a good time, as long as I can hoist a pint of beer and share a good laugh in a pub, I am human.

    But can you? Who will be there to interact with you? And in some ways, what is the distinction between you and a rat that can run and squeak and sip some sugar water?

    For me, it would not be very fulfilling at all.

    I disagree that human aspirations would be greater. I also work in technology and from what I can tell, it mostly motivates what Kaczynski calls “substitute” activities or often, some form of dependence behavior such as drugs to avoid existential misery.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    some form of dependence behavior such as drugs to avoid existential misery.

    Life extension will take away the cure. Then everybody will get to be Sisyphus for a lifetime.
  109. Aug 16, 2011 The Tale of the Slave – Robert Nozick

    “Anarchy, State and Utopia”. I would recommend re-watching the video to see clearly if Nozick’s question is answerable.

    https://youtu.be/uxRSkM8C8z4

    Read More
  110. @Darin

    “The age of em”…I’m not sure I understand what this is about, but does this mean people would eventually upload their conscience into some virtual reality machine???
     
    Mind uploading is normal, garden variety transhumanism.

    "Ems" are copies of human brains, that will be in the future according to Hanson produced by the trillions and used as slave labor. It would be horrible if it wasn't so absurd - as absurd as making mechanical horses for riding. Whe we understand brain enough to regularly copy it, we could build something much better from first principles.

    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/jun/15/the-age-of-em-work-love-and-life-when-robots-rule-the-earth-robin-hanson-review

    Well, there is a faint chance that we are unable to replicate a certain biological process with mechanical methods, or at least cannot do so efficiently. I’ve linked some research from 2014, its interesting if nothing else.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140116085105.htm

    Read More
  111. @Abelard Lindsey
    I work in automation and robotics. But other than industrial automation, I don't may much attention to the AI or EM hype because I think it unlikely. I've looked at the deep learning algorithms, which is the basis of the AI hype, enough to realize it is a genuine breakthrough in programming. It will give us decent machine vision and motion control and definitely improve robotics (and make stuff like self-driving cars possible). But it will not lead to machine sentience, let alone any kind of singularity. I find the uploading scenarios to be equally unlikely. This is probably the reason why I do not find "transhumanism" frightening. The frightening scenarios are simply unlikely.

    What is real is developments in bio-engineering (SENS, CRISPR, synthetic biology). I really do expect a cure for aging sometime within this century. I also expect increased automation and additive manufacturing to be disruptive. The other thing I expect is Gen IV nuclear power as well as commercial fusion power (there are 8 fusion power start-ups in North America). So the whole run out of energy and go back to the land rubbish is never going to happen. The future will definitely be technological, if not AI driven singularity. And its a good future because it is human. It might not fit the definition of the religious luddite concept of human, but it is human in that people will continue to exist as recognizable descrite biological entities (based on synthetic biology) although they will be free from the unreasonable tyranny of the aging process and a pre-set healthy life span. So human aspirations will be greater than today.

    I would call my scenario a bio-singularity or a mundane singularity and I think its a good one.

    You read all kinds of non-sense on "what is human" on various luddite blogs. My definition of human is more basic. As long as I can run and jump and have a good time, as long as I can hoist a pint of beer and share a good laugh in a pub, I am human. This is the best definition of human I can come up with, and I challenge anyone to argue it.

    “It might not fit the definition of the religious luddite concept of human, but it is human in that people will continue to exist as recognizable descrite biological entities (based on synthetic biology) although they will be free from the unreasonable tyranny of the aging process and a pre-set healthy life span.”

    That’s actually a prospect I would find attractive as well, radical life extension is something I’d regard as desirable (life is short and there’s so much to learn). Of course if it ever became possible, it might create new problems as well (e.g. does everyone get it or only a select few “deserving” of it?), but so does every advance.
    Regarding automation, I’ve read some fairly negative assessments of what it could mean (e.g. this http://nationalinterest.org/print/feature/when-the-robots-rise-16830 ), so I think there has to be some political will to manage a transition for the benefit of all of society. The potential is exciting though. As long as change doesn’t lead to our species becoming something totally else, I can get behind it, it’s just some of the more extreme transhumanist stuff that seems thoroughly misguided to me.

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  112. @Darin

    “The age of em”…I’m not sure I understand what this is about, but does this mean people would eventually upload their conscience into some virtual reality machine???
     
    Mind uploading is normal, garden variety transhumanism.

    "Ems" are copies of human brains, that will be in the future according to Hanson produced by the trillions and used as slave labor. It would be horrible if it wasn't so absurd - as absurd as making mechanical horses for riding. Whe we understand brain enough to regularly copy it, we could build something much better from first principles.

    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/jun/15/the-age-of-em-work-love-and-life-when-robots-rule-the-earth-robin-hanson-review

    Thanks, sounds like a bizarre concept (but then Anatoly seems to regard it as extremely unlikely as well).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Darin
    What is bizarre to me is that Hanson sees the em world not as dystopia, but as progress forward ( to faster economic growth, as I understood it).
  113. @Darin

    Humanity was created by the group.

    Individuality was created by the group.
     
    Spoken like true communist ;-)

    As for connection of hedonism and individualism, the most individualist people that exist, the extreme outlier of 1% with SPD, are the least hedonistic of all ( if you wish to count schizoids as people)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schizoid_personality_disorder

    Thanks for the lower case c. Was it by accident or can you see it?

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  114. Prescriptions for nihilism and hedonism: the garden, the porch and the grove (Epicurus, the Stoa and Plato).

    Three tried and tested paths for giving purpose and meaning to people who were gifted to be high on Maslow’s pyramid. They worked for hundreds of years.
    Plus any modern, mutually peaceful, co-existing re-constituents thereof.

    An understanding that ascent in any path is essential, and work on the path chosen is essential ; an understanding that faith may suffice for the hereafter but in the herenow faith without work , is dead, and leads to death and more death.

    And a wall between those who can agree to be content with those versus those who can’t be contented.

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  115. @Abelard Lindsey
    I work in automation and robotics. But other than industrial automation, I don't may much attention to the AI or EM hype because I think it unlikely. I've looked at the deep learning algorithms, which is the basis of the AI hype, enough to realize it is a genuine breakthrough in programming. It will give us decent machine vision and motion control and definitely improve robotics (and make stuff like self-driving cars possible). But it will not lead to machine sentience, let alone any kind of singularity. I find the uploading scenarios to be equally unlikely. This is probably the reason why I do not find "transhumanism" frightening. The frightening scenarios are simply unlikely.

    What is real is developments in bio-engineering (SENS, CRISPR, synthetic biology). I really do expect a cure for aging sometime within this century. I also expect increased automation and additive manufacturing to be disruptive. The other thing I expect is Gen IV nuclear power as well as commercial fusion power (there are 8 fusion power start-ups in North America). So the whole run out of energy and go back to the land rubbish is never going to happen. The future will definitely be technological, if not AI driven singularity. And its a good future because it is human. It might not fit the definition of the religious luddite concept of human, but it is human in that people will continue to exist as recognizable descrite biological entities (based on synthetic biology) although they will be free from the unreasonable tyranny of the aging process and a pre-set healthy life span. So human aspirations will be greater than today.

    I would call my scenario a bio-singularity or a mundane singularity and I think its a good one.

    You read all kinds of non-sense on "what is human" on various luddite blogs. My definition of human is more basic. As long as I can run and jump and have a good time, as long as I can hoist a pint of beer and share a good laugh in a pub, I am human. This is the best definition of human I can come up with, and I challenge anyone to argue it.

    Incidentally, I’m curious about what you think of what I believe is the most likely mid-term outcome.

    At present, we probably have enough data on almost every individual inside a first world country to be able to build a reasonable profile for them. Once cashless systems are implemented, then our consumption will definitely assist in self-categorization.

    One of my degrees was in marketing and it always surprised me to realize how much you could manipulate the audience; with enough information on the “market” now, governments or anyone with access to such data could potentially create highly effectively, targeted persuasion methods to increase compliance.

    While “automated persuasion” won’t work on everyone, this greatly concerns me and I think will be an adverse impact on human freedom overall. I do see this as possible, and it requires no greater technology than what we already possess.

    From a political perspective, its also useful as a method of controlling public opinion – there’s already some trends toward classifying conservative thought as a mental illness, for example. In theory, a more peaceful society could be built by “treating” those disruptive elements of their “hateful attitudes.”

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  116. @Darin

    Humanity was created by the group.

    Individuality was created by the group.
     
    Spoken like true communist ;-)

    As for connection of hedonism and individualism, the most individualist people that exist, the extreme outlier of 1% with SPD, are the least hedonistic of all ( if you wish to count schizoids as people)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schizoid_personality_disorder

    The ‘secret schizoid’[edit]

    Many fundamentally schizoid individuals display an engaging, interactive personality that contradicts the observable characteristic emphasized by the DSM-IV and ICD-10 definitions of the schizoid personality.[15]:pp. 25–27 Klein classifies these individuals as “secret schizoids”, who present themselves as socially available, interested, engaged and involved in interacting yet remain emotionally withdrawn and sequestered within the safety of the internal world.

    I had never heard of this. Do you know if this is real or is it just some psycho-babble? Notice the use of the word many.

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    • Replies: @Darin

    The ‘secret schizoid’[edit]
    I had never heard of this. Do you know if this is real or is it just some psycho-babble? Notice the use of the word many.

     

    This definition could fit everyone - who never feels alienated and never had to put on a "mask" to deal with people? Looks like another way to diagnose everyone.
    But schizoid people, who do not give a shit about "relationships" are very real. At least I am real. :-)

    Thanks for the lower case c. Was it by accident or can you see it?
     
    There are no accidents. Of course I know you always were member of the Party, but to blow your cover would be uncomradely thing to do ;-)
  117. @Abelard Lindsey
    If dysgenics is real, something the alt-right and fellow travelers consider to be the most fundamental existential threat to humanity's future, it would make sense that "transhumanist" solutions mentioned in this post would be the appropriate solution. This has been obvious to me since this kind of talk first emerged, and should obvious to anyone with a room temperature and above IQ. Its analogous to how the mass production of the automobile became the appropriate solution to the accumulation of horse-shit in major cities in 1900.

    Yes, it continues to stun and amaze me just how much of the alt-right is so hostile to "transhumanist" style solutions such as those mentioned in this post.

    Yes, it continues to stun and amaze me just how much of the alt-right is so hostile to “transhumanist” style solutions such as those mentioned in this post.

    We already have a real, existing example of cognitive augmentation relative to most of the rest of humanity: White people.

    Not that we don’t have plenty of room for improvement. But Alt-Right people would probably argue that we haven’t even exploited white men’s full potential because the social-justice ideology since the 1960′s has held us down. Paul Kersey specifically argues that white Americans have had to renounce our space aspirations after the moon landings in part because we had to waste so much of the nation’s wealth trying to placate and uplift the country’s generally dullard black population.

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    • Replies: @iffen
    white Americans have had to renounce our space aspirations after the moon landings

    Yeah, like we believe that hoax filmed on a Hollywood set.
  118. @Daniel Chieh

    As long as I can run and jump and have a good time, as long as I can hoist a pint of beer and share a good laugh in a pub, I am human.
     
    But can you? Who will be there to interact with you? And in some ways, what is the distinction between you and a rat that can run and squeak and sip some sugar water?

    For me, it would not be very fulfilling at all.

    I disagree that human aspirations would be greater. I also work in technology and from what I can tell, it mostly motivates what Kaczynski calls "substitute" activities or often, some form of dependence behavior such as drugs to avoid existential misery.

    some form of dependence behavior such as drugs to avoid existential misery.

    Life extension will take away the cure. Then everybody will get to be Sisyphus for a lifetime.

    Read More
  119. @advancedatheist

    Yes, it continues to stun and amaze me just how much of the alt-right is so hostile to “transhumanist” style solutions such as those mentioned in this post.
     
    We already have a real, existing example of cognitive augmentation relative to most of the rest of humanity: White people.

    Not that we don't have plenty of room for improvement. But Alt-Right people would probably argue that we haven't even exploited white men's full potential because the social-justice ideology since the 1960's has held us down. Paul Kersey specifically argues that white Americans have had to renounce our space aspirations after the moon landings in part because we had to waste so much of the nation's wealth trying to placate and uplift the country's generally dullard black population.

    white Americans have had to renounce our space aspirations after the moon landings

    Yeah, like we believe that hoax filmed on a Hollywood set.

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  120. @German_reader
    Thanks, sounds like a bizarre concept (but then Anatoly seems to regard it as extremely unlikely as well).

    What is bizarre to me is that Hanson sees the em world not as dystopia, but as progress forward ( to faster economic growth, as I understood it).

    Read More
  121. @iffen
    The 'secret schizoid'[edit]

    Many fundamentally schizoid individuals display an engaging, interactive personality that contradicts the observable characteristic emphasized by the DSM-IV and ICD-10 definitions of the schizoid personality.[15]:pp. 25–27 Klein classifies these individuals as "secret schizoids", who present themselves as socially available, interested, engaged and involved in interacting yet remain emotionally withdrawn and sequestered within the safety of the internal world.

    I had never heard of this. Do you know if this is real or is it just some psycho-babble? Notice the use of the word many.

    The ‘secret schizoid’[edit]
    I had never heard of this. Do you know if this is real or is it just some psycho-babble? Notice the use of the word many.

    This definition could fit everyone – who never feels alienated and never had to put on a “mask” to deal with people? Looks like another way to diagnose everyone.
    But schizoid people, who do not give a shit about “relationships” are very real. At least I am real. :-)

    Thanks for the lower case c. Was it by accident or can you see it?

    There are no accidents. Of course I know you always were member of the Party, but to blow your cover would be uncomradely thing to do ;-)

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    • Replies: @iffen
    It was an accident. I have been a member of the party for almost my entire life. I would never be a member of the Party.
  122. @Talha
    Hey AL,

    Good points. It's been years since I took AI class at UCLA so I'm sure it has come a long way from the late 90's but I have a difficult time seeing it bridge the gap between 'smart machine' and 'human'. Although some would simply argue we are simply smart machines.

    the unreasonable tyranny of the aging process and a pre-set healthy life span. So human aspirations will be greater than today
     
    Possibly...but it may well be that the inescapability of the aging process is itself essential to the calibration of human aspirations.

    Imagine the ability to procrastinate...forever.

    Peace.

    Possibly…but it may well be that the inescapability of the aging process is itself essential to the calibration of human aspirations.

    Imagine the ability to procrastinate…forever.

    This is true, but utterly irrelevant in the discussion of radical life extension. Does the fact that there are people who currently do drugs and make nothing of themselves in any way prevent me from, say, doing a technology start-up? No, of course not. This, of course, brings me to my larger point about hedonism.

    Certain conservatives and alt-right people fret and obsess over the supposed dangers of excesive hedonism. I think this fear is a non-sense. It is true that a society of abundance results in lots of people doing nothing more than hedonism with their lives. But such a society also has lots of people engaging in productive accomplishments as well. The fact that there are people who do nothing more than drugs and sex does not prevent the Silicon Vallay types from doing new start-ups, or keep artists from making new music. The people who want to accomplish the great feats of life are going to be driven to do so, regardless of the actions of those who do not share such aspirations. As long as the rest of humanity does not engage in any kind of political/religious trop to inhibit the accomplishments of the productive, the hedonism of the non-productive is totally irrelevant to our long-term future. This is why hedonism is a non-issue.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    As long as the rest of humanity does not engage in any kind of political/religious trop to inhibit the accomplishments of the productive

    This is the threat. You and all other strivers operate within a system, a society. If the society crashes, you won't be building a start-up, you will be scrounging for food.

    Read some of AK's pieces on how much the failed command economies handicapped the "communist" countries and that is mild dis-function by any measure.
    , @pelagic
    "As long as the rest of humanity does not engage in any kind of political/religious trop to inhibit the accomplishments of the productive, the hedonism of the non-productive is totally irrelevant to our long-term future."

    There is no steady-state in the social order, nor anything like refuge for non-hedonists. Do you see a tipping point where enough non-productive people could be very relevant to your long-term future?
  123. A few minor comments:
    1. While Kurtzweill has been talking about AI and the supposedly upcoming ethical problems related to copying a human being’s self, the less loud researchers have been patiently exploring the layers of human brain/mind. The thickest of the layers represents affective consciousness (see McLean and Panksepp studies), and this layer is not about logical chains, i. e., it is not clear how and what could be “copied” there to create a copy of a self
    2. We still do not understand where and how memories are formed; even such “obvious” structure as hippocampus is still not well understood (see recent studies on C1 and C3)
    3. There is still ongoing discussion about neural basis of “self” (see a lovely dispute between Damasio and Craig).
    4. The most important point: We do not understand the computational mechanisms of the brain (see, for instance, Buzsaki’s model of the changing temporal patterns for the same neuronal nets, meta-states, and more). In short, it would be prudent to keep in mind the idea of gestalt – not some microchips – when discussing the workings of the brain. Perhaps, better understanding of the stunning capacities of a small lump of wet matter should make the technocratic futurists more cautious with their definitions and prognoses.
    5. And a final comment, on a desire to enhance the human intelligence. There is a line in “The Heart of a Dog” (Bulgakov) where good Doctor says, “Madame Lomonosoff had somehow done it” – that is, a peasant woman, in an obscure village of fishermen near Arctic circle, has managed to produce a genius.

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  124. @5371
    There's too much to object to in post and comments for me even to start. So let me just say that the probability of (5) is far over 99%.

    I’m an avid Unz Review reader, but dear God, this was like reading a sci fi comic book. Go outside for Christ’s sakes, get in touch with nature and family, just a little bit. You will see perfectly clearly what a meaningful and utterly satisfying human existence looks like. It’s not that we haven’t gotent there yet, but we’ve already blown past it.

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  125. @Abelard Lindsey

    Possibly…but it may well be that the inescapability of the aging process is itself essential to the calibration of human aspirations.

    Imagine the ability to procrastinate…forever.
     
    This is true, but utterly irrelevant in the discussion of radical life extension. Does the fact that there are people who currently do drugs and make nothing of themselves in any way prevent me from, say, doing a technology start-up? No, of course not. This, of course, brings me to my larger point about hedonism.

    Certain conservatives and alt-right people fret and obsess over the supposed dangers of excesive hedonism. I think this fear is a non-sense. It is true that a society of abundance results in lots of people doing nothing more than hedonism with their lives. But such a society also has lots of people engaging in productive accomplishments as well. The fact that there are people who do nothing more than drugs and sex does not prevent the Silicon Vallay types from doing new start-ups, or keep artists from making new music. The people who want to accomplish the great feats of life are going to be driven to do so, regardless of the actions of those who do not share such aspirations. As long as the rest of humanity does not engage in any kind of political/religious trop to inhibit the accomplishments of the productive, the hedonism of the non-productive is totally irrelevant to our long-term future. This is why hedonism is a non-issue.

    As long as the rest of humanity does not engage in any kind of political/religious trop to inhibit the accomplishments of the productive

    This is the threat. You and all other strivers operate within a system, a society. If the society crashes, you won’t be building a start-up, you will be scrounging for food.

    Read some of AK’s pieces on how much the failed command economies handicapped the “communist” countries and that is mild dis-function by any measure.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Abelard Lindsey
    Who said we're proposing any kind of top-down command economy? We're into decentralized free market economics. In any case, I stand by my point about hedonism. It is non-sense to fear it.
    , @Darin
    The fall of USSR was indeed caused by hedonism - lack of it. USSR was the dream of some people here - society that despised lazy bourgeois life and exalted hard work, struggle and sacrifice. Until the people became bored and sold it all for Coca Cola, Adidas, blue jeans and chewing gum.
  126. @Darin

    The ‘secret schizoid’[edit]
    I had never heard of this. Do you know if this is real or is it just some psycho-babble? Notice the use of the word many.

     

    This definition could fit everyone - who never feels alienated and never had to put on a "mask" to deal with people? Looks like another way to diagnose everyone.
    But schizoid people, who do not give a shit about "relationships" are very real. At least I am real. :-)

    Thanks for the lower case c. Was it by accident or can you see it?
     
    There are no accidents. Of course I know you always were member of the Party, but to blow your cover would be uncomradely thing to do ;-)

    It was an accident. I have been a member of the party for almost my entire life. I would never be a member of the Party.

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  127. I really don’t mean to pee on anyone’s parade, but I must say that I can predict the future with 100% accuracy.

    No matter what happens, some two legged cloaca will come along and f*** it all up, and the masses will go along with it.

    See what I mean?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    I always hated emus.
    , @iffen
    and the masses will go along with it.

    Depends on your lean, Jack. When the masses are running in the streets and you get a good look at the terror in the eyes of the elites, life can be considered good.
    , @iffen
    some two legged cloaca

    This may account for the origin of homos.
    , @edNels

    some two legged cloaca will come along and f*** it all up, and the masses will go along with it
     
    Yeah like some Pied Piper sort of character with a new song bag singin' a tune that all these youngster technocrats and bloggers can't resist, it will be like an ear worm that makes the human brain self destruct, and they will go insane with it .Before they can make AI, hopefully.
  128. @jacques sheete
    I really don't mean to pee on anyone's parade, but I must say that I can predict the future with 100% accuracy.

    No matter what happens, some two legged cloaca will come along and f*** it all up, and the masses will go along with it.

    See what I mean?

    I always hated emus.

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    • Replies: @jacques sheete

    I always hated emus.
     
    Izzit the feathers or what? :)
  129. @jacques sheete
    I really don't mean to pee on anyone's parade, but I must say that I can predict the future with 100% accuracy.

    No matter what happens, some two legged cloaca will come along and f*** it all up, and the masses will go along with it.

    See what I mean?

    and the masses will go along with it.

    Depends on your lean, Jack. When the masses are running in the streets and you get a good look at the terror in the eyes of the elites, life can be considered good.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jacques sheete

    When the masses are running in the streets and you get a good look at the terror in the eyes of the elites, life can be considered good.
     
    Agreed. But enjoy it while you can because it won't be long before some biped claoca messes that up too!
  130. @jacques sheete
    I really don't mean to pee on anyone's parade, but I must say that I can predict the future with 100% accuracy.

    No matter what happens, some two legged cloaca will come along and f*** it all up, and the masses will go along with it.

    See what I mean?

    some two legged cloaca

    This may account for the origin of homos.

    Read More
  131. @jacques sheete
    I really don't mean to pee on anyone's parade, but I must say that I can predict the future with 100% accuracy.

    No matter what happens, some two legged cloaca will come along and f*** it all up, and the masses will go along with it.

    See what I mean?

    some two legged cloaca will come along and f*** it all up, and the masses will go along with it

    Yeah like some Pied Piper sort of character with a new song bag singin’ a tune that all these youngster technocrats and bloggers can’t resist, it will be like an ear worm that makes the human brain self destruct, and they will go insane with it .Before they can make AI, hopefully.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jacques sheete

    it will be like an ear worm that makes the human brain self destruct, and they will go insane with it
     
    Oh Hell, that's ancient history. Done deal. ;)
    , @utu
    "with a new song bag singin’ a tune that all these youngster technocrats and bloggers can’t resist"

    They already are hearing the tune and marching on.
  132. @Glossy
    The number of secular full-blooded Ashkenazi Jews is declining fast, but the religious ones are breeding like the Amish.

    I don't know how the old Euro aristocracies compared to Jews. It's a pity that their endogamy largely broke down in the 19th and 20th centuries, but there are still some remnants of them. I'm sure that upper class Brits are susbstantially above 100 today. I wonder if anybody's ever tried to measure them. Same with the Parsees.

    I don’t know how the old Euro aristocracies compared to Jews. It’s a pity that their endogamy largely broke down in the 19th and 20th centuries, but there are still some remnants of them. I’m sure that upper class Brits are susbstantially above 100 today.

    This book addresses some of this:

    http://press.princeton.edu/titles/10181.html

    People with aristocratic surnames are significantly over-represented in high-IQ professions.

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  133. @iffen
    As long as the rest of humanity does not engage in any kind of political/religious trop to inhibit the accomplishments of the productive

    This is the threat. You and all other strivers operate within a system, a society. If the society crashes, you won't be building a start-up, you will be scrounging for food.

    Read some of AK's pieces on how much the failed command economies handicapped the "communist" countries and that is mild dis-function by any measure.

    Who said we’re proposing any kind of top-down command economy? We’re into decentralized free market economics. In any case, I stand by my point about hedonism. It is non-sense to fear it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    I didn't say anyone was proposing a command economy.

    I said that what the most capable individuals within a society are able to accomplish is constrained by the structure of the society.

    As far as hedonism is concerned, I can see a lot of tax dollars saved if we had 40 gallon trash cans full of heroin and cocaine every few blocks. I am unsure of what "we" would lose.

    , @utu
    "We’re into decentralized free market economics. "

    Who is We? You and the guys you "hoist a pint of beer and share a good laugh in a pub" which for you is the apex of being human?
  134. @German_reader
    You're of course right that eventually we all become "obsolete", decrepit etc., that's the way of all flesh (unfortunately imo)...but I'm seriously wondering what might happen if a younger generation has a much higher average IQ (like about 160) than the older one. I don't think that would exactly be conducive to societal stability or inter-generational respect.
    Thanks for your good wishes, peace and long life to you as well.

    I’m seriously wondering what might happen if a younger generation has a much higher average IQ (like about 160) than the older one. I don’t think that would exactly be conducive to societal stability or inter-generational respect.

    When this younger generation is still young (and therefore earnest, radical and extreme, as youth often are) they will be capable of incredible damage.

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  135. @iffen
    and the masses will go along with it.

    Depends on your lean, Jack. When the masses are running in the streets and you get a good look at the terror in the eyes of the elites, life can be considered good.

    When the masses are running in the streets and you get a good look at the terror in the eyes of the elites, life can be considered good.

    Agreed. But enjoy it while you can because it won’t be long before some biped claoca messes that up too!

    Read More
  136. @edNels

    some two legged cloaca will come along and f*** it all up, and the masses will go along with it
     
    Yeah like some Pied Piper sort of character with a new song bag singin' a tune that all these youngster technocrats and bloggers can't resist, it will be like an ear worm that makes the human brain self destruct, and they will go insane with it .Before they can make AI, hopefully.

    it will be like an ear worm that makes the human brain self destruct, and they will go insane with it

    Oh Hell, that’s ancient history. Done deal. ;)

    Read More
  137. @Anatoly Karlin
    I doubt (2) will actually happen. It is contingent on new low-fertility lifestyles repeatedly becoming available ("continuous introduction of novel cultural traits allows for the possibility of sustained low fertility", on the assumption that "the cultural changes associated with the fertility transition are not singular historical events, but rather the beginning of a rapid and ongoing increase in cultural diversity"). But since we assume that technological progress stalls, presumably social innovation of this sort slows down to a crawl as well.

    I suspect the "SJW's" of 2300 will have much higher TFRs than not only the SJWs of today, but also perhaps even than the Mormons of today (~= 3.0), since pro-natality genes are ultracompetitive and will gradually spread to all subgroups.

    The idea of eventual massive overpopulation rests on the assumption that high-breeding Westerners such as Mormons, traditional Christians, etc. would tolerate cramped surroundings resembling rural India or Bangladesh in their packed humanity. I strongly suspect this would not be the case.
     
    But surely the "breeders" who can tolerate cramped surroundings will outbreed those who can't? :)

    Anyway, you would still be able to offload excess children to orphanages, etc. Although over time as the welfare state crumbles mortality in those orphanages will rise, they will start adopting drastic and "inhumane" measures (compulsory sterilization?), etc. But that will be the beginning of the Malthusian checks on overpopulation.

    100 billion is my estimate of the maximum carrying capacity of the modern industrial economy at near subsistence per capita levels. I will justify that figure in my post about the Age of Malthusian Industrialism.

    I doubt (2) will actually happen. It is contingent on new low-fertility lifestyles repeatedly becoming available (“continuous introduction of novel cultural traits allows for the possibility of sustained low fertility”, on the assumption that “the cultural changes associated with the fertility transition are not singular historical events, but rather the beginning of a rapid and ongoing increase in cultural diversity”). But since we assume that technological progress stalls, presumably social innovation of this sort slows down to a crawl as well.

    Well, old ones can easily be recycled – there will be a “market” for hedonistic hippies (or ravers, or whatever) every other generation, for instance.

    I suspect the “SJW’s” of 2300 will have much higher TFRs than not only the SJWs of today, but also perhaps even than the Mormons of today (~= 3.0), since pro-natality genes are ultracompetitive and will gradually spread to all subgroups

    Hmm.. so here is a point of disagreement. I don’t think that the choice of having many or few children is genetically determined in that way, within nations. It is mostly cultural. A Mexican of 1960 (when Mexicans had about 6.5 kids per family) is not genetically different from a modern one (2.2 kids per family). There was no mutation between then and now. There was no mutation when Quebec’s traditionally extreme birth rate collapsed in the 1960′s – it was the secular “Quiet Revolution.” I really doubt that the Amish have a genetic combination calling for large families that other Germans from their ancestral region lack. It’s about cultural differences.

    Sub-groups whose cultures value large families will increase in size relative to the general culture (i.e., traditional Catholics in France, Mormons in the USA) and when these groups eventually achieve large populations there will be demographic stability and growth in the country as a whole. But this does not seem to be driven by genes; a trait such as being nurturing may have a genetic component but it doesn’t have to be expressed through parenthood. A nurturer raised in a Mormon community will have lots of kids; a nurturer raised in Manhattan will have one kid and a few cats whom she dotes on.

    Do you know if someone has done twin studies, to see if fertility rates of twins raised in different circumstances are similar (does a twin raised in a liberal secular household have similar numbers of children as those brought up in religious households with many children)?

    But surely the “breeders” who can tolerate cramped surroundings will outbreed those who can’t

    In this case, however, we are discussing a truly minute percentage of people – so small that it would probably take millenia not centuries for them to achieve population dominance. And who knows if their neighbors would tolerate this…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    A Mexican of 1960 (when Mexicans had about 6.5 kids per family) is not genetically different from a modern one (2.2 kids per family).
     
    No, (s)he isn't, but there was a big cultural change from traditionalist hyper-pro-natality mores to modern neutral-natality mores.

    In these conditions, within population genetic differences in fertility preferences will start making themselves increasingly felt (indeed, as Kolk et al. note), inter-generational correlations of fertility have been rising.

    Unless there is a further and ongoing cultural shift towards outright anti-natality mores, longterm increases in fertility are inevitable.

    Do you know if someone has done twin studies, to see if fertility rates of twins raised in different circumstances are similar...
     
    Just had a quick look and the only ones I've been able to find are a 1999 and 2001 study by Kohler et al. Not from different households, though.

    The correlations between MZ twins are significantly and consistently higher than for DZ twins, and this gap appears to grow between the ~1900 and ~1960 cohorts. The MZ correlation is at around r=0.4 for females and r=0.3 for males by the time of the ~1960 cohort, which is similar to the correlation for years of primary/secondary education but lower than the correlation for years of tertiary education.

    From the 2001 paper:

    Our analysis of the Danish twin data shows genetic contributions to completed fertility, indicated both by genetic coefficients of variation and by heritabilities. In addition, results across gender categories converge to suggest that slightly more than one-quarter of the variance in completed fertility is attributable to genetic influence.
     
  138. @Daniel Chieh
    Well, I'll say that the Alt-Right also has a set of beliefs that's marginally organized, including racial considerations as you mentioned. So its not all-inclusive anymore than someone who hates My Little Pony can consider himself a brony; there are at least some beliefs that are common with those who adopt the title.

    I call myself a Neoreactionary, though, which has a significantly tighter philosophy with Nick Land and all.

    Um ok, what’s new-reaction about again?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    You should read Unqualified Reservations by Mencius Moldbug or the Dark Enlightenment by Nick Land.

    But in short, neoreaction is largely against Enlightenment ideology, mostly strongly showing in its rejection of democracy(seen as having perverse incentives for inefficiency), the ideology of inalienable human rights(seen as neither inalienable nor human), and the mass bureaucratic forms of government(seen as having ever increasing and unprofitable complexity). Most support a form of monarchy and have fairly strong arguments for it.

    It also naturally will reject ideology such as absolute racial equalism, of course but that said, its not nearly as racialist as most alt-right thinking. Most of its leaders reside or have resided in Asia and there's a strong undercurrent of support for Singapore-style governments.

    , @Anon
    Neoreaction is a limited hang-out operation.

    A Jewish supremacist called Moldbug wrote some true things about how he hated goyim. This was mixed up with some realistic ideas about human biological diversity.

    Then some non-Jewish persons with psychological and social problems adopted some of Moldbug's ideas - some of them hoping to become Shabbos goyim, some of them recruited by Jews who wanted them to be unwitting Shabbos goyim.

    The resulting combination of Jews and non-Jews calls itself "neoreaction."

    Unfortunately neoreactionaries are deeply divided against each other, so they are not a political force. They are one of those social cliques that pretends to be a dark conspiracy, in order to cover up the fact that they are neither powerful nor insightful.

    They have put considerable effort into the fine arts. Check out "Walt Bismarck" on youtube - he is popular with neoreactionaries, regardless of whether he considers himself to be one.
  139. the only way to achieve a higher state of intelligence is to radically rewire the brain from birth.at the moment we limit newborn human intelligence by our own limitations.we teach them limited intelligence.that has to change.the organic hardware exists.the software is the problem.

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  140. @iffen
    As long as the rest of humanity does not engage in any kind of political/religious trop to inhibit the accomplishments of the productive

    This is the threat. You and all other strivers operate within a system, a society. If the society crashes, you won't be building a start-up, you will be scrounging for food.

    Read some of AK's pieces on how much the failed command economies handicapped the "communist" countries and that is mild dis-function by any measure.

    The fall of USSR was indeed caused by hedonism – lack of it. USSR was the dream of some people here – society that despised lazy bourgeois life and exalted hard work, struggle and sacrifice. Until the people became bored and sold it all for Coca Cola, Adidas, blue jeans and chewing gum.

    Read More
  141. @Anatoly Karlin

    Rather, he applies ancient insights to modern conditions...
     
    Taleb does it much better, with humor and attention to actual facts and statistics.

    It is clear you believe unending technological progress is highly desirable...
     
    Yes I am lazy and do appreciate having to do less for more.

    ... that endless growth as a way of life should indeed be the human goal
     
    I am not a proponent of "endless growth."

    ... that humans should strive for control and mastery rather than learn to live in harmony with cosmic forces
     
    wtf are these "cosmic forces" anyway? Will freely admit to disliking this sort of obscurantism.

    Taleb is good, and offers very similar fare to Gray – he’s more palatable to the STEM set, because he is good with numbers and stats. He’s aware of this, and has joked about it amusingly. Taleb is friends with Gray and also considers him one of the few modern writers worth reading, btw.

    ….It is clear you believe unending technological progress is highly desirable…

    Yes I am lazy and do appreciate having to do less for more.

    “Convenience” hardly strikes me as one of life’s noblest goals, although I am glad you admit this is finally at the bottom of so many techno-utopias. I once told a techno-utopian I knew that the upshot of all this magnificent technology was really just “convenience”, and he freaked out. Of course, nothing wrong with convenience, but surely life offers finer and more interesting pleasures – heck, as I get older I find I even derive more pleasure from candlelight, however this sins against convenience. George Orwell as of a similar mind.

    Techno-utopia – the pursuit of convenience! It’s a good slogan.

    … that humans should strive for control and mastery rather than learn to live in harmony with cosmic forces

    wtf are these “cosmic forces” anyway? Will freely admit to disliking this sort of obscurantism.

    Forget about cosmis forces, then, if that bothers you. Why this insatiable drive to master nature? Why not just live and enjoy ourselves in some sort of relaxed harmony. We have dentistry, we have antibiotics, we have anasthetics, what more do we need? Because of course you have some kind of inner itch and restlessness, some hole, that you think more power will fill. But it won’t, alas, and you will be just as restless and dissatisfied.

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    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    We have dentistry, we have antibiotics, we have anasthetics, what more do we need? Because of course you have some kind of inner itch and restlessness, some hole, that you think more power will fill.
     
    Because the will to power. Status seeking. Its as fundamentally human as anything else; we all want to have more and while Buddhism might teach otherwise, many people aren't very fundamentally very content.

    And this is what will make technological progress both unavoidable and uncontrollable, I think. I mean, I work on automation. Am I exactly morally thrilled about automation? Not really. But it pays well and I like being paid well. It lets me live a good life - but most important, it lets me keep mianzi/status/face around my friends and family.

    So I'll do this, working more or less as an impersonal cog inside an impersonal organization who doesn't share my goals, for an ultimate result that no one knows, or cares about, except that for the next three months, the balance sheets will appear black.
    , @Talha
    Hey AaronB,

    Why this insatiable drive to master nature?
     
    Same as the desire to conquer death; to become gods.

    Why do we name such technological projects such as NASA's attempt at nuclear-powered space travel after the titan that stole fire from the Olympians?https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Prometheus

    I would have thought they would have learned their lesson from Challenger...

    Peace.
    , @Honorary Thief

    Forget about cosmis forces, then, if that bothers you. Why this insatiable drive to master nature? Why not just live and enjoy ourselves in some sort of relaxed harmony. We have dentistry, we have antibiotics, we have anasthetics, what more do we need?
     
    We still die after a comically short period of time (by geologic standards). Are you really fine with the fact that you will whither and die in a few decades? I'm not. At the very least, I'd sure like to have the option of living much longer.
  142. @AP

    I doubt (2) will actually happen. It is contingent on new low-fertility lifestyles repeatedly becoming available (“continuous introduction of novel cultural traits allows for the possibility of sustained low fertility”, on the assumption that “the cultural changes associated with the fertility transition are not singular historical events, but rather the beginning of a rapid and ongoing increase in cultural diversity”). But since we assume that technological progress stalls, presumably social innovation of this sort slows down to a crawl as well.
     
    Well, old ones can easily be recycled - there will be a "market" for hedonistic hippies (or ravers, or whatever) every other generation, for instance.

    I suspect the “SJW’s” of 2300 will have much higher TFRs than not only the SJWs of today, but also perhaps even than the Mormons of today (~= 3.0), since pro-natality genes are ultracompetitive and will gradually spread to all subgroups
     
    Hmm.. so here is a point of disagreement. I don't think that the choice of having many or few children is genetically determined in that way, within nations. It is mostly cultural. A Mexican of 1960 (when Mexicans had about 6.5 kids per family) is not genetically different from a modern one (2.2 kids per family). There was no mutation between then and now. There was no mutation when Quebec's traditionally extreme birth rate collapsed in the 1960's - it was the secular "Quiet Revolution." I really doubt that the Amish have a genetic combination calling for large families that other Germans from their ancestral region lack. It's about cultural differences.

    Sub-groups whose cultures value large families will increase in size relative to the general culture (i.e., traditional Catholics in France, Mormons in the USA) and when these groups eventually achieve large populations there will be demographic stability and growth in the country as a whole. But this does not seem to be driven by genes; a trait such as being nurturing may have a genetic component but it doesn't have to be expressed through parenthood. A nurturer raised in a Mormon community will have lots of kids; a nurturer raised in Manhattan will have one kid and a few cats whom she dotes on.

    Do you know if someone has done twin studies, to see if fertility rates of twins raised in different circumstances are similar (does a twin raised in a liberal secular household have similar numbers of children as those brought up in religious households with many children)?


    But surely the “breeders” who can tolerate cramped surroundings will outbreed those who can’t
     
    In this case, however, we are discussing a truly minute percentage of people - so small that it would probably take millenia not centuries for them to achieve population dominance. And who knows if their neighbors would tolerate this...

    A Mexican of 1960 (when Mexicans had about 6.5 kids per family) is not genetically different from a modern one (2.2 kids per family).

    No, (s)he isn’t, but there was a big cultural change from traditionalist hyper-pro-natality mores to modern neutral-natality mores.

    In these conditions, within population genetic differences in fertility preferences will start making themselves increasingly felt (indeed, as Kolk et al. note), inter-generational correlations of fertility have been rising.

    Unless there is a further and ongoing cultural shift towards outright anti-natality mores, longterm increases in fertility are inevitable.

    Do you know if someone has done twin studies, to see if fertility rates of twins raised in different circumstances are similar…

    Just had a quick look and the only ones I’ve been able to find are a 1999 and 2001 study by Kohler et al. Not from different households, though.

    The correlations between MZ twins are significantly and consistently higher than for DZ twins, and this gap appears to grow between the ~1900 and ~1960 cohorts. The MZ correlation is at around r=0.4 for females and r=0.3 for males by the time of the ~1960 cohort, which is similar to the correlation for years of primary/secondary education but lower than the correlation for years of tertiary education.

    From the 2001 paper:

    Our analysis of the Danish twin data shows genetic contributions to completed fertility, indicated both by genetic coefficients of variation and by heritabilities. In addition, results across gender categories converge to suggest that slightly more than one-quarter of the variance in completed fertility is attributable to genetic influence.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Darin

    Unless there is a further and ongoing cultural shift towards outright anti-natality mores, longterm increases in fertility are inevitable.
     
    https://www.reddit.com/r/antinatalism is about 10 times more popular than https://www.reddit.com/r/Natalism. But it could be only Reddit thing.
  143. @Abelard Lindsey
    Who said we're proposing any kind of top-down command economy? We're into decentralized free market economics. In any case, I stand by my point about hedonism. It is non-sense to fear it.

    I didn’t say anyone was proposing a command economy.

    I said that what the most capable individuals within a society are able to accomplish is constrained by the structure of the society.

    As far as hedonism is concerned, I can see a lot of tax dollars saved if we had 40 gallon trash cans full of heroin and cocaine every few blocks. I am unsure of what “we” would lose.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey iffen,

    I will say this, I have never known of a society historically to last very long under hedonist or decadent norms. I haven't read the full gamut of history, but at least my familiarity with Muslim history reads this way.

    If anything, decadence makes a people soft and weak and distracted - they are very easily overcome by others with stronger discipline.

    One should read the dispatches from Khalid ibn Walid (ra) to his counterparts among the Sassanids - very eye opening on this topic.

    Peace.
  144. @Anatoly Karlin

    A Mexican of 1960 (when Mexicans had about 6.5 kids per family) is not genetically different from a modern one (2.2 kids per family).
     
    No, (s)he isn't, but there was a big cultural change from traditionalist hyper-pro-natality mores to modern neutral-natality mores.

    In these conditions, within population genetic differences in fertility preferences will start making themselves increasingly felt (indeed, as Kolk et al. note), inter-generational correlations of fertility have been rising.

    Unless there is a further and ongoing cultural shift towards outright anti-natality mores, longterm increases in fertility are inevitable.

    Do you know if someone has done twin studies, to see if fertility rates of twins raised in different circumstances are similar...
     
    Just had a quick look and the only ones I've been able to find are a 1999 and 2001 study by Kohler et al. Not from different households, though.

    The correlations between MZ twins are significantly and consistently higher than for DZ twins, and this gap appears to grow between the ~1900 and ~1960 cohorts. The MZ correlation is at around r=0.4 for females and r=0.3 for males by the time of the ~1960 cohort, which is similar to the correlation for years of primary/secondary education but lower than the correlation for years of tertiary education.

    From the 2001 paper:

    Our analysis of the Danish twin data shows genetic contributions to completed fertility, indicated both by genetic coefficients of variation and by heritabilities. In addition, results across gender categories converge to suggest that slightly more than one-quarter of the variance in completed fertility is attributable to genetic influence.
     

    Unless there is a further and ongoing cultural shift towards outright anti-natality mores, longterm increases in fertility are inevitable.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/antinatalism is about 10 times more popular than https://www.reddit.com/r/Natalism. But it could be only Reddit thing.

    Read More
  145. @AaronB
    Taleb is good, and offers very similar fare to Gray - he's more palatable to the STEM set, because he is good with numbers and stats. He's aware of this, and has joked about it amusingly. Taleb is friends with Gray and also considers him one of the few modern writers worth reading, btw.

    ....It is clear you believe unending technological progress is highly desirable…

    Yes I am lazy and do appreciate having to do less for more.

    "Convenience" hardly strikes me as one of life's noblest goals, although I am glad you admit this is finally at the bottom of so many techno-utopias. I once told a techno-utopian I knew that the upshot of all this magnificent technology was really just "convenience", and he freaked out. Of course, nothing wrong with convenience, but surely life offers finer and more interesting pleasures - heck, as I get older I find I even derive more pleasure from candlelight, however this sins against convenience. George Orwell as of a similar mind.

    Techno-utopia - the pursuit of convenience! It's a good slogan.

    … that humans should strive for control and mastery rather than learn to live in harmony with cosmic forces

    wtf are these “cosmic forces” anyway? Will freely admit to disliking this sort of obscurantism.

    Forget about cosmis forces, then, if that bothers you. Why this insatiable drive to master nature? Why not just live and enjoy ourselves in some sort of relaxed harmony. We have dentistry, we have antibiotics, we have anasthetics, what more do we need? Because of course you have some kind of inner itch and restlessness, some hole, that you think more power will fill. But it won't, alas, and you will be just as restless and dissatisfied.

    We have dentistry, we have antibiotics, we have anasthetics, what more do we need? Because of course you have some kind of inner itch and restlessness, some hole, that you think more power will fill.

    Because the will to power. Status seeking. Its as fundamentally human as anything else; we all want to have more and while Buddhism might teach otherwise, many people aren’t very fundamentally very content.

    And this is what will make technological progress both unavoidable and uncontrollable, I think. I mean, I work on automation. Am I exactly morally thrilled about automation? Not really. But it pays well and I like being paid well. It lets me live a good life – but most important, it lets me keep mianzi/status/face around my friends and family.

    So I’ll do this, working more or less as an impersonal cog inside an impersonal organization who doesn’t share my goals, for an ultimate result that no one knows, or cares about, except that for the next three months, the balance sheets will appear black.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    The problem is, the will to power does not make us happy. Saying it is "fundamentally human" doesn't really say anything - it could be something humans do when they are malfunctioning, and it might be our task to correct that as much as possible. Power is obviously a substitute satisfaction - its something we strive for when we aren't getting what really makes us happy, and as a substitute it can't really deliver the goods, hence we need ever more of it, indeed endless amounts. On some level, I think we all know this to be true.

    Nietszche thought the will to power was the way to happiness - and he died insane after writing increasingly shrill, angry, and miserable books. The prophet of power was devoured by his philosophy, which gave him no ultimate satisfaction. And yet like Western civilization itself, Nietzsches books are seductive - I was enthralled by them in my late teens and early twenties. They are exhilirating books, but ultimately leave you hollowed out. His philosophy offers short term excitement at the cost of deep happiness. This is the path Western civilization has taken - short term exhiliration that culminates in self-hatred and collapse. Clearly, a society founded on the will to power cannot last, as it undermines the basis for human flourishing and ends in a self-destructive orgy.

    Lots of societies put severe limits on the pursuit of power - the "expansive impulse", and were notably more happy and content as a result. Old East Asia comes to mind - all Western visitors to old East Asia were unanimous in noticing how much happier these countries were than the contemporary West, and many of them came to the conclusion that there was something unique about Western culture that failed to satisfy.

    In this early contact between the "new West" (post-medieval) which operated on the will to power, and the older societies which operated on limiting the will to power, everyone was agreed that the Western system gave power but made life joyless, and the other way made life deeply satisfying but you didn't have much mastery of nature.

    I myself never realized how the West produces restlessness and dissatisfaction before extensively travelling and doing business and working in non-Western countries, often poor ones - after a while, I realized how much happier I felt there, how everyday life just felt better, and how so much of my restlessness, indeed even my "ambition", began to melt away and seem so pointless.

    And my experience is pretty much the norm - for instance, I bet a lot of people don't know that among the early settlers in America, when whites were kidnapped and raised by Indians, and later returned to the white community, they hated it and literally all of them fled back to life among the Indians as soon as they could, saying how unsatisfied they were with life among whites. And yet it didn't work the other way around - Indians who grew up among whites and were later returned to Indians, had no desire to return to the white community. So it clearly isn't an issue of being nostalgic for the culture you grew up in.

    Anyways, I could write about this forever, so I'll just stop now. The issue is really at the end of the way - what makes us really happy? Power, technology?
  146. @1rw
    Um ok, what's new-reaction about again?

    You should read Unqualified Reservations by Mencius Moldbug or the Dark Enlightenment by Nick Land.

    But in short, neoreaction is largely against Enlightenment ideology, mostly strongly showing in its rejection of democracy(seen as having perverse incentives for inefficiency), the ideology of inalienable human rights(seen as neither inalienable nor human), and the mass bureaucratic forms of government(seen as having ever increasing and unprofitable complexity). Most support a form of monarchy and have fairly strong arguments for it.

    It also naturally will reject ideology such as absolute racial equalism, of course but that said, its not nearly as racialist as most alt-right thinking. Most of its leaders reside or have resided in Asia and there’s a strong undercurrent of support for Singapore-style governments.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey DC,

    Very interesting stuff. I perused some of stuff on those sites and it is thought-provoking. I've been a fan of Mises in general thus a lot of that is up my alley. I already don't have a ton of confidence that democracy (especially married to the nation-state) is the end-all, optimum form of human organization - for instance, I think genocide is fundamentally democratic in its nature, in fact, it is democracy completely without restraint.

    Couple of things...

    inalienable human rights
     
    You can't mean all human rights - correct? I'm not talking about the nonsense parade of endlessly evolving human rights, but certain ones do seem fundamental to our state of "being human". These are defined (though possibly not congruous) in every religious tradition I can think of - even prior to the modern age.

    Singapore-style governments
     
    Singapore is quite unique; multi-ethnic, multi-religious, a democracy on paper, and basically a city-state. Can it be scaled out? I mean any more than, say, the UAE can be scaled out to the entire Middle East.

    I'm a fellow cog in the wheel - how does one reasonably and practically divorce oneself from it - that is the question...

    Peace.
  147. @Daniel Chieh
    You should read Unqualified Reservations by Mencius Moldbug or the Dark Enlightenment by Nick Land.

    But in short, neoreaction is largely against Enlightenment ideology, mostly strongly showing in its rejection of democracy(seen as having perverse incentives for inefficiency), the ideology of inalienable human rights(seen as neither inalienable nor human), and the mass bureaucratic forms of government(seen as having ever increasing and unprofitable complexity). Most support a form of monarchy and have fairly strong arguments for it.

    It also naturally will reject ideology such as absolute racial equalism, of course but that said, its not nearly as racialist as most alt-right thinking. Most of its leaders reside or have resided in Asia and there's a strong undercurrent of support for Singapore-style governments.

    Hey DC,

    Very interesting stuff. I perused some of stuff on those sites and it is thought-provoking. I’ve been a fan of Mises in general thus a lot of that is up my alley. I already don’t have a ton of confidence that democracy (especially married to the nation-state) is the end-all, optimum form of human organization – for instance, I think genocide is fundamentally democratic in its nature, in fact, it is democracy completely without restraint.

    Couple of things…

    inalienable human rights

    You can’t mean all human rights – correct? I’m not talking about the nonsense parade of endlessly evolving human rights, but certain ones do seem fundamental to our state of “being human”. These are defined (though possibly not congruous) in every religious tradition I can think of – even prior to the modern age.

    Singapore-style governments

    Singapore is quite unique; multi-ethnic, multi-religious, a democracy on paper, and basically a city-state. Can it be scaled out? I mean any more than, say, the UAE can be scaled out to the entire Middle East.

    I’m a fellow cog in the wheel – how does one reasonably and practically divorce oneself from it – that is the question…

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    I think genocide is fundamentally democratic in its nature, in fact, it is democracy completely without restraint.

    Democracy is a form of government; it has no connection to genocide.

    I’m a fellow cog in the wheel – how does one reasonably and practically divorce oneself from it – that is the question…

    If you "believe" in the wheel, why would you separate yourself?

  148. @Talha
    Hey DC,

    Very interesting stuff. I perused some of stuff on those sites and it is thought-provoking. I've been a fan of Mises in general thus a lot of that is up my alley. I already don't have a ton of confidence that democracy (especially married to the nation-state) is the end-all, optimum form of human organization - for instance, I think genocide is fundamentally democratic in its nature, in fact, it is democracy completely without restraint.

    Couple of things...

    inalienable human rights
     
    You can't mean all human rights - correct? I'm not talking about the nonsense parade of endlessly evolving human rights, but certain ones do seem fundamental to our state of "being human". These are defined (though possibly not congruous) in every religious tradition I can think of - even prior to the modern age.

    Singapore-style governments
     
    Singapore is quite unique; multi-ethnic, multi-religious, a democracy on paper, and basically a city-state. Can it be scaled out? I mean any more than, say, the UAE can be scaled out to the entire Middle East.

    I'm a fellow cog in the wheel - how does one reasonably and practically divorce oneself from it - that is the question...

    Peace.

    I think genocide is fundamentally democratic in its nature, in fact, it is democracy completely without restraint.

    Democracy is a form of government; it has no connection to genocide.

    I’m a fellow cog in the wheel – how does one reasonably and practically divorce oneself from it – that is the question…

    If you “believe” in the wheel, why would you separate yourself?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey iffen,

    it has no connection to genocide
     
    Not by necessity, of course.

    But when 95% want to eat the 5% - no democratic institution can stop them - even constitutions can be amended. If it is the will of the people to eat the 5% - democracy can only facilitate the outcome, how can the will of the people be wrong?

    I'm not saying genocide can't happen under other governmental forms, of course.

    Peace.
  149. Most of its leaders reside or have resided in Asia and there’s a strong undercurrent of support for Singapore-style governments.

    When I read of “neo-reaction” or “alt-right”, I think advocacy of Singapore type system. Singapore is the ONLY example of a successful non-democratic system in the world. I think it is the ONLY POSSIBLE successful version of such a system.

    The problem with alt-right is a lot of its advocates argue against meritocracy (however you choose to define this) and productive accomplishment and want to actually limit human aspirations. This is a stupid as stupid can be. I have nothing but contempt for those who want to limit human aspirations and productive accomplishment. I also reject any world-view (including any religion) that would in any way attempt to limit such as well. I have utter disgust for such world-views and do not consider them appropriate for modern technological civilization.

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  150. @iffen
    I didn't say anyone was proposing a command economy.

    I said that what the most capable individuals within a society are able to accomplish is constrained by the structure of the society.

    As far as hedonism is concerned, I can see a lot of tax dollars saved if we had 40 gallon trash cans full of heroin and cocaine every few blocks. I am unsure of what "we" would lose.

    Hey iffen,

    I will say this, I have never known of a society historically to last very long under hedonist or decadent norms. I haven’t read the full gamut of history, but at least my familiarity with Muslim history reads this way.

    If anything, decadence makes a people soft and weak and distracted – they are very easily overcome by others with stronger discipline.

    One should read the dispatches from Khalid ibn Walid (ra) to his counterparts among the Sassanids – very eye opening on this topic.

    Peace.

    Read More
  151. @iffen
    I think genocide is fundamentally democratic in its nature, in fact, it is democracy completely without restraint.

    Democracy is a form of government; it has no connection to genocide.

    I’m a fellow cog in the wheel – how does one reasonably and practically divorce oneself from it – that is the question…

    If you "believe" in the wheel, why would you separate yourself?

    Hey iffen,

    it has no connection to genocide

    Not by necessity, of course.

    But when 95% want to eat the 5% – no democratic institution can stop them – even constitutions can be amended. If it is the will of the people to eat the 5% – democracy can only facilitate the outcome, how can the will of the people be wrong?

    I’m not saying genocide can’t happen under other governmental forms, of course.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Gabriel M
    This is basically irrelevant, because a central tenet of Moldbuggian thought is that in all modern democracies power does NOT flow upwards from the people.

    See
    http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.co.il/2007/07/democracy-as-adaptive-fiction.html

    http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.co.il/2007/09/mediocracy-definition-etiology-and.html

    http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.co.il/2013/02/charles-stross-discovers-cathedral.html

    http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.co.il/2011/01/your-goverment-in-pictures-1954.html

    Democracy - defined as a system in which officials elected by mass suffrage have actual control over all parts of the government - was a system that came into being by accident in the early to mid 19th century in America, mainly because rival factions kept seeking ways to diddle each other by expanding the francise. It wasn't as a bad a system as you might expect (the public finances under Andrew Jackson were second to none), but it created factions of people that hated each other more and more until you get the Civil War. The transition between this form of Democracy and what we now call Democracy - defined as a rule by an unelected permanent civil service, closely linked to the media and education system, which work together to get the masses to go along with what they want - was completed when FDR took over in 1932. The last flickerings of the older form of Democracy were the McCarthy movement in the US and the Powell movement in the UK. Moldbuggians are against Democracy as you define the term, but only in the theoretical sense that they do not wish to reintroduce it, not because they think it has any relevance to things today.

    Anyway, that's what Moldbug has to say. You might here some other things from NeoRXers, but a lot of NeoRX is crap to be honest.
  152. @Talha
    Hey iffen,

    it has no connection to genocide
     
    Not by necessity, of course.

    But when 95% want to eat the 5% - no democratic institution can stop them - even constitutions can be amended. If it is the will of the people to eat the 5% - democracy can only facilitate the outcome, how can the will of the people be wrong?

    I'm not saying genocide can't happen under other governmental forms, of course.

    Peace.

    This is basically irrelevant, because a central tenet of Moldbuggian thought is that in all modern democracies power does NOT flow upwards from the people.

    See

    http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.co.il/2007/07/democracy-as-adaptive-fiction.html

    http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.co.il/2007/09/mediocracy-definition-etiology-and.html

    http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.co.il/2013/02/charles-stross-discovers-cathedral.html

    http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.co.il/2011/01/your-goverment-in-pictures-1954.html

    Democracy – defined as a system in which officials elected by mass suffrage have actual control over all parts of the government – was a system that came into being by accident in the early to mid 19th century in America, mainly because rival factions kept seeking ways to diddle each other by expanding the francise. It wasn’t as a bad a system as you might expect (the public finances under Andrew Jackson were second to none), but it created factions of people that hated each other more and more until you get the Civil War. The transition between this form of Democracy and what we now call Democracy – defined as a rule by an unelected permanent civil service, closely linked to the media and education system, which work together to get the masses to go along with what they want – was completed when FDR took over in 1932. The last flickerings of the older form of Democracy were the McCarthy movement in the US and the Powell movement in the UK. Moldbuggians are against Democracy as you define the term, but only in the theoretical sense that they do not wish to reintroduce it, not because they think it has any relevance to things today.

    Anyway, that’s what Moldbug has to say. You might here some other things from NeoRXers, but a lot of NeoRX is crap to be honest.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey Gabriel,

    Thanks for your thoughts on this and I admit, democracy is failing people quite a bit on its promises.

    As for me, I am actually agnostic as to which form of government works best. I'm extremely cautious about any framework that claims to be the optimum silver bullet. I think various forms work best for various people depending on their culture, religion, history, and even geography (it seems relevant to me that a massive sprawling island nation like Indonesia would necessarily be run differently than the land-locked Czech Republic). Democracies seem to work OK on a very small scale - though not too small; I'd not ever run my household (of four kids) like one, otherwise milk and cookies for dinner - every day!

    I think a good spiritual and moral foundation and educational breadth (as opposed to that which is narrow and provincial) among the populace is far more conducive to a good society than the government's structure (or lack thereof).

    But I'm always on the hunt for information on ideas that think outside the box. I myself am not a Libertarian, but I appreciate their existence since they try to put fire under the feet of the proponents of various governmental frameworks. It is good to be challenged and have to defend one's position and - gasp - even admit your opponent has a sound idea or two one can learn from!

    Peace.
  153. @Gabriel M
    This is basically irrelevant, because a central tenet of Moldbuggian thought is that in all modern democracies power does NOT flow upwards from the people.

    See
    http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.co.il/2007/07/democracy-as-adaptive-fiction.html

    http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.co.il/2007/09/mediocracy-definition-etiology-and.html

    http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.co.il/2013/02/charles-stross-discovers-cathedral.html

    http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.co.il/2011/01/your-goverment-in-pictures-1954.html

    Democracy - defined as a system in which officials elected by mass suffrage have actual control over all parts of the government - was a system that came into being by accident in the early to mid 19th century in America, mainly because rival factions kept seeking ways to diddle each other by expanding the francise. It wasn't as a bad a system as you might expect (the public finances under Andrew Jackson were second to none), but it created factions of people that hated each other more and more until you get the Civil War. The transition between this form of Democracy and what we now call Democracy - defined as a rule by an unelected permanent civil service, closely linked to the media and education system, which work together to get the masses to go along with what they want - was completed when FDR took over in 1932. The last flickerings of the older form of Democracy were the McCarthy movement in the US and the Powell movement in the UK. Moldbuggians are against Democracy as you define the term, but only in the theoretical sense that they do not wish to reintroduce it, not because they think it has any relevance to things today.

    Anyway, that's what Moldbug has to say. You might here some other things from NeoRXers, but a lot of NeoRX is crap to be honest.

    Hey Gabriel,

    Thanks for your thoughts on this and I admit, democracy is failing people quite a bit on its promises.

    As for me, I am actually agnostic as to which form of government works best. I’m extremely cautious about any framework that claims to be the optimum silver bullet. I think various forms work best for various people depending on their culture, religion, history, and even geography (it seems relevant to me that a massive sprawling island nation like Indonesia would necessarily be run differently than the land-locked Czech Republic). Democracies seem to work OK on a very small scale – though not too small; I’d not ever run my household (of four kids) like one, otherwise milk and cookies for dinner – every day!

    I think a good spiritual and moral foundation and educational breadth (as opposed to that which is narrow and provincial) among the populace is far more conducive to a good society than the government’s structure (or lack thereof).

    But I’m always on the hunt for information on ideas that think outside the box. I myself am not a Libertarian, but I appreciate their existence since they try to put fire under the feet of the proponents of various governmental frameworks. It is good to be challenged and have to defend one’s position and – gasp – even admit your opponent has a sound idea or two one can learn from!

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sam Shama
    Democracy never spoke to anything beyond some version of one-man-one-vote; not surely a fair political outcome post vote. The idea of economic equality e.g. is mostly the private, often unrevealable, preference of the polity which rarely if ever considers initial endowments.

    Defining 'fair' is largely a thankless enterprise consuming voluminous academic literature, especially in mathematical social choice, a sub-discipline of economics.

    I think the U.K. has the most evolved system in which British democracy, perhaps uniquely defined as a system which still retains a reminder of G'd, Queen, Country and the Hangman's noose as guide rails, endowed with a civil service of incredible depth, experience and talent, frequently at loggerheads with changing political fashions and demands, arrives all the same to skillful resolutions. Precisely why the tiny island nation exceeds all others in achieving close to optimal outcomes. People would likely quarrel with my depiction but I'd challenge that dissent.

    Most other significant European systems are studies in chaos, as are Asian ones. America is a republican flavoured plutocracy where G'd plays the part of the default solution.

    Our best hope for worldwide social and political equilibrium is Singularity.

  154. @Anatoly Karlin
    Sure, pointing out the the fact of the demographic transition is a very good argument, and it needs to be addressed.

    Before the Malthusian transition, there were huge incentives to have families - more hands for farm work; the high mortality rates for infants and children; also, the banal fact that wearing a condom made out of sheep guts presumably wasn't very enjoyable.

    However, families that had more children than they could could support suffered higher death rates for their lack of discipline. Hence, there was an equilibrium in which committed "breeders" only ever constituted a small share of the population.

    When Malthusian constraints fell away at around the time of the industrial revolution, along with the loosening of traditionalist pro-natality mores (have as many children as you can support and no more), the underpinnings of the old equilibrium crumbled away. However, since in most populations breeders are not yet a high percentage of the population - Orthodox Jewry and the Amish might be exceptions, since many of the people less committed to their values (inc. high natality) get "boiled off" with every generation - at first (i.e. the first century or so) this only had very modest effects, because there were very few "breeders" at t=0.

    Hence, cultural and social influences played much greater roles in determining fertility in First World nations during the 20th century, and at least in Africa, will probably continue to do so for the next century. In fact, one counterintuitive prediction that I would make is that Africa c.2100 will have lower TFRs than most current First World nations.

    Kolk et al., 2014 modeled this:

    Correlations in family size across generations could have a major influence on human population size in the future. Empirical studies have shown that the associations between the fertility of parents and the fertility of children are substantial and growing over time. Despite their potential long-term consequences, intergenerational fertility correlations have largely been ignored by researchers... We show that intergenerational fertility correlations will result in an increase in fertility over time.
     
    "Breeders" as a share of the population are barely different three generations in than at the start, but are rising rapidly by the 5th generation, and come to constitute the vast majority of people by the 12th generation.

    Incidentally, Germany had its fertility transition 3 generations ago, whereas France had it about 5 generations ago.

    And this map is quite famous: http://i36.tinypic.com/1679y7n.png

    Hmm...

    There is already evidence in Israel and some counties in the US for that. As the share of Ultraorthodox Jews increases, fertility rates increase by a tiny bit every year, just because of this composition effect. In the US, Haredi Jews are increasingly heading for the suburbs and are creating towns close to NYC where they are on their own, as their expansion in Brooklyn is increasingly limited due to expensive housing. Rockland county, NY is an interesting example for that. In the early 1980s, the TFR in Rockland county was around 1.7, being below the American average. In the meantime however, due to the rising share of Haredi Jews, it has continuously crept up to 2.8. In just a few decades, NYC will be surrounded by many high fertility suburbs as their expansion continues.

    The interesting thing though is that these kind of breeder groups so far have only popped up in the West and nowhere else. No breeders so far in Eastern Asia, Africa, or anywhere else.

    I know that map btw. ;) Had lots of fierce debates with the guy who made it on the demographic prospects of France and my dear own country.

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  155. @Talha
    Hey Gabriel,

    Thanks for your thoughts on this and I admit, democracy is failing people quite a bit on its promises.

    As for me, I am actually agnostic as to which form of government works best. I'm extremely cautious about any framework that claims to be the optimum silver bullet. I think various forms work best for various people depending on their culture, religion, history, and even geography (it seems relevant to me that a massive sprawling island nation like Indonesia would necessarily be run differently than the land-locked Czech Republic). Democracies seem to work OK on a very small scale - though not too small; I'd not ever run my household (of four kids) like one, otherwise milk and cookies for dinner - every day!

    I think a good spiritual and moral foundation and educational breadth (as opposed to that which is narrow and provincial) among the populace is far more conducive to a good society than the government's structure (or lack thereof).

    But I'm always on the hunt for information on ideas that think outside the box. I myself am not a Libertarian, but I appreciate their existence since they try to put fire under the feet of the proponents of various governmental frameworks. It is good to be challenged and have to defend one's position and - gasp - even admit your opponent has a sound idea or two one can learn from!

    Peace.

    Democracy never spoke to anything beyond some version of one-man-one-vote; not surely a fair political outcome post vote. The idea of economic equality e.g. is mostly the private, often unrevealable, preference of the polity which rarely if ever considers initial endowments.

    Defining ‘fair’ is largely a thankless enterprise consuming voluminous academic literature, especially in mathematical social choice, a sub-discipline of economics.

    I think the U.K. has the most evolved system in which British democracy, perhaps uniquely defined as a system which still retains a reminder of G’d, Queen, Country and the Hangman’s noose as guide rails, endowed with a civil service of incredible depth, experience and talent, frequently at loggerheads with changing political fashions and demands, arrives all the same to skillful resolutions. Precisely why the tiny island nation exceeds all others in achieving close to optimal outcomes. People would likely quarrel with my depiction but I’d challenge that dissent.

    Most other significant European systems are studies in chaos, as are Asian ones. America is a republican flavoured plutocracy where G’d plays the part of the default solution.

    Our best hope for worldwide social and political equilibrium is Singularity.

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    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey Sam,

    not surely a fair political outcome post vote
     
    That's not what I disagree with, I disagree with its packaging in some sort of pseudo-religious way as being a panacea for the troubles of societies.

    Defining ‘fair’ is largely
     
    Hopeless as far as I'm concerned. It's usually in the eye of the beholder and - for me - without an appeal to the Hereafter, has little coherence. Person born with Down's syndrome - I can't see how to make life fair for them...

    It's great to remove injustice and unjust institutions as much as we can - but I don't know if we humans can even agree 100% on those; some say patriarchy is evil, some say laudable...


    Precisely why the tiny island nation exceeds all others in achieving close to optimal outcomes.
     
    Agreed - I'm a big fan of Anglo-Saxon legal heritage. Probably why so many of their ex-colonies decided to adopt at least some, if not all, of their structures.

    Singularity
     
    Ah yes - "The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology"
    https://www.amazon.com/Singularity-Near-Humans-Transcend-Biology/dp/0143037889

    We would say; some humans have been transcending biology for generations - I've heard it affectionately called 'fusion without confusion':
    http://www.sunypress.edu/p-2586-the-self-disclosure-of-god.aspx

    I think we'll sit this dance out.

    Peace.

  156. @Anatoly Karlin

    How solid do you think this theory is?
     
    I think its pretty solid, in that it syncs with common sense, the heritability of personality, and is an extrapolation of observed data (rising intergenerational fertility correlations).

    I can also speculate as to why it is not very popular:

    (1) Like HBD, it is not very politically correct - as Pinker has long pointed out, society has a strong "blank slate" bias.

    (2) Whereas at least some HBD findings are relative to current issues (e.g. IQ/economic development, crime rates, etc) this is only of significant relevance to the far future, i.e. 200 years time.

    For understandable reasons people discount the far future.

    Maybe you should write an article about it or I should try pitching it to Sailer.
     
    If Sailer were to blog his thoughts about it that would indeed help bring it into the limelight since his audience is 10x that of mine.

    Could you explain why the trends would be dysgenic (IQ is inversely correlated with fertility inside populations)?
     
    Correct (at least for now): http://www.unz.com/akarlin/nor-breeding-their-best/

    This is more speculative, but I suspect the link between higher IQ and lower TFR might be intrinsic to the human condition. I recall reading about a psychological experiment in which more intelligent people (of both sexes) were relatively more amused/entertained by animal pets while duller people were relatively more amused/entertained by human children.

    Another scenario, at least in the short- and mid-term, is a total transformation of society through automation, robotics and AI eliminating most human jobs.
     
    That's certainly going to happen in the next few decades, but my post was after all about the third millennium. :)

    Incidentally, Randal Parker has speculated that automation and robots will actually augment, not dampen, fertility rates: http://www.futurepundit.com/archives/009885.html

    As I have worked quite a bit with the religiosity and fertility question, to me it appears sound, but also from another viewpoint that only applies to modern and liberal conditions. While industrialization has removed the motivation to have kids because they can be workers and has initiated the demographic transition and fertility decline, the stuff that happened in the 1960s and understandably is viewed very negatively here, has removed or at leats decrease the motivation to have kids because of general ideas in society on how families look like. In today’s societies where this standard is questioned more and more, the only motivation that is left to have kids is because of personal reasons. This means that of course only the breeders are left to have many children. Kind of fascinating how the left basically created its own demographic demise.

    I disagree though with the negative link between IQ and fertility to be intrinsic. Research has already shown that more educated people on average intend and want to have more children than less educated people. The problem is that they also face more constraints and are more aware of those constraints of course. Policy can however remove these obstacles. Fertility among native Danes and Belgians e.g. is slightly eugenic. I’d even go as far as assuming that the more intelligent of the breeder group will have a higher reproductive success.

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  157. @AP

    I think the probability of that is low – making such a virus would be extremely hard. It is not in the virus’ interests to kill its hosts, so even if lethality is initially very high, as with some strains of ebola, it tends to go way down over time....Note that even if it were to kill a billion people, it would still not constitute a true existential risk.
     
    I'm thinking creating a virus with a 99%+ kill rate (something like in the 12 monkeys movie) that spreads as easily as a common cold and does so more quickly than the development of immunity or creation of vaccines. I recall reading somewhere that some such things had been created, then destroyed (or prused, and then abandoned). This sort of virus would probably not kill everyone, but might reduce humanity to the dozens of millions, or maybe even less, scattered on remote islands, quarantined until everyone else dies off.

    please see my responses to Klon, where I address those same points.
     
    This makes sense, but you are being too pessimistic here - indeed, this is probably an optimistic scenario. The idea is that in the West, as non-breeders disappear, those whose families have more children become ever higher percentage of society, so that eventually fertility rate and population rise. So when the Catholic traditionalists become a majority in France, France's population will rebound; likewise for Siberian ethnic Russians in Russia, Mormons, Amish, hardcore Christians among American whites, etc. In this case, according to Kolk et al, there are two possibilities:

    1. The "breeders" take over and the population eventually skyrockets. America is full of Mormons, Amish, and traditional Christians with 3-8 kids per family in perpetuity.

    2. The "breeders" will become a large enough % to sustain the population but due to attrition (countries will maintain different subgroups with different lifestyles) to lower-breeding groups by some breeders' kids the population will stabilize once the equilibrium is achieved.

    In the case of the first possibility, does this mean eventual unsustainable growth? I'm not so sure. These high-fertility groups in the West tend to live in relatively sparsely populated areas (Utah, rural areas, Siberia), where having lots of kids doesn't change one's lifestyle and environment too much. There is still plenty of room for more people in those places. The idea of eventual massive overpopulation rests on the assumption that high-breeding Westerners such as Mormons, traditional Christians, etc. would tolerate cramped surroundings resembling rural India or Bangladesh in their packed humanity. I strongly suspect this would not be the case. So in the first scenario, I would expect stabilization, several centuries from now. At that time, places such as the USA might have a billion people, Russia 2 billion or so, Canada a billion (assuming warmer climate for the latter two countries). There would never be a global population of 100 billion people.

    In the case of the first possibility, does this mean eventual unsustainable growth? I’m not so sure. These high-fertility groups in the West tend to live in relatively sparsely populated areas (Utah, rural areas, Siberia), where having lots of kids doesn’t change one’s lifestyle and environment too much. There is still plenty of room for more people in those places. The idea of eventual massive overpopulation rests on the assumption that high-breeding Westerners such as Mormons, traditional Christians, etc. would tolerate cramped surroundings resembling rural India or Bangladesh in their packed humanity. I strongly suspect this would not be the case. So in the first scenario, I would expect stabilization, several centuries from now. At that time, places such as the USA might have a billion people, Russia 2 billion or so, Canada a billion (assuming warmer climate for the latter two countries). There would never be a global population of 100 billion people.

    Utah is actually fairly densely populated if you discount deserts and mountains. Most of Utahns live in the Wasatch front, a valley that is already half built up. Haredi Jews have 7 children per woman even though they live in densely populated Israel and the dense BosWash corridor.

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  158. @Sam Shama
    Democracy never spoke to anything beyond some version of one-man-one-vote; not surely a fair political outcome post vote. The idea of economic equality e.g. is mostly the private, often unrevealable, preference of the polity which rarely if ever considers initial endowments.

    Defining 'fair' is largely a thankless enterprise consuming voluminous academic literature, especially in mathematical social choice, a sub-discipline of economics.

    I think the U.K. has the most evolved system in which British democracy, perhaps uniquely defined as a system which still retains a reminder of G'd, Queen, Country and the Hangman's noose as guide rails, endowed with a civil service of incredible depth, experience and talent, frequently at loggerheads with changing political fashions and demands, arrives all the same to skillful resolutions. Precisely why the tiny island nation exceeds all others in achieving close to optimal outcomes. People would likely quarrel with my depiction but I'd challenge that dissent.

    Most other significant European systems are studies in chaos, as are Asian ones. America is a republican flavoured plutocracy where G'd plays the part of the default solution.

    Our best hope for worldwide social and political equilibrium is Singularity.

    Hey Sam,

    not surely a fair political outcome post vote

    That’s not what I disagree with, I disagree with its packaging in some sort of pseudo-religious way as being a panacea for the troubles of societies.

    Defining ‘fair’ is largely

    Hopeless as far as I’m concerned. It’s usually in the eye of the beholder and – for me – without an appeal to the Hereafter, has little coherence. Person born with Down’s syndrome – I can’t see how to make life fair for them…

    It’s great to remove injustice and unjust institutions as much as we can – but I don’t know if we humans can even agree 100% on those; some say patriarchy is evil, some say laudable…

    Precisely why the tiny island nation exceeds all others in achieving close to optimal outcomes.

    Agreed – I’m a big fan of Anglo-Saxon legal heritage. Probably why so many of their ex-colonies decided to adopt at least some, if not all, of their structures.

    Singularity

    Ah yes – “The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology”

    https://www.amazon.com/Singularity-Near-Humans-Transcend-Biology/dp/0143037889

    We would say; some humans have been transcending biology for generations – I’ve heard it affectionately called ‘fusion without confusion’:

    http://www.sunypress.edu/p-2586-the-self-disclosure-of-god.aspx

    I think we’ll sit this dance out.

    Peace.

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  159. I just have to add that Vernon Vinge, while being a talented self-promoter, is an awfully bad writer.
    Read any of his books? He is a hack.

    No wonder he is a big fan of machine
    intelligence, he doesn’t have much intelligence himself, ergo, it is simple for him to imagine a machine that supercedes him, only because he is a very dim bulb.

    Sure, there will be a problem of machines eliminating jobs. The energy and materials budgets for such machines will soon be prohibitive.

    People, treated well, will always be more efficient.

    How many watts does IBM’s Watson draw? What scale of resources, in terms of mining, refinement, and energy is required to make the parts?

    It is impressive, sure, but incapable of generalisation.

    Set up for one task at a time.

    So, it can win a quiz game or do something else, but can’t do both.

    Setting it up to write novels at the level of Vinge may well be possible. Reading Vinge is a waste of time, but his work has a much lower energy budget.

    Anatoly, I read your article in detail, and it is nice that you give a pointer to your site, but must, unlike Deep Blue, sleep.

    I think that your statistical guess-timates are wildly optimistic. May think more on those, and the range of possibilities, next nochy. Will be re-reading, although I think few of the possibilities you list are plausible, and none desirable.

    Regards.

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    • Replies: @Abelard Lindsey
    To be frankly honest, I don't consider Verner Vinge to be a good writer. I liked his "Across Realtime" novels from the mid 80's. But the rest of his stuff is really not that good.
  160. Read More
    • Replies: @Darin
    You got blog links, I got blog links too.

    https://dissention.wordpress.com/2016/11/19/some-initial-thoughts-on-the-likely-trajectory-of-a-trump-presidency-1/

    https://dissention.wordpress.com/2016/11/26/some-initial-thoughts-on-the-likely-trajectory-of-a-trump-presidency-2/

    https://dissention.wordpress.com/2016/11/12/on-the-implosion-of-hillary-clintons-presidential-campaign-1/

    "Just to be clear, I am neither a supporter nor a detractor of Trump. I see myself as a detached observer of events who uses his largely dispassionate and probably misanthropic analysis of trends, events and probabilities to make educated (and largely correct) guesses about the future. FYI- I was able to predict that Trump would win the republican nomination and the presidency almost a year before both events occurred."

    "To quickly summarize this post, I think there is a better than 90% chance than a Trump presidency might make the disastrous second term of Bush43 look competent and organized in comparison."

    Let's wait and see. The 17th season of the record breaking Third Millenium series just started, and it looks it will be a wild ride! ;-)
  161. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @1rw
    Um ok, what's new-reaction about again?

    Neoreaction is a limited hang-out operation.

    A Jewish supremacist called Moldbug wrote some true things about how he hated goyim. This was mixed up with some realistic ideas about human biological diversity.

    Then some non-Jewish persons with psychological and social problems adopted some of Moldbug’s ideas – some of them hoping to become Shabbos goyim, some of them recruited by Jews who wanted them to be unwitting Shabbos goyim.

    The resulting combination of Jews and non-Jews calls itself “neoreaction.”

    Unfortunately neoreactionaries are deeply divided against each other, so they are not a political force. They are one of those social cliques that pretends to be a dark conspiracy, in order to cover up the fact that they are neither powerful nor insightful.

    They have put considerable effort into the fine arts. Check out “Walt Bismarck” on youtube – he is popular with neoreactionaries, regardless of whether he considers himself to be one.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    "A Jewish supremacist called Moldbug wrote some true things about how he hated goyim. This was mixed up with some realistic ideas about human biological diversity."

    Is it really the case?
  162. I haven’t seen a better solution for the issues brought up by Karlin than mass depopulation through every method availabe and declaring an inquisition on Leftys (complete with warring on feminism).

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  163. @Abelard Lindsey
    Peter Thiel's clear vision:

    https://alfinnextlevel.wordpress.com/2016/11/23/a-world-according-to-peter-thiel/

    Trump will be the new Ronald Reagan!

    https://alfinnextlevel.wordpress.com/2017/01/12/confidence-oil-sperm-to-surge-under-trump/

    You got blog links, I got blog links too.

    https://dissention.wordpress.com/2016/11/19/some-initial-thoughts-on-the-likely-trajectory-of-a-trump-presidency-1/

    https://dissention.wordpress.com/2016/11/26/some-initial-thoughts-on-the-likely-trajectory-of-a-trump-presidency-2/

    https://dissention.wordpress.com/2016/11/12/on-the-implosion-of-hillary-clintons-presidential-campaign-1/

    “Just to be clear, I am neither a supporter nor a detractor of Trump. I see myself as a detached observer of events who uses his largely dispassionate and probably misanthropic analysis of trends, events and probabilities to make educated (and largely correct) guesses about the future. FYI- I was able to predict that Trump would win the republican nomination and the presidency almost a year before both events occurred.”

    “To quickly summarize this post, I think there is a better than 90% chance than a Trump presidency might make the disastrous second term of Bush43 look competent and organized in comparison.”

    Let’s wait and see. The 17th season of the record breaking Third Millenium series just started, and it looks it will be a wild ride! ;-)

    Read More
  164. @Anatoly Karlin

    Rather, he applies ancient insights to modern conditions...
     
    Taleb does it much better, with humor and attention to actual facts and statistics.

    It is clear you believe unending technological progress is highly desirable...
     
    Yes I am lazy and do appreciate having to do less for more.

    ... that endless growth as a way of life should indeed be the human goal
     
    I am not a proponent of "endless growth."

    ... that humans should strive for control and mastery rather than learn to live in harmony with cosmic forces
     
    wtf are these "cosmic forces" anyway? Will freely admit to disliking this sort of obscurantism.

    “Can you please stop arguing in your TED Talk voice!”

    http://www.newyorker.com/cartoons/a20018

    I am just trying to help AaronB (#49)

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  165. @AaronB
    Taleb is good, and offers very similar fare to Gray - he's more palatable to the STEM set, because he is good with numbers and stats. He's aware of this, and has joked about it amusingly. Taleb is friends with Gray and also considers him one of the few modern writers worth reading, btw.

    ....It is clear you believe unending technological progress is highly desirable…

    Yes I am lazy and do appreciate having to do less for more.

    "Convenience" hardly strikes me as one of life's noblest goals, although I am glad you admit this is finally at the bottom of so many techno-utopias. I once told a techno-utopian I knew that the upshot of all this magnificent technology was really just "convenience", and he freaked out. Of course, nothing wrong with convenience, but surely life offers finer and more interesting pleasures - heck, as I get older I find I even derive more pleasure from candlelight, however this sins against convenience. George Orwell as of a similar mind.

    Techno-utopia - the pursuit of convenience! It's a good slogan.

    … that humans should strive for control and mastery rather than learn to live in harmony with cosmic forces

    wtf are these “cosmic forces” anyway? Will freely admit to disliking this sort of obscurantism.

    Forget about cosmis forces, then, if that bothers you. Why this insatiable drive to master nature? Why not just live and enjoy ourselves in some sort of relaxed harmony. We have dentistry, we have antibiotics, we have anasthetics, what more do we need? Because of course you have some kind of inner itch and restlessness, some hole, that you think more power will fill. But it won't, alas, and you will be just as restless and dissatisfied.

    Hey AaronB,

    Why this insatiable drive to master nature?

    Same as the desire to conquer death; to become gods.

    Why do we name such technological projects such as NASA’s attempt at nuclear-powered space travel after the titan that stole fire from the Olympians?https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Prometheus

    I would have thought they would have learned their lesson from Challenger…

    Peace.

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    • Replies: @AaronB
    Right, the desire to be as gods is really the perennial human temptation isn't it? Its right there at the beginning of the Bible, the foundation myth of mankind for the West - the serpent tempts you with the ability to be as Gods, but you should resist it. Yet most traditions have a similar myth. Buddha is offered lordship of all the worlds, power unimaginable, by Mara - yet he thinks he has found something better.

    The West has chosen the path of power - and is now collapsing in an orgy of self-hatred and irrationality (irony of ironies). Yet perhaps the world needed an example of one society, at least, going down this path, so we can see once and for all the consequences? Yet somehow, humans never learn anything "once and for all", and even if the whole world got over the nightmare of modern Western culture, at some time in the future, another society will choose the same path. Temptations are never finally overcome, just for the time being.

    The problem is, the desire to be as Gods is merely a seductive illusion. It doesn't give lasting satisfaction. It begins to appeal to people only when they have lost sight of what does give lasting satisfaction.

    Yet the basic fork in the path for humans, than which there is nothing more primary, is this division - power or submission to God (Tao, etc). Its the thread that runs through all religions and spiritual traditions (perhaps all spirituality can be summed up as not choosing personal power), and it is perhaps the most basic divide at the foundation of our being.

    Free will probably means only the choice between power and submission, these two paths, and nothing else.
  166. @MrBob
    I'm an avid Unz Review reader, but dear God, this was like reading a sci fi comic book. Go outside for Christ's sakes, get in touch with nature and family, just a little bit. You will see perfectly clearly what a meaningful and utterly satisfying human existence looks like. It's not that we haven't gotent there yet, but we've already blown past it.

    A very high tensity of tech-yahoos.

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  167. @Abelard Lindsey
    Who said we're proposing any kind of top-down command economy? We're into decentralized free market economics. In any case, I stand by my point about hedonism. It is non-sense to fear it.

    “We’re into decentralized free market economics. ”

    Who is We? You and the guys you “hoist a pint of beer and share a good laugh in a pub” which for you is the apex of being human?

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  168. @edNels

    some two legged cloaca will come along and f*** it all up, and the masses will go along with it
     
    Yeah like some Pied Piper sort of character with a new song bag singin' a tune that all these youngster technocrats and bloggers can't resist, it will be like an ear worm that makes the human brain self destruct, and they will go insane with it .Before they can make AI, hopefully.

    “with a new song bag singin’ a tune that all these youngster technocrats and bloggers can’t resist”

    They already are hearing the tune and marching on.

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  169. @Anon
    Neoreaction is a limited hang-out operation.

    A Jewish supremacist called Moldbug wrote some true things about how he hated goyim. This was mixed up with some realistic ideas about human biological diversity.

    Then some non-Jewish persons with psychological and social problems adopted some of Moldbug's ideas - some of them hoping to become Shabbos goyim, some of them recruited by Jews who wanted them to be unwitting Shabbos goyim.

    The resulting combination of Jews and non-Jews calls itself "neoreaction."

    Unfortunately neoreactionaries are deeply divided against each other, so they are not a political force. They are one of those social cliques that pretends to be a dark conspiracy, in order to cover up the fact that they are neither powerful nor insightful.

    They have put considerable effort into the fine arts. Check out "Walt Bismarck" on youtube - he is popular with neoreactionaries, regardless of whether he considers himself to be one.

    “A Jewish supremacist called Moldbug wrote some true things about how he hated goyim. This was mixed up with some realistic ideas about human biological diversity.”

    Is it really the case?

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    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    No. That's not even MM's real name.

    Its still one of the most amusing descriptions of NRX I've seen in awhile though.
  170. @Abelard Lindsey

    Possibly…but it may well be that the inescapability of the aging process is itself essential to the calibration of human aspirations.

    Imagine the ability to procrastinate…forever.
     
    This is true, but utterly irrelevant in the discussion of radical life extension. Does the fact that there are people who currently do drugs and make nothing of themselves in any way prevent me from, say, doing a technology start-up? No, of course not. This, of course, brings me to my larger point about hedonism.

    Certain conservatives and alt-right people fret and obsess over the supposed dangers of excesive hedonism. I think this fear is a non-sense. It is true that a society of abundance results in lots of people doing nothing more than hedonism with their lives. But such a society also has lots of people engaging in productive accomplishments as well. The fact that there are people who do nothing more than drugs and sex does not prevent the Silicon Vallay types from doing new start-ups, or keep artists from making new music. The people who want to accomplish the great feats of life are going to be driven to do so, regardless of the actions of those who do not share such aspirations. As long as the rest of humanity does not engage in any kind of political/religious trop to inhibit the accomplishments of the productive, the hedonism of the non-productive is totally irrelevant to our long-term future. This is why hedonism is a non-issue.

    “As long as the rest of humanity does not engage in any kind of political/religious trop to inhibit the accomplishments of the productive, the hedonism of the non-productive is totally irrelevant to our long-term future.”

    There is no steady-state in the social order, nor anything like refuge for non-hedonists. Do you see a tipping point where enough non-productive people could be very relevant to your long-term future?

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  171. “The Age of Malthusian Industrialism” – While on the surface this seems the most plausible – a continuation of current trends – it ignores the possibility of a step-change collapse in carrying capacity. My own view is that migration into the West must eventually result in a shift in political control of Western institutions from the outbred & high IQ natives to lower IQ & nepotistic immigrant populations, primarily from Africa, the middle East, and south Asia, with sub-Saharan Africa dominating in the longer term. This won’t happen in the lifetime of the current global elites, but as long as we have democracy in the West plus continuing mass immigration it has to happen at some point, probably within the 21st century for some nations. Judging by the legacy of Decolonisation in Africa, examples such as Zimbabwe and South Africa are not encouraging.

    The USA might largely escape this since Latino immigration into the US is of lower IQ but not strongly nepotistic populations, so there is less urge to loot institutions, and a step-Change collapse is less likely in a majority-Latino USA. And Europe might conceivably escape it through abandonment of democracy for more purely technocratic rule, though I suspect this is unlikely – a majority black African population is unlikely to indefinitely accept the rule of white technocrats, and Euro-African politicians are going to want to take real power and use it to distribute wealth to their families and followers. A likely result is a Zimbabwe style collapse in carrying capacity well below theoretical maximum given the population median IQ.

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    • Replies: @jp
    After western Europe has destroyed itself, don't you think current intellectual thought regarding multiculturalism and diversity will be totally discredited globally on millennial time scales.
    Secondly if western Europe reduces itself to a series of relatively low population zimbabwes within 300 years what is to stop it from being reconquered and repopulated from eastern Europe, in the remaining 700.
  172. @Klon
    On "Malthusian industrialism/business as usual," I'd say your premises are pretty weak (or at least, some elaboration would be helpful).
    Specifically, it's not clear where the ideas of breeders/rearers and massive population growth come from (actually I noticed Jayman's influence in the phrasing, which is a warning flag in itself).
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_fertility_rate
    I'm sure you're familiar with the idea and the data. Basically, almost every country outside Africa is either already at below replacement levels (1-2) or will be there soon (2-3).
    Even in Africa, there are already countries at 'moderate' levels (e.g. South Africa, which again points to falling fertility in correlation with development). The continent as a whole went from a TFR of approx. 7 between 1950 and 1980 to 4 now and is predicted to be at 2.5 in 2050.
    In conclusion, it seems like people who attain some basic standard of living just aren't particularly interested in having children (Bangladesh is at 2.2 with a GDP PPP p.c. 0f 3.3k USD). Consequently, I don't understand where the population explosion is supposed to come from.
    Having written all that, I just realized what you were saying (really). Selection is currently underway for those with high "fertility preference", so future people will be very fertile? In my opinion, the hereditary component must be much smaller than the environmental one; for examples see above.

    “Even in Africa, there are already countries at ‘moderate’ levels (e.g. South Africa, which again points to falling fertility in correlation with development). The continent as a whole went from a TFR of approx. 7 between 1950 and 1980 to 4 now and is predicted to be at 2.5 in 2050.”

    This would be great. But African fertility has consistently failed to lower in line with predictions, which is the only reason the UN has had to keep revising world population estimates upwards. The 2.5 prediction is presumably the current (UN 2015) one that gives Africa a population of 4.3 billion in 2100 in a world of 11.2 billion. If it falls from 4 now to say 3.5 in 2050 you get a very different scenario. And this says nothing about the size of African populations outside Africa.

    http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/publications/world-population-prospects-2015-revision.html

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    • Replies: @Simon in London
    2015 UN report says "A rapid population increase in Africa is anticipated even if there is a substantial reduction of fertility
    levels in the near future. The medium variant projection assumes that fertility will fall from 4.7 children
    per women in 2010-2015 to 3.1 in 2045-2050, reaching 2.2 by 2095-2100. After 2050, Africa is expected
    to be the only major area still experiencing substantial population growth. As a result, Africa’s share of
    global population is projected to grow to 25 per cent in 2050 and 39 per cent by 2100"
  173. @Simon in London
    "Even in Africa, there are already countries at ‘moderate’ levels (e.g. South Africa, which again points to falling fertility in correlation with development). The continent as a whole went from a TFR of approx. 7 between 1950 and 1980 to 4 now and is predicted to be at 2.5 in 2050."

    This would be great. But African fertility has consistently failed to lower in line with predictions, which is the only reason the UN has had to keep revising world population estimates upwards. The 2.5 prediction is presumably the current (UN 2015) one that gives Africa a population of 4.3 billion in 2100 in a world of 11.2 billion. If it falls from 4 now to say 3.5 in 2050 you get a very different scenario. And this says nothing about the size of African populations outside Africa.

    http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/publications/world-population-prospects-2015-revision.html

    2015 UN report says “A rapid population increase in Africa is anticipated even if there is a substantial reduction of fertility
    levels in the near future. The medium variant projection assumes that fertility will fall from 4.7 children
    per women in 2010-2015 to 3.1 in 2045-2050, reaching 2.2 by 2095-2100. After 2050, Africa is expected
    to be the only major area still experiencing substantial population growth. As a result, Africa’s share of
    global population is projected to grow to 25 per cent in 2050 and 39 per cent by 2100″

    Read More
  174. According to the neo-reaction posters here, in perfect society there will be no science, because everything worth discovery had been discovered, no progress because things are perfect as they are, no ambition because everyone is at his place where he belongs. Orderly and harmonious society based on hierarchy, duty and obedience from the top to the bottom, where king is born to be king, noble is born to be noble and serf is born to be serf, and their duty is to be the best king, noble or serf as they can be.

    If you replace “King” with “World Controller”, “noble” with “Alpha” and “serf” with “Omega”, what is the difference between neo-reaction utopia and extreme left utopia?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    If you replace “King” with “World Controller”, “noble” with “Alpha” and “serf” with “Omega”, what is the difference between neo-reaction utopia and extreme left utopia?
     
    Quite a bit different. NRX is not intrinsically opposed to science at all; the most hostile interpretation toward science is simply that science should be meant to serve coherence rather than decentralize it.

    There are some overlaps in the end but NRX is usually accepting of a lot more difference with the notion of "exit" being a right - basically that anyone should be allowed to leave a society that doesn't suit them. Most of what I read would seem to prefer a world where we were all split into ten thousand city states with different governing styles, but with a clear preference for a monarchy.

    Overall, though, it does tend to try to preach a worldview favoring coherence where people have a sense of identity and purpose. In this is where it overlaps with liberalism if it is dogmatic: it can easily begin to insist that all people want connection, coherence and identity, whereas liberalism argues that all people want individuality, diversity and equality. The solution is to have multiple implementations and the right of exit.

    But this is where you see us favoring boundaries, because in a world where a man can just say that he is a woman and then force everyone else to agree, is basically a world without coherence.

    That's disturbing, and probably not very functional, to be honest. I was a member of an artist's colony once, for example; we had own our standards, arbitrary as it might be, but we maintained them and produced a great deal of work under the guidance of our leadership, "The Elect." When the colony "opened up" and allowed everyone in, and the notion of the elect was dismissed as undemocratic, our output plunged in both quantity and quality. It turned into a mess where people just argued and talked.
    , @Abelard Lindsey

    If you replace “King” with “World Controller”, “noble” with “Alpha” and “serf” with “Omega”, what is the difference between neo-reaction utopia and extreme left utopia?
     
    There isn't any, despite rhetoric from the former. Both are mirror images of each other in that both world-views are based on the belief that there is One Perfect System or One Perfect world-view/religion/ideology (all three of these words are synonyms) that is optimized for all human. No dissent is to be allowed. After all this is the definition of utopia, the One Perfect Anything.

    I have always believed that the notion that the individual does not own his or her own self is the philosophical root all tyranny. The notion that there are things worse than tyranny has always been used through out history as justification for tyranny. Its a self-licking ice creme cone.

    I really do believe in radical decentralization (the thousand state sovereignty model) as the ONLY solution to the problems that bedevil humanity.
    , @Anon
    Don't know if I'm properly NRx or not,but afaik many NRxers don't think there is such a thing as "utopia" (hence the name) in this world. Otherwise Daniel Chieh makes good points.
  175. @utu
    "A Jewish supremacist called Moldbug wrote some true things about how he hated goyim. This was mixed up with some realistic ideas about human biological diversity."

    Is it really the case?

    No. That’s not even MM’s real name.

    Its still one of the most amusing descriptions of NRX I’ve seen in awhile though.

    Read More
  176. @Darin
    According to the neo-reaction posters here, in perfect society there will be no science, because everything worth discovery had been discovered, no progress because things are perfect as they are, no ambition because everyone is at his place where he belongs. Orderly and harmonious society based on hierarchy, duty and obedience from the top to the bottom, where king is born to be king, noble is born to be noble and serf is born to be serf, and their duty is to be the best king, noble or serf as they can be.

    If you replace "King" with "World Controller", "noble" with "Alpha" and "serf" with "Omega", what is the difference between neo-reaction utopia and extreme left utopia?

    If you replace “King” with “World Controller”, “noble” with “Alpha” and “serf” with “Omega”, what is the difference between neo-reaction utopia and extreme left utopia?

    Quite a bit different. NRX is not intrinsically opposed to science at all; the most hostile interpretation toward science is simply that science should be meant to serve coherence rather than decentralize it.

    There are some overlaps in the end but NRX is usually accepting of a lot more difference with the notion of “exit” being a right – basically that anyone should be allowed to leave a society that doesn’t suit them. Most of what I read would seem to prefer a world where we were all split into ten thousand city states with different governing styles, but with a clear preference for a monarchy.

    Overall, though, it does tend to try to preach a worldview favoring coherence where people have a sense of identity and purpose. In this is where it overlaps with liberalism if it is dogmatic: it can easily begin to insist that all people want connection, coherence and identity, whereas liberalism argues that all people want individuality, diversity and equality. The solution is to have multiple implementations and the right of exit.

    But this is where you see us favoring boundaries, because in a world where a man can just say that he is a woman and then force everyone else to agree, is basically a world without coherence.

    That’s disturbing, and probably not very functional, to be honest. I was a member of an artist’s colony once, for example; we had own our standards, arbitrary as it might be, but we maintained them and produced a great deal of work under the guidance of our leadership, “The Elect.” When the colony “opened up” and allowed everyone in, and the notion of the elect was dismissed as undemocratic, our output plunged in both quantity and quality. It turned into a mess where people just argued and talked.

    Read More
  177. @Talha
    Hey iffen,

    Look...full disclosure...coming from my background - this ____ scares the hell out of me!

    Seconding what Daniel Chieh said, I cannot understand how someone would find meaning in such an existence thus I cannot understand why anyone would exert their effort in wanting to make it a reality...but that's just me.

    It reminds me a bit of that scene in 'Inception' where there are all those people in that underground area that are simply administered shots to keep them sleeping and lost in their dreams.

    Peace.

    Hi Talha!

    I think I think, therefore, I think I am. We need to avoid over thinking this stuff, that we do think makes our thoughts of no consequence to stampeding pet shop gerbils with poison fangs.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey mtncur!

    Good stuff!

    Though I wish we could ignore it:
    "The draft report, approved by 17 votes to two and two abstentions by the European Parliament Committee on Legal Affairs, proposes that 'The most sophisticated autonomous robots could be established as having the status of electronic persons with specific rights and obligations, including that of making good any damage they may cause.'...AI developers will have to ensure their creations follow a set of rules that prohibit them from harming a human or allowing a human to come to harm through their inaction. AI can protect their own existence under the rules, if this does not harm any humans."
    https://www.rt.com/viral/373450-robot-kill-switches-status/

    I find it quite amusing when humans try to play god.

    Perhaps the gerbils will be robotic!

    Peace.
  178. @mtn cur
    Hi Talha!

    I think I think, therefore, I think I am. We need to avoid over thinking this stuff, that we do think makes our thoughts of no consequence to stampeding pet shop gerbils with poison fangs.

    Hey mtncur!

    Good stuff!

    Though I wish we could ignore it:
    “The draft report, approved by 17 votes to two and two abstentions by the European Parliament Committee on Legal Affairs, proposes that ‘The most sophisticated autonomous robots could be established as having the status of electronic persons with specific rights and obligations, including that of making good any damage they may cause.’…AI developers will have to ensure their creations follow a set of rules that prohibit them from harming a human or allowing a human to come to harm through their inaction. AI can protect their own existence under the rules, if this does not harm any humans.”

    https://www.rt.com/viral/373450-robot-kill-switches-status/

    I find it quite amusing when humans try to play god.

    Perhaps the gerbils will be robotic!

    Peace.

    Read More
  179. @Darin
    According to the neo-reaction posters here, in perfect society there will be no science, because everything worth discovery had been discovered, no progress because things are perfect as they are, no ambition because everyone is at his place where he belongs. Orderly and harmonious society based on hierarchy, duty and obedience from the top to the bottom, where king is born to be king, noble is born to be noble and serf is born to be serf, and their duty is to be the best king, noble or serf as they can be.

    If you replace "King" with "World Controller", "noble" with "Alpha" and "serf" with "Omega", what is the difference between neo-reaction utopia and extreme left utopia?

    If you replace “King” with “World Controller”, “noble” with “Alpha” and “serf” with “Omega”, what is the difference between neo-reaction utopia and extreme left utopia?

    There isn’t any, despite rhetoric from the former. Both are mirror images of each other in that both world-views are based on the belief that there is One Perfect System or One Perfect world-view/religion/ideology (all three of these words are synonyms) that is optimized for all human. No dissent is to be allowed. After all this is the definition of utopia, the One Perfect Anything.

    I have always believed that the notion that the individual does not own his or her own self is the philosophical root all tyranny. The notion that there are things worse than tyranny has always been used through out history as justification for tyranny. Its a self-licking ice creme cone.

    I really do believe in radical decentralization (the thousand state sovereignty model) as the ONLY solution to the problems that bedevil humanity.

    Read More
  180. I have always believed that the notion that the individual does not own his or her own self is the philosophical root all tyranny.

    But do we? Do we even have free will? Its fashionable and easy to say that “everyone owns him, herself, xisself, theyselves” but there’s plenty of evidence that we’re heavily influenced by our environment to the point that the abstraction of the self is not particularly meaningful. Conformity influences us both overtly by normative pressures(“If I disagree with everyone, I may be punished somehow…”) as well as subconsciously by informative pressures(There are some studies that show that people anchor their ability to estimate by the overall estimates of others, so if a group estimates that a group of elephants in a picture is thirty, they will use 30 as a baseline and then go up or down slightly. There are marketers that take advantage of this). This is especially true since we make most of our decisions by heuristic reasoning and basically thoughtlessly; systematic decisions are made much more rarely.

    So for me, it comes down to this, kind of similar to racial realism. The individual ultimately doesn’t have as much free will as we win, and the boundaries between the individual and the group are always a bit diffuse. Consciousness is a kind of an illusion that works largely as a self-justification engine post-decision.

    So with that understanding, I process two answers to this.

    1) While the individual isn’t actually a separate entity per se, we treat him or her as such anyway.

    This is modern solution and has much to argue for it. An ideological position can have better results even if it doesn’t conform exactly to reality. There are studies showing that groups that believe in an omniscient God cooperate better and use less deception – even if there is no omniscient God, the shared ideology of such is still functional.

    However, in this case, it has led to the atomistic individual and I’m of the belief that it has led to suboptimal results for many people. For example myself, and I also believe that SJWs are often seeking a sense of meaning as they fight for seemingly ridiculous causes. The lack of meaning can become a shared pain, though the reactions to such differ from person to person.

    2) Acknowledge that the individual’s boundaries from the environment are fuzzy, and work out a solution as such.

    This is my personal position – acknowledge the reality of how our brains operate, and then try to build an optimal solution around that. While yes, it can justify what you call tyranny, I believe that it can also elicit great good and accomplishment. The key, of course, is to allow for exit for those who don’t want to participate. Allow outliers to go where they wish, while building to maximize the lives of the vast majority.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Abelard Lindsey

    But do we? Do we even have free will? blah, blah, blah
     
    You can trot out whatever philosophical mumble jumble you want. Some of it might even be real. But you're not about to convince me to give up self-ownership, let alone allow some external agency (god, government, whatever else?) dictate how I make my long-term strategic life choices. I've known what I am, what I want to become, and my long-term vision since about, oh, 1986. Anything you say is not going to change this one iota. I suggest you forget about it.

    For example myself, and I also believe that SJWs are often seeking a sense of meaning as they fight for seemingly ridiculous causes. The lack of meaning can become a shared pain, though the reactions to such differ from person to person.
     
    You may well be correct about this with regards to others. However, I believe I already told you once before that I do not identify with this concept of "meaning", nor do I have any "need" for it. If others seek it, that is their right and their choice. However, they have no business, whatsoever, to impose their concept of "meaning" onto me or to use to to justify any restrictions on my private life choices or my long-term strategic life goals. Furthermore, if their concept of "meaning" requires such interference in my life, then they need to find a different "meaning" in life.

    While yes, it can justify what you call tyranny, I believe that it can also elicit great good and accomplishment.
     
    As long as there is no coercion involved, I have no problem with it.

    Allow outliers to go where they wish, while building to maximize the lives of the vast majority.
     
    We are in total agreement.

    With regards to the "freedom" I believe in: I am a technical professional, I like to travel and do outdoor sports, I have no interest or desire to have children, I want to live an idefnitely long youthful life span (cure for aging) and, in case I don't make it the first time around, intend on cryo-preservation. I want to help create an open, unlimited future of abundance for myself and all other humans that desire such.

    If you has a problem with this, the problem is you, not me. Because I fail to see why anyone would have a problem with this. I would also never pollute my mind with any philosophy or religion that would have a problem with this either.

  181. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Darin
    According to the neo-reaction posters here, in perfect society there will be no science, because everything worth discovery had been discovered, no progress because things are perfect as they are, no ambition because everyone is at his place where he belongs. Orderly and harmonious society based on hierarchy, duty and obedience from the top to the bottom, where king is born to be king, noble is born to be noble and serf is born to be serf, and their duty is to be the best king, noble or serf as they can be.

    If you replace "King" with "World Controller", "noble" with "Alpha" and "serf" with "Omega", what is the difference between neo-reaction utopia and extreme left utopia?

    Don’t know if I’m properly NRx or not,but afaik many NRxers don’t think there is such a thing as “utopia” (hence the name) in this world. Otherwise Daniel Chieh makes good points.

    Read More
  182. @Daniel Chieh

    I have always believed that the notion that the individual does not own his or her own self is the philosophical root all tyranny.
     
    But do we? Do we even have free will? Its fashionable and easy to say that "everyone owns him, herself, xisself, theyselves" but there's plenty of evidence that we're heavily influenced by our environment to the point that the abstraction of the self is not particularly meaningful. Conformity influences us both overtly by normative pressures("If I disagree with everyone, I may be punished somehow...") as well as subconsciously by informative pressures(There are some studies that show that people anchor their ability to estimate by the overall estimates of others, so if a group estimates that a group of elephants in a picture is thirty, they will use 30 as a baseline and then go up or down slightly. There are marketers that take advantage of this). This is especially true since we make most of our decisions by heuristic reasoning and basically thoughtlessly; systematic decisions are made much more rarely.

    So for me, it comes down to this, kind of similar to racial realism. The individual ultimately doesn't have as much free will as we win, and the boundaries between the individual and the group are always a bit diffuse. Consciousness is a kind of an illusion that works largely as a self-justification engine post-decision.

    So with that understanding, I process two answers to this.

    1) While the individual isn't actually a separate entity per se, we treat him or her as such anyway.

    This is modern solution and has much to argue for it. An ideological position can have better results even if it doesn't conform exactly to reality. There are studies showing that groups that believe in an omniscient God cooperate better and use less deception - even if there is no omniscient God, the shared ideology of such is still functional.

    However, in this case, it has led to the atomistic individual and I'm of the belief that it has led to suboptimal results for many people. For example myself, and I also believe that SJWs are often seeking a sense of meaning as they fight for seemingly ridiculous causes. The lack of meaning can become a shared pain, though the reactions to such differ from person to person.

    2) Acknowledge that the individual's boundaries from the environment are fuzzy, and work out a solution as such.

    This is my personal position - acknowledge the reality of how our brains operate, and then try to build an optimal solution around that. While yes, it can justify what you call tyranny, I believe that it can also elicit great good and accomplishment. The key, of course, is to allow for exit for those who don't want to participate. Allow outliers to go where they wish, while building to maximize the lives of the vast majority.

    But do we? Do we even have free will? blah, blah, blah

    You can trot out whatever philosophical mumble jumble you want. Some of it might even be real. But you’re not about to convince me to give up self-ownership, let alone allow some external agency (god, government, whatever else?) dictate how I make my long-term strategic life choices. I’ve known what I am, what I want to become, and my long-term vision since about, oh, 1986. Anything you say is not going to change this one iota. I suggest you forget about it.

    For example myself, and I also believe that SJWs are often seeking a sense of meaning as they fight for seemingly ridiculous causes. The lack of meaning can become a shared pain, though the reactions to such differ from person to person.

    You may well be correct about this with regards to others. However, I believe I already told you once before that I do not identify with this concept of “meaning”, nor do I have any “need” for it. If others seek it, that is their right and their choice. However, they have no business, whatsoever, to impose their concept of “meaning” onto me or to use to to justify any restrictions on my private life choices or my long-term strategic life goals. Furthermore, if their concept of “meaning” requires such interference in my life, then they need to find a different “meaning” in life.

    While yes, it can justify what you call tyranny, I believe that it can also elicit great good and accomplishment.

    As long as there is no coercion involved, I have no problem with it.

    Allow outliers to go where they wish, while building to maximize the lives of the vast majority.

    We are in total agreement.

    With regards to the “freedom” I believe in: I am a technical professional, I like to travel and do outdoor sports, I have no interest or desire to have children, I want to live an idefnitely long youthful life span (cure for aging) and, in case I don’t make it the first time around, intend on cryo-preservation. I want to help create an open, unlimited future of abundance for myself and all other humans that desire such.

    If you has a problem with this, the problem is you, not me. Because I fail to see why anyone would have a problem with this. I would also never pollute my mind with any philosophy or religion that would have a problem with this either.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    I find it interesting that we are both technical professionals and possibly work with many of the similar suites, but we have come to very clearly distinct and opposing positions. I very much you appreciate taking the time to elucidate your thoughts and goals - I just have one last question for you.

    I assume that you work with technology and view it in a certain mechanistic manner - that there is some form of optimal or close to optimal solution depending on the goal: for scalability, for performance, for visibility, etc. Invariably there are tradeoffs: security usually trades off against availability, increasing quality of service may throttle data rates, and compatibility for legacy systems may impede options for performance.

    Have you ever considered society to be operated around similar technocratic measures, with citizens as stand-ins for users or other units within a typically multi-layered computing framework?

    PS: Of interest, a large part of my understanding doesn't actually come from any philosophy or religion. As mentioned, one of my degrees was in marketing, and basically I learned how explicitly we can manipulate individuals in matters small and great, and how its basically a science on how to better manipulate people. This has given me a great deal of cynicism toward the notion of the unimpeachable self.

  183. @Che Guava
    I just have to add that Vernon Vinge, while being a talented self-promoter, is an awfully bad writer.
    Read any of his books? He is a hack.

    No wonder he is a big fan of machine
    intelligence, he doesn't have much intelligence himself, ergo, it is simple for him to imagine a machine that supercedes him, only because he is a very dim bulb.

    Sure, there will be a problem of machines eliminating jobs. The energy and materials budgets for such machines will soon be prohibitive.

    People, treated well, will always be more efficient.

    How many watts does IBM's Watson draw? What scale of resources, in terms of mining, refinement, and energy is required to make the parts?

    It is impressive, sure, but incapable of generalisation.

    Set up for one task at a time.

    So, it can win a quiz game or do something else, but can't do both.

    Setting it up to write novels at the level of Vinge may well be possible. Reading Vinge is a waste of time, but his work has a much lower energy budget.

    Anatoly, I read your article in detail, and it is nice that you give a pointer to your site, but must, unlike Deep Blue, sleep.

    I think that your statistical guess-timates are wildly optimistic. May think more on those, and the range of possibilities, next nochy. Will be re-reading, although I think few of the possibilities you list are plausible, and none desirable.

    Regards.

    To be frankly honest, I don’t consider Verner Vinge to be a good writer. I liked his “Across Realtime” novels from the mid 80′s. But the rest of his stuff is really not that good.

    Read More
  184. @Abelard Lindsey

    But do we? Do we even have free will? blah, blah, blah
     
    You can trot out whatever philosophical mumble jumble you want. Some of it might even be real. But you're not about to convince me to give up self-ownership, let alone allow some external agency (god, government, whatever else?) dictate how I make my long-term strategic life choices. I've known what I am, what I want to become, and my long-term vision since about, oh, 1986. Anything you say is not going to change this one iota. I suggest you forget about it.

    For example myself, and I also believe that SJWs are often seeking a sense of meaning as they fight for seemingly ridiculous causes. The lack of meaning can become a shared pain, though the reactions to such differ from person to person.
     
    You may well be correct about this with regards to others. However, I believe I already told you once before that I do not identify with this concept of "meaning", nor do I have any "need" for it. If others seek it, that is their right and their choice. However, they have no business, whatsoever, to impose their concept of "meaning" onto me or to use to to justify any restrictions on my private life choices or my long-term strategic life goals. Furthermore, if their concept of "meaning" requires such interference in my life, then they need to find a different "meaning" in life.

    While yes, it can justify what you call tyranny, I believe that it can also elicit great good and accomplishment.
     
    As long as there is no coercion involved, I have no problem with it.

    Allow outliers to go where they wish, while building to maximize the lives of the vast majority.
     
    We are in total agreement.

    With regards to the "freedom" I believe in: I am a technical professional, I like to travel and do outdoor sports, I have no interest or desire to have children, I want to live an idefnitely long youthful life span (cure for aging) and, in case I don't make it the first time around, intend on cryo-preservation. I want to help create an open, unlimited future of abundance for myself and all other humans that desire such.

    If you has a problem with this, the problem is you, not me. Because I fail to see why anyone would have a problem with this. I would also never pollute my mind with any philosophy or religion that would have a problem with this either.

    I find it interesting that we are both technical professionals and possibly work with many of the similar suites, but we have come to very clearly distinct and opposing positions. I very much you appreciate taking the time to elucidate your thoughts and goals – I just have one last question for you.

    I assume that you work with technology and view it in a certain mechanistic manner – that there is some form of optimal or close to optimal solution depending on the goal: for scalability, for performance, for visibility, etc. Invariably there are tradeoffs: security usually trades off against availability, increasing quality of service may throttle data rates, and compatibility for legacy systems may impede options for performance.

    Have you ever considered society to be operated around similar technocratic measures, with citizens as stand-ins for users or other units within a typically multi-layered computing framework?

    PS: Of interest, a large part of my understanding doesn’t actually come from any philosophy or religion. As mentioned, one of my degrees was in marketing, and basically I learned how explicitly we can manipulate individuals in matters small and great, and how its basically a science on how to better manipulate people. This has given me a great deal of cynicism toward the notion of the unimpeachable self.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Abelard Lindsey
    Technology is but a tool, nothing more. The same is true about money as well.

    Have you ever considered society to be operated around similar technocratic measures, with citizens as stand-ins for users or other units within a typically multi-layered computing framework?
     
    This is a collectivist paradigm. I reject it utterly.

    There is no such thing as society that exists as something separate and distinct from individuals. There are only individuals. Some may come and work together for some common goal. This is desirable as long as there is no attempt to force others to join who have no interest.

    If you believe in something that requires coercion, participation by those who have no interest, my suggestion is that you need to do some soul-searching as to why you want to believe in such a thing.

    I believe Robert Heinlein was correct when he said that all political and religious labels were bogus. People divide politically and religiously into two and only two groups. Those who believe that other humans must be controlled and those who have no such desire. I am clearly in the latter category.
  185. @Simon in London
    "The Age of Malthusian Industrialism" - While on the surface this seems the most plausible - a continuation of current trends - it ignores the possibility of a step-change collapse in carrying capacity. My own view is that migration into the West must eventually result in a shift in political control of Western institutions from the outbred & high IQ natives to lower IQ & nepotistic immigrant populations, primarily from Africa, the middle East, and south Asia, with sub-Saharan Africa dominating in the longer term. This won't happen in the lifetime of the current global elites, but as long as we have democracy in the West plus continuing mass immigration it has to happen at some point, probably within the 21st century for some nations. Judging by the legacy of Decolonisation in Africa, examples such as Zimbabwe and South Africa are not encouraging.

    The USA might largely escape this since Latino immigration into the US is of lower IQ but not strongly nepotistic populations, so there is less urge to loot institutions, and a step-Change collapse is less likely in a majority-Latino USA. And Europe might conceivably escape it through abandonment of democracy for more purely technocratic rule, though I suspect this is unlikely - a majority black African population is unlikely to indefinitely accept the rule of white technocrats, and Euro-African politicians are going to want to take real power and use it to distribute wealth to their families and followers. A likely result is a Zimbabwe style collapse in carrying capacity well below theoretical maximum given the population median IQ.

    After western Europe has destroyed itself, don’t you think current intellectual thought regarding multiculturalism and diversity will be totally discredited globally on millennial time scales.
    Secondly if western Europe reduces itself to a series of relatively low population zimbabwes within 300 years what is to stop it from being reconquered and repopulated from eastern Europe, in the remaining 700.

    Read More