SingInst bloomberg coverage [link]

post by Dr_Manhattan · 2011-12-19T19:31:41.651Z · score: 5 (8 votes) · LW · GW · Legacy · 16 comments

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/12/19/BUFU1MD58T.DTL&type=printable

16 comments

Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by Incorrect · 2011-12-19T21:14:30.008Z · score: 13 (13 votes) · LW · GW

They're adherents of the Singularity, a sort of nerd rapture that will occur when machines become smarter than people and begin advancing technological change on their own, eventually outpacing and - in a worst-case scenario - enslaving people before getting bored and grinding us up into fleshy pulp. This, as it happens, resembles the prospect that had the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, all worked up.

Well that's a strawman if I ever saw one. This is past the point where embellishment becomes deception.

comment by David_Gerard · 2011-12-19T23:01:12.669Z · score: 22 (22 votes) · LW · GW

The stuff about SIAI is pretty positive in the context of the rest, but that paragraph reaches actually quite daunting levels of not giving a shit, and I speak as someone with experience in being paid badly enough for journalism not to give a shit. I almost admire the writer's ability to wreak such epistemological violence in so few simple sentences, in a manner that it would be hard to complain effectively to her editor about. And I thought I hated tech journalism.

comment by Karmakaiser · 2011-12-20T03:36:15.997Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

It was elegantly, and concisely wrong. It was like Nega-Prachett.

comment by Normal_Anomaly · 2011-12-22T23:37:38.999Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I am going to steal that description.

comment by Kevin · 2011-12-20T01:40:40.414Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Regardless, this is still one of the best mainstream journalism pieces of existential risk, ever.

comment by David_Gerard · 2011-12-20T11:17:33.378Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

That's really not saying a lot.

comment by Douglas_Knight · 2011-12-20T04:04:29.327Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Have you read Kaczynski?

comment by David_Gerard · 2011-12-20T11:14:53.591Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

That the sentence fragment is technically accurate does not somehow make it not poisoning the well.

comment by fetidodor · 2011-12-20T06:58:29.789Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Personally, no, is that what he really talks about?

comment by saturn · 2011-12-20T09:58:36.971Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

He does touch on the idea of a singleton that enslaves humanity, as one of several possible negative outcomes of our not renouncing technology and destroying modern society.

(It's been about 10 years since I read his manifesto, so I'm not very confident that I remember it accurately.)

comment by Dr_Manhattan · 2011-12-20T02:55:04.882Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW · GW

BTW, the author and I share the same employer, she's an email away from getting 'suggestions' if you have any really good ones.

comment by Manfred · 2011-12-22T01:14:01.468Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Well, if you're going to use the phrase "nerd rapture," at least mention that there are multiple ideas about what sort of technological change would qualify as a "singularity," and the "nerd rapture" is often called the "dreaded fourth definition" :)

comment by Kevin · 2011-12-20T01:40:01.473Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW · GW

This was syndicated to sfgate, http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/guardians-of-the-apocalypse-12152011.html is the original which has an awesome Nick Bostrom based pixel art infographic.

comment by lukeprog · 2012-01-06T01:42:48.409Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The printed copy is even better. Check out the pullquote on the last page.

comment by false_vacuum · 2011-12-20T13:01:46.410Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

“There are a number of people who have knowledge in this field that estimate humanity’s chance at making it through this century at about 50 percent,” Schwall says. “Even if that number is way off and it’s one in a billion, that’s too high for me.”

Presumably he meant something different.

comment by Normal_Anomaly · 2011-12-22T23:39:31.221Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

The first part, with its references to the Unabomber and the "nerd rapture," had me expecting a load of criticism of SIAI. The amount of respect it got in the second half was surprising. Anecdotal evidence that SIAI is doing a good job of setting itself up as the respectable, sane, not-Ray-Kurzweil version of existential risk advocacy.