The only way I envisage collapse might happen is via full-scale thermonuclear war and a strategic interchange between the superpowers. — David Pearce
Do you think super-intelligence will be achieved and enjoyed incrementally, or will this happen in a single exceptional leap? Is the present brain capable of being uplifted to super-intelligence, or will it be necessary to design a better biological brain-build before uplift can occur? A bigger, better frontal cortex; a less volatile limbic system, more memory, better sensory processing? Brains much smaller than ours manage remarkably complex behavior (but just skip over philosophy). Can our brains be made a more efficient structure, before we add a practice effect? — Bitter Crank
Transhumanists don’t advocate intracranial self-stimulation — David Pearce
Neuralink? It’s just a foretaste. If all goes well, everyone will be able to enjoy “narrow” superintelligence on embedded neurochips – the mature successors to today’s crude prototypes. — David Pearce
For a start, uniform bliss wouldn’t be evolutionarily stable; — David Pearce
biotech can liberate us from the obscene horrors and everyday squalor of Darwinian life. — David Pearce
Transhumanists don’t advocate getting “blissed out”. — David Pearce
Information-sensitivity is critical to preserving critical insight, social responsibility and intellectual progress. — David Pearce
Only technology (artificial intelligence, robotics, CRISPR, synthetic gene drives, preimplantation genetic screening and counselling) can allow intelligent moral agents to reprogram the biosphere and deliver good health for all sentient beings.
Global warming? There are geoengineering fixes.
Overpopulation? Fertility rates are plunging worldwide.
Famine? More people now suffer from obesity than undernutrition. — David Pearce
I share some of Jacques Ellul's reservations about the effects of technology. But only biotechnology can recalibrate the hedonic treadmill, eradicate the biology of involuntary pain and suffering, and deliver a world based on gradients of intelligent bliss: — David Pearce
Jacques Ellul himself was deeply religious. [...] But science promises the most profound spiritual revolution of all time. Tomorrow’s molecular biology can identify the molecular signatures of spiritual experience, refine and amplify its biological substrates, and deliver life-long spiritual ecstasies beyond the imagination of even the most god-intoxicated temporal-lobe epileptic. — David Pearce
One example is status quo bias. A benevolent superintelligence would never have created a monstrous world such as ours. Nor (presumably) would benevolent superintelligence show status quo bias. But the nature of selection pressure means that philosopher David Benatar’s plea for voluntary human extinction via antinatalism (Better Never To Have Been (2008)) is doomed to fall on deaf ears. Apocalyptic fantasies are futile too (cf. https://www.hedweb.com/quora/2015.html#dptrans).
So the problem of suffering is soluble only by biological-genetic means. — David Pearce
Better tools of decision-theoretic rationality?
Compare the metaphysical individualism presupposed by the technically excellent LessWrong FAQ (cf. https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/2rWKkWuPrgTMpLRbp/lesswrong-faq) with the richer conception of decision-theoretic rationality employed by a God-like full-spectrum superintelligence that could impartially access all possible first-person perspectives and act accordingly (cf. https://www.hedweb.com/quora/2015.html#individualism).
So how can biological humans develop such tools of God-like rationality?
As you say, it’s a monumental challenge. Forgive me for ducking it here. — David Pearce
By contrast, the fleeting synchronic unity of the self is real, scientifically unexplained (cf. the binding problem) and genetically adaptive. How a pack of supposedly decohered membrane-bound neurons achieves a classically impossible feat of virtual world-making leads us into deep philosophical waters. But whatever the explanation, I think empty individualism is true. Thus I share with my namesakes – the authors of The Hedonistic Imperative (1995) – the view that we ought to abolish the biology of suffering in favour of genetically-programmed gradients of superhuman bliss. Yet my namesakes elsewhere in tenselessly existing space-time (or Hilbert space) physically differ from the multiple David Pearces (DPs) responding to your question. Using numerical superscripts, e.g. DP564356, DP54346 (etc), might be less inappropriate than using a single name. But even “DP” here is misleading because such usage suggests an enduring carrier of identity. No such enduring carrier exists, merely modestly dynamically stable patterns of fundamental quantum fields. Primitive primate minds were not designed to “carve Nature at the joints”. — David Pearce, Quora Answers by David Pierce
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