Underlinings (#8)

Still defaulting to Bostrom as a foot-tapping exercise. Another crucial insight (p.63-4):

Slow [superintelligence] takeoff scenarios offer excellent opportunities for human political processes to adapt and respond. Different approaches can be tried and tested in sequence. New experts can be trained and credentialed. Grassroots campaigns can be mobilized by groups that feel they are being disadvantaged by unfolding developments. … Fast takeoff scenarios offer scant opportunity for humans to deliberate. Nobody need notice anything unusual before the game is already lost.

Anthropol has to be anti-accelerationist implicitly. Nothing else is compatible with a human security agenda.

(As Sunzi understood — speed is the essence of war.)

Underlinings (#7)

Another from Bostrom (p.58-9):

… one can speculate that the tardiness and wobbliness of humanity’s progress on many of the “eternal problems” of philosophy are due to the unsuitability of the human cortex for philosophical work. On this view, our most celebrated philosophers are like dogs walking on their hind legs — just barely attaining the threshold of performance required for engaging in the activity at all.


Norbert Wiener, from The Human User of Human Beings (1950, Da Capo edition, p.24-5):

This control of a machine on the basis of its actual performance rather than its expected performance is known as feedback, and involves sensory members which are actuated by motor members and perform the function of tell-tales or monitors — that is, of elements which indicate a performance. It is the function of these mechanisms to control the mechanical tendency towards disorganization; in other words, to produce a temporary and local reversal of the normal direction of entropy.

So — if “cybernetics really is dead” — what kind of circuitry malfunction has taken place?

Underlinings (#3)

Melanie Swan takes Bitcoin really seriously, concluding:

Blockchains are a new form of information technology that might have several important future applications. One is blockchain thinking, formulating thinking as a blockchain process. This could have benefits for both artificial intelligence and human enhancement, and their potential integration. Blockchain thinking is proposed as an input- processing-output computational system with several features. First, memories and all input elements are seen as discrete units that are encoded, stored, and universally-accessible, perhaps with multiple copies and versions (such as the soft- hashing of ideas in development). Second, processing might be instantiated in a massively distributed architecture that is not available in human brains, yet still comprises the nonlinearity of human thought. Third, the outputs of blockchain thinking might include the ability to realize smart-contract based utility functions, instantiate thinking as a power law, orchestrate digital mindfile uploads, advocate for digital intelligences in future timeframes, and facilitate the enactment of Friendly AI. Blockchain thinking might give rise to new forms of consensus models such as self-mining ecologies and proof of intelligence, and make use of demurrage principles to redistribute brain currencies like ideas and potentiation. Blockchains and blockchain thinking might be not just a tool for the immediate progress of intelligence, but also for the longer-term transition to a world of multispecies intelligence living cohesively and productively in digital societies.

Underlinings (#2)

Natasha Dow Schüll in the Casino (p.217):

The gambling industry invests a great deal of resources and creative energy into the project of helping gamblers to ‘lose’ themselves — experientially and financially. Slot designers’ goal is to build machines that can extract maximum ‘revenue per available customer’, or revpac, and of this all-consuming objective they talk freely and explicitly among themselves — on conference panels, in journals, and in the aisles and meeting lounges of exposition floors. How to get people to gamble longer, faster, and more intensively? How to turn casual players into repeat players? How, in other words, to design the zone?

Underlinings (#1)

Meillassoux (here, p.829):

… when you think, you must pass by way of language, and thus you must use a certain number of linguistic units. For example, the declaration ‘I love you’ (in English) has three words, eight letters, five vowels, etc. — it produces a series of implicit numerical counts. But these counts are a matter of pure chance, of a simple dice throw, in regard to the meaning of the phrase. There is no link between the meaning of the phrase ‘I love you’ and the numbers 3, 8, and 5 — no link, that is, apart from a purely chance one. However, what is proper to the poem is precisely to contest this purely chance link between thought and count, by associating the meaning of the verse to the enumeration of the syllables necessary to formulate it. …