Before seeing this subthread, I interpreted it almost exactly opposite. I thought of "I want the world to be saved" as just that, but "I want to save the world" as meaning "I want the world to be saved, and I am willing to work toward this goal myself." Sort of along the lines of this exchange from Terry Prachett's The Wee Free Men:

‘Ah. Something bad is happening.’

Tiffany looked worried.

‘Can I stop it?’

‘And now I’m slightly impressed,’ said Miss Tick. ‘You said, “Can I stop it?”, not “Can anyone stop it?” or “Can we stop it?” That’s good. You accept responsibility. That’s a good start.

When I say that I want to save the world, that's what I try to mean.

'Ah. Something bad is happening.'

Tiffany looked worried.

‘Can I stop it?’

‘And now I’m slightly impressed,’ said Miss Tick. ‘You said, “Can I stop it?”, not “Can anyone stop it?” or “Can we stop it?” That’s good. You accept responsibility. That’s a good start.

I personally think it is a horrible start. That is the kind of start that leads to young men with boxcutters boarding airplanes, with the Crusades as one intermediate step in the causal chain. It is the kind of start that leads to brave little fellows in kilts bashing everyone around ... (read more)

People who want to save the world

by Giles 1 min read15th May 2011247 comments

5


atucker wants to save the world.
ciphergoth wants to save the world.
Dorikka wants to save the world.
Eliezer_Yudkowsky wants to save the world.
I want to save the world.
Kaj_Sotala wants to save the world.
lincolnquirk wants to save the world.
Louie wants to save the world.
paulfchristiano wants to save the world.
Psy-Kosh wants to save the world.

Clearly the list I've given is incomplete. I imagine most members of the Singularity Institute belong here; otherwise their motives are pretty baffling. But equally clearly, the list will not include everyone.

What's my point? My point is that these people should be cooperating. But we can't cooperate unless we know who we are. If you feel your name belongs on this list then add a top-level comment to this thread, and feel free to add any information about what this means to you personally or what plans you have. Or it's enough just to say, "I want to save the world".

This time, no-one's signing up for anything. I'm just doing this to let you know that you're not alone. But maybe some of us can find somewhere to talk that's a little quieter.