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I suspect he chose the bearded look originally because he looked young without it, many people (i.e. Alan Moore) explicitly choose it for those reasons. Now, I suspect he might shave it off altogether one day if he has a big breakthrough to publicize. The contrast would be quite impressive, even absent any actual technological intervention.

tl;dr it's the beard


Bump for this year's Petrov Day


Everyone's talking about this as if it was a hypothetical, but as far as I can tell it describes pretty accurately how hierarchical human civilizations tend to organize themselves once they hit a certain size. Isn't a divine ruler precisely someone who is more deserving and more able to absorb resources? Aren't the lower orders people who would not appreciate luxuries and indeed have fully internalized such a fact ("Not for the likes of me")

If you skip the equality requirement, it seems history is full of utilitarian societies.


After reading this post I came across this Bruce Lee quote which seemed in synch with the idea:

“I’ve always been buffeted by circumstances because I thought of myself as a human being affected by my outside conditioning. Now I realize that I am the power that commands the feeling of my mind and from which circumstances grow.”

I wonder if empirically and instinctively, Bruce had arrived at the same concept as this post explores.


Thanks for saving me from karmic hell, but I still don't see the conflict. I seem to follow the Vinge version, which doesn't appear to be proscribed.

I may have been too categorical, obviously one can make all the predictions he likes, and some with a high percentage of certainty, for instance "If cryorevival is possible then post singularity it will be trivial to implement" but that still doesn't give us any certainty that this will be so, for instance a post singularity paperclip maximizer would be capable of cryorevival but have no interest in it.


Depends on your objectives. If you believe the singularity is something that will happen regardless then it's harmless to spin scenarios. I gather that people like Elizier figure that the Singularity will happen unavoidably but that it can be steered towards optimum outcomes by setting down the initial parameters, in which case I suppose it's good to have an official line about "how things could be/how we want things to be"


God forbid someone might mistake our hypothetical discussions about future smarter than human artificial intelligences for science fiction.


And yet population nowadays is so much larger than in ancient times so there are claims the absolute number of slaves is currently higher than ever before


I've also encountered people who criticize the predictions surrounding the singularity, which misses the point that the singularity is the point beyond which predictions cannot be made.

edit: Didn't mean that as a comprehensive definition.


"first, do no harm"

It's remarkable that medical traditions predating transplants* already contain an injunction against butchering passers by for spare parts

*I thought this was part of the Hippocratic oath but apparently it's not

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