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Normal Ending: Last Tears (6/8)

Awww... I was so looking forward to a heartwarming description of a family feast some years later where Akon delivers a toast to the SHs for "finally restoring the natural order of things."


Failed Utopia #4-2

24 comments and no one got the reference yet?

Actually its's the other way round: The beginning of the first episode of the new TV series, especially the hands, and the globe, is a reference to your work, Eliezer.

Interpersonal Entanglement

Be warned; every time you mention catgirls into a discussion on applied theology, a physicist writes some Permutation City self-insertion fanfic.

And every time a physicist plays God, we get one step closer to making catgirls reality.

Alternatively, every time someone calls the Singularity "The Rapture of the Nerds", some catgirls get physical with each other.

(Complete list.)

Building Weirdtopia

Yoshitoshi Abe does a decent job at describing an Afterlife Weirdtopia in Haibane Renmei. Wikipedia could be seen as Knowledge Weirdtopia that became reality.

Growing Up is Hard

You're implying that the functioning of biological systems is highly sensitive to maintaining the "right" concentration of several active compounds. This is generally not correct. Quite to the contrary, "Robustness is one of the fundamental characteristics of biological systems." (Hiroaki Kitano, Molecular Systems Biology, 3:137, 2007; a good review article that contains multiple pointers to relevant publications.)

Note that this finding is quite in line with your point that functional modification of human brains is highly nontrivial - a system that is robust to failure in the sense used above is also resistant to any deliberately induced imbalance.

The layman's impression of Williams-Beuren individuals verbal skills doesn't quite hold up to closer linguistic analysis. For example, WBs are prone to make certain syntactical and morphological errors, and cannot pick up a new language faster than everyone else. If exposed to a new language, however, they will quickly pick up some words and try to wrap them around their native syntax, which may amaze bystanders who only superficially know the language in question.

As for Bostrom's "Algernon light" approach to SNP targeting, let me say I'm more concerned about my intellectual ability than about my eventual reproductive success. There could, in principle, be polymorphisms that make you a genius with a craving for a single child.

The Level Above Mine

CatAI (1998): "Precautions"/"The Prime Directive of AI"/"Inconsistency problem".

My memory may fail me, and the relevant archives don't go back that far, but I recall Ben (and/or possibly other people) suggesting you going to college, or at least enroll for a grad program in AI, on the Extropy chat list around 1999/2000. I think these suggestions were related to, but not solely based on, your financial situation at that time (which ultimately led to the creation of the SIAI, so maybe we should be glad it turned out the way it did, even if, in my opinion, following the advice would have been beneficial to you and your work.)