So, with the singularity apparently about 15 years away, I find myself pondering the question of why am I here and what am I good at in a different light.

The only meaningful answer I can come up with is to experience things from my point of view. I have no doubt a artificial neural network that’s bigger than I am can write better music, better text, better code. But it can’t *experience* in the same way I can – I don’t doubt that it can experience a conscious experience, but it’s going to be *different*. I think. It’ll be hard to even really find out the answer to that question, but for the moment I assume what I bring to the table isn’t so much intelligence as it is a particular, unique flavor.

One thing I’d really be curious to find is someone else with a blog similar to mine. I feel a lot of the time like I’m pretty unique, but perhaps there are in fact millions of people like me out there. (Although you would think if there were, capitalism would have died a honorable death, replaced by something that worked better, by now)

I actually sometimes think capitalism would work beautifully, if everyone understood the money had no value. That it’s not the basic system that’s flawed, but rather the set of ideas we’ve built up on top of it.

But I remind myself of the great depression. And what’s impressive to me about the great depression is there was no shortage of steel, or copper, or food, or power. The shortage was of money flowing. And we accepted that.

Sometimes I think humans are entirely too caught up in the rule of law. The sexting teens being arrested are a impressive example of this, but there are tons of examples. We think A: we need to make rules and B: we need to punish people who don’t follow them, even when they were stupid rules.

But then, I’m not the average person. I read the bible saying to stone gay people and know, this isn’t the work of a higher power and never was. Others read it saying that and say, that’s god’s word, we’d rather our children commit suicide than change our minds about that. (I’m looking at you, Mormons.. )

Anyway, back to the original topic. So, I don’t think I will be obsolete even when there are life forms more advanced than I am, because I don’t think they’ll be able to experience the world the same way I do. Now, granted, I’d really rather be experiencing a much better world, which is part of why I like the idea of there being life forms more advanced than I am – it’s possible that if we build something with a trillion neurons, and it explains to us how dumb our economic system is, we might just listen. Or perhaps it’ll explain to us that it’s absolutely perfect, and then it’ll explain why in a way that can reach me, and I’ll no longer feel like my friends are constantly barely making ends meet mostly because we built a badly designed world.

One Response to “Obsolescence”

  1. Alderin Says:

    I think the concept of obsolescence is overrated. A simple example: The NES is obsolete, but the games are still fun and that enjoyment is still valid. Nintendo even still sells the titles to run in their own emulators on newer consoles.

    That brings an interesting point: the hardware is obsolete, but not the software. Perhaps our bodies and physical configuration will become obsolete, but our patterns of thought, our experiential existence, will remain valid long afterward.

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