Re: transcendence

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From: Eugene Leitl (
Date: Sat May 13 2000 - 19:31:27 PDT

Tom Sweetnam writes:

> Yet the only selfless thing he ever did in his life was to dive on a
> grenade and save the lives of several others around him who were pinned down
> by an NVA machine-gunner. Unfortunately, Rocky's act of bravado, his swan
> song exit as it were, is just about as dramatic an example of a misguided
> meme complex destroying its host as I've ever been privy to. He went a lot
> faster than that monk did though, of that I am certain.
Which lives did the Buddhist monk save in his act of self-immolation?
How many behavioral algorithms did he fail to express by removing him
from future iterations of the game?

Moreover, that Rocky guy would been most likely thoroughly shrapnelled
TNT-flavoured dead meat whether he belly-dropped upon that grenade, or
not. (Luckily, I haven never been in such a situation, so I can't
comment). The outcome matrix for that particular iteration of the game
looks quite clear. (You have heard about Iterated Prisonner's Dilemma,
haven't you?).
> As one might expect, owing to the sentimental fools who write such things,
> there is nary a reference to memes in his Congressional Medal of Honor
> citation. I'm pretty sure the others who were within eternity's doorstep of
> that grenade saw something quite different than a misguided meme complex
> destroying its host as well, but they were young grunts after all, and not
> the most sophisticated souls on the least not at that point in
> their lives. So I'll go ahead and stick my neck way out here, and hazard a
> guess that what they saw in the A Shau Valley that day, was the same thing
> that I saw on that street in Hue -an example of "evolution in action", an
> example of transcendense. After all Eugene, what pot of gold is there at
> the end of this rainbow we call evolution, besides transcendence?

I dunno, I think the act of living is sufficiently fun all by itself,
so it doesn't require any further legitimation (some people will
disagree, as for instance late Sasha Chislenko (peace to his ashes)).

As to transcendence (which will be hopefully guided by the Hedonistic
Imperative), it is the same as with any event horizonts: none of the
observers passing it notice anything out of the ordinary. If we stick
around long enough, we'll should be able to find this out in the first
person. If not, well, c'est la mort.

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