Re: Risk Tolerance, HaL, The Rules vs. Democracy, and Tyranny

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From: Jeff Bone (
Date: Fri Aug 18 2000 - 16:09:46 PDT

> Jeff, I've been doing this for far, far longer
> than you have.

If there's one thing about your whole stance that bugs me the most, this is
indicative of it. You seem like you *absolutely* believe that nobody can
have a valid position on these issues that is counter to yours, because,
well, you just know better, have thought more about it, have been "doing it"
far longer, etc.

Here's a couple of anecdotes. In 1987 or thereabouts, I got to hear Eric
Drexler give a little talk at UT on a really far-out, wacky subject:
nanotechnology. It was so low profile that about 20 people showed up; it
wasn't even in a lecture hall, rather an unused smallish classroom in the
library with no chairs. We all stood up. It was an eye-opener of a
conversation. Hmm... the same year or thereabouts, I was ditching my
boring undergrad classes to audit a grad class taught by John McCarthy (on
loan) entitled "Epistemological Problems in Artificial Intelligence."
Hmm... (I had to look up "epistemological" at that point. It's kind of a
word I wish I'd never met. ;-)

Now, about that time, what were you up to? In your FAQ, you claim that your
epiphany occurred at age 11 when you read _Great Mambo Chicken..._. Okay.
You're 21 now. Okay. That would've meant 1990.

Now, I'm not *claiming* that I've thought about this stuff *more* or *more
validly* than you. I'm just pointing out that, just possibly, there might
be other people who have had the opportunity to consider some of this stuff
for a few more years now, and basically it's just silly to make remarks like
the above to underscore your authority when, in fact, you just don't know.
Especially with people you essentially know nothing about.


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