Thursday, May 20, 2010
Why I Quit Reading Science Fiction
I used to read a lot of science fiction and popular science when I was young. One the things I most enjoyed about it was the encounter with what used to be described as "mind blowing" concepts -- the sort of thing these guys are throwing around. At some point, however, I ceased to care about such things. Today I listen to these sorts of discussions and they seem to be terminally silly, as does the literature based on them. It may be possible in some distant future to download human consciousness onto a sufficiently powerful computer, but I will not be around to see or experience it. Nevertheless it was interesting to listen to these guys talk about the concept, simply because of their differing approaches to the subject. Eliezer Yudkowski is a techocratic enthusiast and a transhumanist. He scares the hell out of me. Massimo Pigliucci is a far more interesting thinker who concerns himself with the moral and societal implications of technology. Their discussion is worth a listen if only to illustrate the sort of things skiffy people are thinking about.