AudenSeptember 1, Lines ; for a anthology text the poet changed this line to "We must love one another and die" to avoid what he regarded as a falsehood in the original. Excess resources, which until now have been a gift of technological progress, therefore switch and become a casualty of it at a sufficiently high tech level.
In the environment of evolutionary adaptedness, a healthy sex drive may have been enough to make an individual act in ways that maximized her reproductive potential; in the modern environment, however, there would be a huge selective advantage to having a more direct desire for being the biological parent to the largest possible number of chilren.
As a result, some pretty wild tributaries and rapids form in some very strange places. It looks a lot like even though they are outbreeding us, we are outmeme-ing them, and that gives us a decisive advantage. If this seems counterintuitive in light of the negative relationship between wealth and fertility that we are currently observing on the global scale, we must remind ourselves that this modern age is a brief slice of history and very much an aberration.
We all need to make a voluntary pact to use filters. Moloch in whom I sit lonely. He has permanently won all competitions and is not competing for anything, and therefore he is perfectly free of Moloch and of the incentives that would otherwise channel his incentives into predetermined paths.
But if we have bound Moloch as our servant, the bonds are not very strong, and we sometimes find that the tasks he has done for us move to his advantage rather than ours. Bostrom makes an offhanded reference of the possibility of a dictatorless dystopia, one that every single citizen including the leadership hates but which nevertheless endures unconquered.
Imagine a profit-maximizing slavemaster who decided to cut costs by not feeding his slaves or letting them sleep.
Every single citizen hates the system, but for lack of a good coordination mechanism it endures.
We just analogized the flow of incentives to the flow of a river. Wake up in Moloch. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. The dimension along which this metaphorical river flows must be time, and the most important change in human civilization over time is the change in technology. Suppose you are one of the first rats introduced onto a pristine island.
As soon as the utility of the Ethiopians is no longer necessary for profit, all pressure to maintain it disappears. Maybe he would like to pay his workers more, or give them nicer working conditions. All we would have to do is require early registration of studies to avoid publication bias, turn this new and powerful statistical technique into the new standard, and accord higher status to scientists who do replication experiments.
What sphinx of cement and aluminum breaks open their skulls and eats up their imagination. But not only have we not yet reached the sea, but we also seem to move uphill surprisingly often.
But any country that fails to spend enough money on defense risks being invaded by a neighboring country that did.
In a couple generations, the island has ten thousand rats and has reached its carrying capacity. From within the system, cancerous cells will proliferate and outcompete the other — so that only the existence of the immune system keeps the natural incentive to turn cancerous in check.
Why do things not degenerate more and more until we are back at subsistence level. Government are competing against one another to get elected or promoted.
We can tell this because everything is going downhill rapidly. We dance to a song of heartbreak and hope. If this seems counterintuitive in light of the negative relationship between wealth and fertility that we are currently observing on the global scale, we must remind ourselves that this modern age is a brief slice of history and very much an aberration.
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