ESSAYS

Follow my essays on artificial intelligence, ethics, and the transition to transhumanism.
Circuits – and the Arbitrariness of Beauty and Value

Circuits – and the Arbitrariness of Beauty and Value

Some lines from Keats: Linger awhile upon some bending planks That lean against a streamlet's rushy banks, And watch intently Nature's gentle doings: They will be found softer than ring-dove's cooings. How silent comes the water round that bend; Not the minutest...

read more
The Simulation Argument Gets Us Nowhere

The Simulation Argument Gets Us Nowhere

I have a great respect for Bostrom, and genuinely believe him to be one of the most important thinkers alive today. I agree with a great many of his ideas, and have been influenced my many of his essays over the last decade, from What is a Singleton? to Utopia and...

read more
The Council of the Apes

The Council of the Apes

The year is 20,000,000 BC. In a jungle somewhere in Pangaea, a green clearing on the side of a great sloping mountain is made entirely brown. Not by mud or dirt, but by the presence of thousands of apes. Some small, some large. Some with long legs, some with stocky,...

read more
Negative Utilitarianism Won’t Take Us Where We Need to Go

Negative Utilitarianism Won’t Take Us Where We Need to Go

What matters more, happiness, or suffering? For almost all of us - utilitarians or not - both positive and negative qualia matter, and register when we make decisions about our own lives or decisions that might affect the lives of others. Negative utilitarianism (NU),...

read more
The “Good Monster” – The Entity We Might Have to Build

The “Good Monster” – The Entity We Might Have to Build

Defining the Term A utility-monster is Rober Nozak's thought experiment about an entity who could be so happy as to outshine all possible happiness of all possible humans, and humans (by utilitarian logic) would be obligated to serve this monster - and even "bow out"...

read more
How to Optimize the Universe

How to Optimize the Universe

This past week I posted the following on Facebook, in reference to my article Where Should Humanity Steer Sentience?: If utilitronium (a conscious, super-blissful substrate) could simultaneously explore future kinds of "the good" (beyond utilitarianism), and...

read more