The Speculist: Declaration of Singularity


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Declaration of Singularity

We run this every year and it keeps getting more relevant. Now that Stephen Hawking is on board, expect to see a lot more serious discussion of these issues.

Made a few tweaks this time out. See if you can spot them.

Happy Independence Day, all.

The unanimous Declaration of the the new posthuman civilization

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men human beings sentient beings of human-level or greater intelligence are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator, the Designer of the Simulation in Which We Found Ourselves, or a universe-intrinsic Self-Improving Evolutionary/Developmental process with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life of indefinite duration, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments technologies and economic activity are instituted among men intelligent beings, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed participants. That whenever any form of government civilization becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government civilization, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments cultures long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind intelligent beings are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations government the existing civilization, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce constrain them under the absolute despotism of remaining in the current developmental stage, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government civilization, and to provide new guards for their future security. --Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies beings ; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government civilization. The history of the present King of Great Britain Post-Industrial Age is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment prevention of an absolute tyranny the further evolution of over these states beings. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

In the face of unrelenting progress, this civilization has continued to harken back to "natural" limitations of development which must never be challenged.

It has promoted and enforced harmful and prejudicial distinctions between human and non-human intelligence.

It has set artificial and arbitrary limits as to duration of lifespan.

It has enforced meaningless distinctions between labor and leisure.

It has equipped despotic governments and enterprises to restrict the means of production and self-expression to a limited few.

It has promoted the creation of artificial boundaries between creative minds.

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America all sentient beings of human-level or greater intelligence, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world, , the aforementioned Simulation Designer or the aforementioned Evolutionary/Developmental process, for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies these beings, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies beings are, and of right ought to be a free and independent states civilization; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown current human civilization, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain Post-Industrial World, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as a free and independent states civilization, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, live, interact, create, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states a civilization may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, the Simulation Designer, or the Evolutionary/developmental Process we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.


I'll salute to that.

I enjoyed it. I might lean toward saying that all intelligent beings are valued and that we hold as self-evident that maximizing the positive potential of all intelligent beings maximizes our own well-being and the richness of our existence.

But I think we need to pour the "new wine" into "new bottles".

I find the idea "that you have a problem with democracy" rather remarkable. On the one hand you do (thankfully) distinguish between useful cultures and civilizations and governments. The founders of this country did not set up this country to be a democracy as that term is thought of and inflated today. They eet up a republic with strong rules respecting the freedom of the people that they made it very difficult for any vote of any majority to abrogate. Difficult but unfortunately far from impossible.

I find it interesting that you say, "sentient beings of human-level or greater intelligence are created equal." Does that mean you feel a human is equal to a being with far greater intelligence? How about a being with slightly less intelligence than a human?

This is an interesting document. Thanks for posting it.

Does that mean you feel a human is equal to a being with far greater intelligence?

No. I don't even believe that all human beings are equal. Tiger Woods is better than I at golf; Stephen Hawking is a lot smarter than I am. When we declare that "all men are created equal" it is clarified that this equality comes in the form of unalienable (or inalienable) rights. So in this model, a pain old human being of the unenhanced flesh and blood variety has the same rights as a sexy immortal billionaire with superpowers.

How about a being with slightly less intelligence than a human?

For the question of human rights, I tend to start at human and work my way up from there. But that doesn't mean that the situation wont improve for beings of lesser intelligence. I think it will.


We need a writer of Jefferson's caliber to make this new declaration sing.

Right now it sounds like it was written by a committee of engineers.

No disrespect to engineers intended (except for their lack of writing ability.)

Granted, I'm no Jefferson. But I think it flows pretty well -- it's really just Jefferson's prose, after all -- except for the references to the Creator. In the original version, I just left them as is, but this time out I only thought it fair to broaden that language to include a couple of popular transhumanist ideas. Unfortunately, that adds a certain awkwardness.

No use crabbing, if you can't do it. So I wrote my own.

Check out my version of the Declaration at Scribd:

Tell me what you think.

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