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Would utopia be meaningless?

Eitan_Zohar
Posts: 2,697
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11/16/2013 12:50:49 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
"Imagine that, after your death, you were cryogenically frozen and eventually resurrected in a benevolent utopia ruled by a godlike artificial intelligence.

Naturally, you desire to read up on what has happened after your death. It turns out that you do not have to read anything, but merely desire to know something and the knowledge will be integrated as if it had been learnt in the most ideal and unbiased manner. If certain cognitive improvements are necessary to understand certain facts, your computational architecture will be expanded appropriately.

You now perfectly understand everything that has happened and what has been learnt during and after the technological singularity, that took place after your death. You understand the nature of reality, consciousness, and general intelligence.

Concepts such as creativity or fun are now perfectly understood mechanical procedures that you can easily implement and maximize, if desired. If you wanted to do mathematics, you could trivially integrate the resources of a specialized Matrioshka brain into your consciousness and implement and run an ideal mathematician.

But you also learnt that everything you could do has already been done, and that you could just integrate that knowledge as well, if you like. All that is left to be discovered is highly abstract mathematics that requires the resources of whole galaxy clusters.

So you instead consider to explore the galaxy. But you become instantly aware that the galaxy is unlike the way it has been depicted in old science fiction novels. It is just a wasteland, devoid of any life. There are billions of barren planets, differing from each other only in the most uninteresting ways.

But surely, you wonder, there must be fantastic virtual environments to explore. And what about sex? Yes, sex! But you realize that you already thoroughly understand what it is that makes exploration and sex fun. You know how to implement the ideal adventure in which you save people of maximal sexual attractiveness. And you also know that you could trivially integrate the memory of such an adventure, or simulate it a billion times in a few nanoseconds, and that the same is true for all possible permutations that are less desirable.

You realize that the universe has understood itself.

The movie has been watched.

The game has been won.

The end."


From here: http://kruel.co...

Moar reading:
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http://kruel.co...

Thoughts? Will we ever reach some kind of 'peak' of maximal utility? Or will it be logarithmic progression?
"It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book."
cybertron1998
Posts: 5,818
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11/16/2013 2:44:43 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
You know its funny the word "utopia" is a combination of the words "eutopia" meaning good place and "otopia" meaning no place. But aside from that utopia would be a place where everybody agreed about everything. If that was the case then nothing would advance.
Epsilon: There are so many stories where some brave hero decides to give their life to save the day, and because of their sacrifice, the good guys win, the survivors all cheer, and everybody lives happily ever after. But the hero... never gets to see that ending. They'll never know if their sacrifice actually made a difference. They'll never know if the day was really saved. In the end, they just have to have faith.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,252
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11/16/2013 2:46:26 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/16/2013 2:44:43 PM, cybertron1998 wrote:
You know its funny the word "utopia" is a combination of the words "eutopia" meaning good place and "otopia" meaning no place. But aside from that utopia would be a place where everybody agreed about everything. If that was the case then nothing would advance.

By that logic, nothing would need to be advanced.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,252
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11/16/2013 2:48:02 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/16/2013 2:46:26 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 11/16/2013 2:44:43 PM, cybertron1998 wrote:
You know its funny the word "utopia" is a combination of the words "eutopia" meaning good place and "otopia" meaning no place. But aside from that utopia would be a place where everybody agreed about everything. If that was the case then nothing would advance.

By that logic, nothing would need to be advanced.

Actually nvm. I guess I just disagree with your definition of utopia.
cybertron1998
Posts: 5,818
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11/16/2013 2:51:22 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/16/2013 2:48:02 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 11/16/2013 2:46:26 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 11/16/2013 2:44:43 PM, cybertron1998 wrote:
You know its funny the word "utopia" is a combination of the words "eutopia" meaning good place and "otopia" meaning no place. But aside from that utopia would be a place where everybody agreed about everything. If that was the case then nothing would advance.

By that logic, nothing would need to be advanced.

Actually nvm. I guess I just disagree with your definition of utopia.

And this leads to why utopia is impossible, because everyone has a different definition for it
Epsilon: There are so many stories where some brave hero decides to give their life to save the day, and because of their sacrifice, the good guys win, the survivors all cheer, and everybody lives happily ever after. But the hero... never gets to see that ending. They'll never know if their sacrifice actually made a difference. They'll never know if the day was really saved. In the end, they just have to have faith.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,252
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11/16/2013 2:56:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/16/2013 2:51:22 PM, cybertron1998 wrote:
At 11/16/2013 2:48:02 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 11/16/2013 2:46:26 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 11/16/2013 2:44:43 PM, cybertron1998 wrote:
You know its funny the word "utopia" is a combination of the words "eutopia" meaning good place and "otopia" meaning no place. But aside from that utopia would be a place where everybody agreed about everything. If that was the case then nothing would advance.

By that logic, nothing would need to be advanced.

Actually nvm. I guess I just disagree with your definition of utopia.

And this leads to why utopia is impossible, because everyone has a different definition for it

No, but it does preclude the possibility of one valid definition for 'utopia'.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,252
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11/16/2013 2:59:44 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/16/2013 2:56:04 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 11/16/2013 2:51:22 PM, cybertron1998 wrote:
At 11/16/2013 2:48:02 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 11/16/2013 2:46:26 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 11/16/2013 2:44:43 PM, cybertron1998 wrote:
You know its funny the word "utopia" is a combination of the words "eutopia" meaning good place and "otopia" meaning no place. But aside from that utopia would be a place where everybody agreed about everything. If that was the case then nothing would advance.

By that logic, nothing would need to be advanced.

Actually nvm. I guess I just disagree with your definition of utopia.

And this leads to why utopia is impossible, because everyone has a different definition for it

No, but it does preclude the possibility of one valid definition for 'utopia'.

If not its definition, then its implementation or practical manifestation.
AnDoctuir
Posts: 11,060
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11/16/2013 3:06:59 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I've often thought about this, thinking that bringing about utopia might be synonymous with euthanising existence. But then you have a look at the world, the people in it, and realise that ever single thing they do is really just in fear. They think they're just partaking in random pleasures, but they're not. Everything is security building, self-justifying, every soul in existence is writhing in existential dread. Your adventurers are not really actually adventurers at all, but conquerors, and then it comes down to morality for me.

Your appeal to the feeling of victory as meaningful is fail, you do not understand that feeling.
AnDoctuir
Posts: 11,060
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11/16/2013 3:09:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Watch this video YYW posted aboout psychopath recently:

That dude who spoke about how he always wondered what human flesh tasted like, the high capitalist - he's your poster boy for the feeling of victory, a man demented by his circumstances.
AnDoctuir
Posts: 11,060
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11/16/2013 3:17:39 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Is it better to live in complete fear than peacefully as a complete automaton? I would say no.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,252
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11/16/2013 3:25:00 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/16/2013 3:06:59 PM, AnDoctuir wrote:
I've often thought about this, thinking that bringing about utopia might be synonymous with euthanising existence. But then you have a look at the world, the people in it, and realise that ever single thing they do is really just in fear. They think they're just partaking in random pleasures, but they're not. Everything is security building, self-justifying, every soul in existence is writhing in existential dread. Your adventurers are not really actually adventurers at all, but conquerors, and then it comes down to morality for me.

Your appeal to the feeling of victory as meaningful is fail, you do not understand that feeling.

This is not cohernet. You know that, right?
AnDoctuir
Posts: 11,060
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11/16/2013 3:27:57 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/16/2013 3:25:00 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 11/16/2013 3:06:59 PM, AnDoctuir wrote:
I've often thought about this, thinking that bringing about utopia might be synonymous with euthanising existence. But then you have a look at the world, the people in it, and realise that ever single thing they do is really just in fear. They think they're just partaking in random pleasures, but they're not. Everything is security building, self-justifying, every soul in existence is writhing in existential dread. Your adventurers are not really actually adventurers at all, but conquerors, and then it comes down to morality for me.

Your appeal to the feeling of victory as meaningful is fail, you do not understand that feeling.

This is not cohernet. You know that, right?

No, you're just retarded.
AnDoctuir
Posts: 11,060
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11/16/2013 3:31:43 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
The reason people enjoy soaps is because they're trying to bury their familial situations in them, the reason people smoke is because they're trying to convince themselves they want to die in the end anyway. It's all retarded self-justification/security building, and everyone has lost sight of that and thinks it's just pleasure, just random pleasure. But it's not. And so pleasure is derived from what? Fear? Putting down fear? And so make a more sincere and sensible effort to put down fear.

There is no difference between laughing and crying, most laughter is maniacal. Zero is bliss.
AnDoctuir
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11/16/2013 3:34:27 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
In fact all laughter is maniacal. There's only one smile I find pleasing on a person, and that's the smile where they feel like they belong. I can take self-justification that far, but when they're feeling like they belong in complete monstrosity, then I have to say something.
AnDoctuir
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11/16/2013 3:36:24 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/16/2013 2:44:43 PM, cybertron1998 wrote:
You know its funny the word "utopia" is a combination of the words "eutopia" meaning good place and "otopia" meaning no place. But aside from that utopia would be a place where everybody agreed about everything. If that was the case then nothing would advance.

That is interesting.
Eitan_Zohar
Posts: 2,697
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11/16/2013 9:00:07 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
The amount of crazy on this thread is a bit out of hand, even for DDO. Tone it down.
"It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book."
YYW
Posts: 36,375
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11/16/2013 9:04:26 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
In order to answer that question, we must first conceive man as having the capacity to be without flaw, that is to say, to be perfect -and to do so is to assume that man must be something that he cannot be, because man is always already flawed. I know that there are some, like Jean Jacques Rousseau, who would pontificate to the contrary, but his is a criticism of social order that presupposes something innate in man which could have never been the case. But, my poking fun at enlightenment philosophy aside, there is something more to be said about this question...

I do buy into the idea that meaning in life is contingent upon progress towards some idealized end, some better place. The reason I buy into that idea is first, even though man could never be perfect, that does not mean that he cannot move in that direction. The second reason is that in the moment that we give up, that we stop moving, that we try only to maintain what we have, or that we decide that it's just not worth it anymore, then we have given up hope, and thus resigned ourselves to a life no better than we are now. For some of us, life's not all that bad. For others, that is less the case -and to the extent that our lives could be better the work has not yet come to an end and the dreams we share live on.

The mystics, and more or less the lot of Russia's novelists, are all pretty sure that we're going to keep making the same mistakes over and over again. But, if we are going to move towards something better, we have to first conceive of doing so as a possibility. That is where a meaningful discussion of utopia can come in, but it is also the only context in which we can meaningfully talk about what our conceptions of utopia mean for humanity. Given that humanity is flawed, fallible and will continue to make mistakes there is the unavoidable point that utopia could never be realized on this earth -but a better world against which we measure ourselves gives us something to aspire for. Likewise, it is that aspiration that guides our action, that orders our choices and that disciplines our behavior.

So, utopia in concept is not without meaning -but the OP's thought exercise is, because it is predicated upon what it would mean for Man to be in Utopia, and that could never be the case. Even still, it is absolutely necessary to reiterate that even though utopia, heaven, nirvana, etc. will never be realized on this earth, that is no reason not to try to move in that direction. Society may never be capable of being perfect, but it can be made more perfect. That was, in fact, the most foundational premise of American exceptionalism, the core of American idealism, and the bedrock of American constitutionalism. It is by no coincidence that "we the people... do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America" ...that whatever we do, we do it "in order to form a more perfect union."
Tsar of DDO
AnDoctuir
Posts: 11,060
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11/16/2013 9:28:52 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
"The thought of death has always struck me as the most humorous thing in the world. Whereas, with you, old chap, it simply becomes lugubrious. I prefer to go to sleep. Good-night!"
Aloke
Posts: 433
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11/16/2013 10:16:41 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/16/2013 9:04:26 PM, YYW wrote:
I do buy into the idea that meaning in life is contingent upon progress towards some idealized end, some better place. The reason I buy into that idea is first, even though man could never be perfect, that does not mean that he cannot move in that direction. The second reason is that in the moment that we give up, that we stop moving, that we try only to maintain what we have, or that we decide that it's just not worth it anymore, then we have given up hope, and thus resigned ourselves to a life no better than we are now. For some of us, life's not all that bad. For others, that is less the case -and to the extent that our lives could be better the work has not yet come to an end and the dreams we share live on.

I don't see how being content with our current circumstances is a bad thing. If we fail to move in a direction towards a better place in our life, then we will consequently be miserable because of it. Even if we do succeed in reaching a more idealized end, then how long will it be until we become discontent again?

Anyways, I think every person's definition of what a utopian society would look like is different. Because of this, I think the only way for all of us to live in such a world would be through some sort of advanced virtual reality where we could make the rules as we see fit.
Iflyhigh
YYW
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11/16/2013 10:22:22 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/16/2013 10:16:41 PM, Aloke wrote:
At 11/16/2013 9:04:26 PM, YYW wrote:
I do buy into the idea that meaning in life is contingent upon progress towards some idealized end, some better place. The reason I buy into that idea is first, even though man could never be perfect, that does not mean that he cannot move in that direction. The second reason is that in the moment that we give up, that we stop moving, that we try only to maintain what we have, or that we decide that it's just not worth it anymore, then we have given up hope, and thus resigned ourselves to a life no better than we are now. For some of us, life's not all that bad. For others, that is less the case -and to the extent that our lives could be better the work has not yet come to an end and the dreams we share live on.


I don't see how being content with our current circumstances is a bad thing. If we fail to move in a direction towards a better place in our life, then we will consequently be miserable because of it. Even if we do succeed in reaching a more idealized end, then how long will it be until we become discontent again?

So, you would argue that because we'll never be satisfied that we should just never try?
Tsar of DDO
themohawkninja
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11/16/2013 10:25:11 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Utopia is subjective to the individual, and therefore always has meaning, as the concept itself is something that people naturally strive for. If utopia had no meaning (and humans knew)...

-Then all religions (that can lead to a utopian afterlife) would have no reason to be followed for any purpose whatsoever, as there would no longer be any personal benefit to being kind and morally 'just'.

-Humans would stop advancing their technology after a certain point, as they would know that there is nothing more that they can do.

-It would take the 'romance' out of those people that always strive for perfection like the owner of Pagani (watch the NatGeo documentary on the Huayra if you want to find out what I mean by perfectionism).
"Morals are simply a limit to man's potential."~Myself

Political correctness is like saying you can't have a steak, because a baby can't eat one ~Unknown
Aloke
Posts: 433
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11/16/2013 11:17:14 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/16/2013 10:22:22 PM, YYW wrote:
So, you would argue that because we'll never be satisfied that we should just never try?

No, I'm arguing that we should find satisfaction with the way things are now. I don't even think it's bad to have goals or ambitions, but I don't think the meaning of life should be to try and achieve them. At least I don't think that path will ultimately lead to a person being happy.
Iflyhigh
YYW
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11/16/2013 11:40:06 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/16/2013 11:17:14 PM, Aloke wrote:
At 11/16/2013 10:22:22 PM, YYW wrote:
So, you would argue that because we'll never be satisfied that we should just never try?

No, I'm arguing that we should find satisfaction with the way things are now.

Material things or more than material things?
Tsar of DDO
AnDoctuir
Posts: 11,060
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11/16/2013 11:47:31 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
He means that we should enjoy violent movies and stuff, YYW.....like exert a sort of control over the violence and bad in the world that isn't to actually change anything, and yeah...that. What the f*ck is meaning? There is only us. Is this what we should be?