The Connection Between Stimuli and Pleasure/Pain is Arbitrary, an Objective Fact that Has Relatively Little to Do with One’s Personal Tech Habits

My thoughts on sex after the Singularity were picked up by a blogger on CNET, Chris Matyszczyk, so I thought I’d react a little bit. He writes:

Indeed, Retrevo’s findings are so disturbing that I wonder whether the roboticists are right to suggest that sex should be a matter of adjusting one’s own chemistry rather than attempting to consort with another human. To wit, in the words of blogger Michael Anissimov, one of the “leading thinkers in the radical tech community” who were invited to pontificate in the lustrous pages of H Plus magazine: “The connection between certain activities and the sensation of pleasure lies entirely in our cognitive architecture, which we will eventually manipulate at will.”

I am haunted by the drastic prognostications by the salivators over The Singularity about the future of sex. Indeed, some words of Anissimov are rattling around my head like those of a particularly angry former lover. Speaking of this beautiful future, he said: “I could make any experience in the world highly pleasurable or highly displeasurable. I could make …

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Why a Singularity Will be Gradual – Sci-Fi Says So

Apparently they talked about the “Singularity” at Worldcon. Here’s the summary from Wired:

There was an interesting side discussion about an alternative form of “bootstrap singularity” where humans gradually modify themselves to a point of no-return, but at a pace that still allows the culture to maintain a sense of continuity of identity. Ideas about what type, rate and breadth of change would constitute a singularity were bandied about, leading one panelist to observe that that the singularity, like puberty, might only be recognized after it as happened. We will not see it coming.

I read several summaries of this that all basically said the same thing. I don’t have a transcript of what they said, so let me try to say it like they might have said it…

Lots of sci-books I have read and sci-movies I have seen have had enhanced humans as the protagonists, therefore enhanced humans will surely come about before weird enhanced networks of humans with brain-to-brain interfaces, artificial intelligences, or other exotic outcomes that are hard to write stories about or …

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