Great read. This actually reminded my of slatestarcodex's "Meditations on Moloch" (https://slatestarcodex.com/2014/07/30/meditations-on-moloch/). It's interesting to re-read it in the context of 2023.

Inexorable oozification reminds me of the inexorable multi-polar traps described in that essay. Even mentions "crypto-equity" and the cost of making things that can't be "put down".

"People are using the contingent stupidity of our current government to replace lots of human interaction with mechanisms that cannot be coordinated even in principle."

I like this conclusion as it compares the trap (a swamp?) vs the garden.

"The opposite of a trap is a garden. The only way to avoid having all human values gradually ground down by optimization-competition is to install a Gardener over the entire universe who optimizes for human values."

I don't agree with the principle of slatestarcodex's conclusion, but I found the visions similar. Yours is just more realistic and accepting rather than the sort of scared tone of SSC. Protocolization is coming for all of everything and we can accept it, or, as slatestarcodex puts it: want to fight and install a Gardener over it all.

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Reading this, I have two questions/thoughts (and no definite answers):

- Is fear of Oozification turning people into reactionaries?

- What is my personal tolerance limit for oozification (and how can I work on increasing it, while at the same embrace the change it brings with it)?

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Curious to hear more about how the Chinese collectively imagine AI. Also if they fear swamps.

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What did you mean by this? "China’s retreat from its evolutionary destiny 500 years ago."

I think this is some of your best work, btw.

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China burned its ocean-going fleet and turned away from exploration and innovation culturally around then. Some historians argue that was the critical moment when it fell behind Europe in development.

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i can only imagine it gets violent the further it ozzifies. I mean we humans are not fully equipped mentally to handle this. the best example is Russia and it's conflict with Ukraine. you really need a big dosage of optimism for a happy goo at the end.

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i would want you to extend metaphor a bit more to include other highlights of swamps:

the smell - fetid or pregnant with life - your choice

losing your boots when you step in the ooze and are not careful

marsh lights - eerie, surprising and often ignored

the silence - except when you hear birds calling (as they eat -

small tadpoles, fish and crustaceans - they find there little (not so safe) niches

weird animals comfortable in multiple physical phases - like water and air - could you cannot live in only one and cannot get there from here

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