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Game playing as the ideal of existence? Suits, utopia and the singularity.

Utilising the ideas of Bernard Suits and Raymond Kurzweil, this presentation explores humanity's future.

Emily Ryall

on 7 September 2012

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Transcript of Game playing as the ideal of existence? Suits, utopia and the singularity.

Rate of technological advancement is exponential Game playing as the ideal of existence? Technology is subject to Moore's law: Concludes: The singularity (the time whereby we will transcend our biology) will occur around 2045. Suits, utopia and the Singularity Suits: "By the ideal of existence I mean that thing or those things whose only justification is that they justify everything else" (p149) "..play is necessary but not sufficient adequately to account for the ideal of existence... game playing performs a crucial role in delineating that ideal - a role which cannot be performed by any other activity, and without which an account of the ideal is either incomplete or impossible." (p149) "Now, by hypothesis, we are supposing that our Utopians have completely eliminated the need for any instrumental activity whatever. But the acquisition of knowledge, just like the acquisition of anything else, is an instrumental process; that is, acquisition is instrumental to possession, no matter what it is that one is seeking to possess... we must assume that [Utopians] have acquired all the knowledge there is. In Utopia, therefore, there are no scientists, philosophers, or any other intellectual investigators." (p152) "..we appear to be left with game playing as the only remaining candidate for Utopian occupation, and therefore the only possible remaining constituent of the ideal of existence." (p154) The downfall of Suits' utopia William Seeker and John Striver illustrated that we want to believe that our activities have worth. Criticisms: Thompson: Suits utopia is incoherent.
A challenge is only a challenge if it can be failed. Holowchak: Suits utopia is logically impossible.
We would still need to 'work' to create our existence. (I.e. what kind of house we would want to telepathically reproduce.) If all psychological problems are eliminated, then that would also eliminate the need / desire to play games. The Incoherence Objection: The Stipulative Objection Suits stipulates: Game playing is the only activity that people really want, and do not need, to do.
But he does not argue it. But perhaps Suits recognised this.

After all, his Utopia imploded when people felt that their lives lacked meaning. Of Suits: Of Kurzweil: The Inductive Objection: Can not always predict the future from the past.
Exponential trends may change. The Inequity Objection: Technology is likely only to be available to the rich and will only enhance the rich / poor divide. The Limited Resources Objection: The energy required for this technology is far higher than we can resource / sustain. Let us say that Kurzweil's predictions are reasonable. What then for Suits' utopia? Game playing would arguably form a large part of our lives.

However, so would pursuing other meaningful experiences. Part of being human is being curious, feeling emotion and creating and exploring oneself and the world. There is no human left in Suits utopia which is why it ultimately self-destructs. So Suits' utopia might not exist but we will have the possibility of greater hedonism with future technology. Suits was wrong to dismiss play as being insufficient for the ideal of existence because play is central to being human. Dr Emily Ryall
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