There needs to be a word between loving people and hating people.
I was talking to someone a while ago, and they described Nick Land as misanthropic. This struck me as slightly off. I don’t think that Land necessarily hates people in general. He certainly hates a lot of things people do, and the space between what Land is and misanthropy is not large. But I feel like there’s room there, where clarity would be useful.
I think that the proper way to describe Land is not as hating people, or even disliking people, but indifference towards people. I don’t think Land would care one way or the other whether it’s humans or artificial intelligences that end up doing the kinds of things he’d like to see done in the future.
I may be wrong about this, I’ve never met the man. But I think this idea, simply not caring about people, is a lot more useful than misanthropy. I think that a lot of the people that are described as misanthropic do not actually hate people, but neither do they like them.
I am therefore coining a word for this idea: Ambivilanthropy. (Yes I’m aware of the Greek/Latin origins. If it’s good enough for television, it’s good enough for me.)
An ambivilanthrope is someone who simply does not care about people. Some of the people obsessed with intelligence maximization seem to fit this description to me. They wouldn’t care if people are replaced by machines, or if people are augmented but somehow retain their humanity, as long as intelligence is maximized they would be happy. Likewise some of the more extreme (but not most extreme) environmentalists, who see humans as no different from any other living thing (or claim to).
Whether anyone relatively sane can actually be ambivilanthropic or misanthropic, or whether that attitude is more of an affection adopted to seem more aloof, is far outside my pay grade to determine. I just thought this was a useful concept that I should share with the wider world.