[extropy-chat] The Questions Transhumanism Has Brought Me

Diego Caleiro diegocaleiro at terra.com.br
Sun May 1 21:23:30 UTC 2005

The Questions Transhumanism Has Brought Me

 Hello everyone, I've been in WTA-talk, WTA-Brasil and extropy-chat for seven 
months now, and I have decided to make a balance of the things and thoughts I 
have read during this time, and to postulate a few questions that my mind 
brought up about many aspects of transhumanism and correlated themes. Some of 
them have probably been answered or thought before I got to this e-groups, 
and some may still don't have answers. Anyway, here they are:

1 What is more important, making the transhumanist meme achieve as many minds 
as possible, or be faithful to some pre-determined concept of tranhumanism? 
 For example, when dealing with someone who may get cought by the meme, should 
I speak only about the things in tranhumanism that I know will persuade him 
to look foward to post-humanity happiness, or shoud I also talk about the 
aspects that his moral, religious, and social mentality would consider as 
dangerous, or inapropriate?
 Religions, when trying to pass their memeplexes on usually only talk about 
things that persuade the emotions of the converting person. Politicians also 
do so, as does almost every group trying to achieve strengh. But, when 
talking about transhumanity, it is important to focus the fact that the 
people who hear do not intuitively know they would like to live thousands of 
years being supersmart, as they intuitively know they would like the 
existence of God, or that a politician raised their salary. From this, it 
follows that non completely rational people have a certain degree of 
avoidance of the word tranhumanism, cyborg and similar. So, for this people, 
when chating, I usually focus my persuasiveness on the medical advances of 
technologies, and one or other fact on computational increasing power. But 
this doesn't solve the problem that, when tranhumanity arrives, that person 
will still be intuitively against it, and my country may take so long to 
produce politically legalized tranhuman technology  that I, who am still 18 
years old, will have to recur to cryogeny for having a chance. That leads me 
to my second question. 

2 Cryogeny now or risk latter? It seems to me that the tranhumanist X 
anti-transhumanist debate will, within given time, start to be a serious 
problem, with people like bioluddities, or poor people starting to have a 
real desire to kill someone who is able to live indefinetely. For two 
reasons. One is that it is  imoral, anti natural, etc...  and the other, will 
be the people who cannot do so themselves (poor people) that will feel deep 
unfairness in this choosing of who lives and who does not (with reason).
 Those who are the precursors of the movement (the older ones now) will be 
having serious risk at that time, and for them, it could be the best 
probability to be cryogenated alive, rather than killed by a bomb. 

Two problems with the simulation argument  

3 What about the risk of being turned off? 
 Supose that we start to develop increasingly better and better AGI, like we 
have been doing for the last millenium, for each space we fill in the gap 
between the human and the post-human state, it is a bigger probability of the 
third proposition of the simulation argument (that we live in a simulation) 
to be true, and therefore, a bigger chance that, achieving posthuman state, 
our simulation ends because of computational limits on the base level and we 
are simply plugged down, in other words, we die. If we achieve indeed this 
posthuman state, the probability of being turned off raises dramatically, and 
I have not seen anyone here very concerned about that. 

4 The problem of evil. 
 I have already shown here a while ago a text were I defended that if an 
altruist being creates a simulation, he would create a world with less 
suffering than ours. The text can be found at  www.dcaleironews.rg3.net  in 
the serious texts part, called “Why I think we are not living in a computer 
simulation”. Until now, no one has given me any couter-arguments on it, maybe 
because it is so poorly written, anyway, as I had no one against it, I still 
think that it is improbable that we are indeed living in a simulation. 

Structural problem

5 There are too many brilliant minds here for the amount of money tranhumanist 
cause is managing to collect. People who can discuss, with the same 
eloquence, the amount of matter in the universe, quantum laws, gay rights, 
neuronal psicology, evolutionary psicology, bayesian probability and 
ocidental politics are very likely to be able to think of  ways of raising 
more money for a memeplex divulgation. How can we get more money for 
tranhumanist causes, like de 100 billion singularity prize once have been 

6 Last but not least, I have a question about a physical problem. Brains are 
constantly physically changing, neurons move, die, react etc. Silicon Brains 
would not have that biological ability, therefore, although they may be able 
to store information, they will not be able to interexchange this information 
with the same degree of randomness we have. So, they would not have an 
freudian inconsciouness, and probably would have some difficulties in making 
complex tought, which require many physical “mistakes” in neuronal activity 
to happen. How to go round this problem?

In hope for answers (or undecidabilities...) 

Diego Caleiro (Log At)

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