[ExI] Not Immoral to Want to Be Immortal

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Sat Apr 26 08:46:36 UTC 2008

Spike writes

> [Rafal wrote]
>> ### ...The article is about as radically pro
>> life-extension as you can get without 
>> whipping out your Alcor bracelet... Rafal

It didn't even mention cryonics...hardly radical in my view.

> ...Which makes one wonder, what if The Price is Right is still around as we
> approach the singularity.  Does the prevailing singularity theory predict a
> runaway inflation right before a singularity?

No, because "inflation is always and everywhere  
a monetary phenomenon" --- Milton Friedman. 
Money itself follows the laws of supply and demand,
almost the same way everything else does. If
governments "print" too much then prices go up,
and if too little is printed, prices go down (everything
else being equal).

The "print" is in quotes, because the actual amount of
money is mainly controlled by the Fed in terms of the
prime interest rate it charges borrowing banks. Good
economists all know that the money supply should be
caused to expand by about 3% per year in America,
to reflect real growth (and thus maintain price stability).
Government sponsors inflation to cheat the public and 
transfer wealth in a hidden way from the public to
government in lieu of raising taxes. (It also has the
advantage of punishing prudence, punishing saving,
and rewarding living on credit.) The U.S. government
basically paid off its WWII debt through inflation.

> Does currency become meaningless?  Does it remain stable just
> before, since few anticipate or even understand what is happening
> at the time?

It may depend on the precise scenario, as you imply
next. For example, if people feel that some tremendous
change is about to happen, many might reason that there
is no further reason to save or to defer gratification. For
example, suppose that I knew that the singularity was
going to happen next week. How would my actions

Well, for one thing, given my own beliefs, I'd reckon that
with .5 probability I had a week left to live. Now if I'm
going to be dead, then I might as well live it up. On
the other hand, if I'm going to live, the economy will
be completely different (so far as I know, and I've
actually given little thought to this---thanks for asking).
Either way, maybe we should expect a run on goods,
and so a last minute steep inflation as goods become
scarce relative to dollars.


> Is there such a thing as prevailing singularity theory?

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