[ExI] "death gives meaning to life"

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at comcast.net
Sat Jun 7 19:29:42 UTC 2008


Thanks for letting me know what you think about this.  This kind of 
information is very helpful.

Anne Corwin wrote:
> If any "advocacy" is to be done in response to the "death gives 
> meaning to life" sentiment, one possibly productive route (and the one 
> I personally favor) would be for individuals (as themselves, not 
> necessarily as representatives of some "camp" or "club") to publicly 
> speak and write about what they think is GOOD about life, what they 
> enjoy doing, what about their existence strikes them as so wonderful 
> that they honestly can't see why they'd want it to cease.

Yes, there are definitely benefits to this kind of individual 
"advocacy".  But I believe we need so much more than just this.

First off, is the bandwidth problem.  I have enough time to attempt to 
individually discuss things with perhaps you, and a handfull of other 
close friends.   But non of us have enough time to do this with everyone 
on this list.  Let alone everyone in the transhumanist movement, and of 
course not the millions and billions of people with differing and 
diverse beliefs.  Nobody has time to read and tally up every blog and 
post made by everyone in the world.  But wouldn't knowing, concisely and 
quantitatively, what they are all saying, believing, and wanting have 
significant value?  Especially for the still minority beliefs lost in 
all the noise?

Next is the quality issue.  If I'm only talking to a few of my friends  
IF they are very brilliant, and work very hard at it, they will be able 
to come up with some kind of mediocre quality concise statements and 
reasons for any particular POV to help me in my moral education.  But on 
average, the signal to noise ratio isn't going to be near as high - as 
it could be compared to what thousands of people could be working on 
collaboratively with simple / easy always progressive improvements to 
concise actionable statements and moral arguments.

Have you ever tried to read anything on something critically actionable 
like Global Warming at this kind of individual scale?  A bunch of 
friends will claim things like temperature isn't rising, and a bunch of 
other friends will claim such arguments are completely mistaken.  And 
since it is very unlikely that any of your friends are world class 
researchers knowledgeable about the particular small set of facts you 
are discussing, you end up with completely worthless and meaningless 
noise and group hysteria.  And you don't get much better than any of 
this even in the scientific journals.  Everyone is just expressing their 
individual opinions.  Many people claim there is a 'consensus', but 
there are obviously at least some people that disagree with the 
consensus.  Is anyone doing any kind of rational attempt to conclusively 
state and quantitatively measure this so called 'consensus'?  Isn't the 
fact that there is no attempt to back up claims of consensus with some 
kind of rigorous surveys and measurement completely absurd for such a 
critical to all of our futures issue?  And there are far more important 
moral issues we are facing, that are barreling down on us like freight 
trains from the future, than just global warming.

The primary reason nobody is attempting to measure consensus, is because 
such simple measures or surveys are meaningless and inadequate.  You 
need to also have the reputations and rankings of everyones reputations 
included in various quantifiable ways, all vetted and ranked in social 
networking / reputation ways, so you know who are the cooks, and who are 
the world class knowledgeable people on particular issues.  You must be 
able to select algorithms to value and rank peoples reputations, and 
such, in various ways, like we are seeking to do at canonizer.com.

You talk about behavior.  Right now people are rotting their dying 
ancestors by throwing them in a hole in the ground and such.  People are 
refusing to invest more money in finding a cure for aging, and so on.  A 
lot of this is because so many people are blogging about things like 
death gives meaning to life.  You claim people don't really seriously 
think this, even though so many are saying it.  But that is precisely 
the problem and terrible lying statements, causing the destructive 
behavior, we need to get resolved.  We need to force people to stop and 
think about all this kind of terribly mistaken stuff they are blogging.  
Surely there is more we can do to help everyone see there are different 
behaviors we could embark on that could significantly improve all of 
our, and especially our children's futures?

Finally there is the critical issue of simply knowing, concisely and 
quantitatively, what everyone wants - especially as glorious diversity 
increases.  Spending huge amounts of time to attempt to find out in 
concise details what a few close friends want is clearly a good start.  
But we need much more than just this.  If what you want is in the 
majority, or the primitive ways things have been always done in the 
past, then there are no problems.  You can get what you want simply by 
listening to all the blogosphere noise.  But what we need to know, is 
what are the maverick leaders / experts / and visionaries... the ones in 
the still minority camps..  seeing?  Chances are, you don't know any of 
these yet because we are all blinded by all the majority blogging noise 
saying such things as death gives meaning to life.

You can't get close to getting what everyone wants, until you have some 
kind of concise and quantitative information about just what it is 
everyone does want.  And I always say, the more diversity the better, 
and nobody can do it alone as an individual.


Brent Allsop

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